Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Well-mannered People Say Please

I heard Ferdek say this in the Polish comedy series The World According to the Kiepskis. His wife told him to get out of the way so that she could put things in the washing machine and he replied that "kulturalna" people say "please". I'd long wondered about this element of Polish good manners, but I don't take it as firm evidence; it's only a comedy programme, after all. In any case, the immediate reaction in the home was that "he speaks just like" me and I have no empirical support for it.

I must have enthused about the series before, as I do consider it the best programme on Polish television: unquestionably the most intelligent general entertainment production. The Google translated (I think) Ukrainian, Wikipedia page says "The theme of the series is the ridicule of such defects as selfishness and laziness, and the lifestyle of Polish families, for whom these inherent traits". I wouldn't go that far, but perhaps it's meant to mean "those Polish families.

The Ukrainian page also seems to suggest that the original director is local ("neighbourhood'), but Okil Khamidov actually comes from Tajikistan, although he now lives in Poland: the only Tajik(istani) I know. Maybe his independent, foreign influence helped shape the unique character of the programme.

I couldn't even have placed Tajikstan on the map, so Wikipedia, as usual, came to my assistance. It borders with China and Afghanistan.

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