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On Polish Jokes

The town I grew up in had a population of about 7,000 people. Of that, about 6,967 of them were white, and about 5,200 of them were of Swedish or German descent. I was part of a moderate handful of Poles, most of which only saw each other at Sunday mass and otherwise minded their own business.

Things were a little bit different with my extended family. Most of them lived far away, but we still celebrated Casimir Pulaski Day, even after my school stopped recognizing it as a holiday. We still ate pierogies and kielbasa on special occasions. We still used the word ‘dupa’ in reference to a person’s rear end, and my uncle still kept his name in its original spelling, extraneous z’s and c’s and all. I’d always been a little confused as to why my grandfather changed the spelling in the first place, but I found out why later.

I heard my first Polish joke in seventh grade, in science class.

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Filed under word vomit non-fiction memories middle school ethnocentrism