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COMMENTS

So, I know a lot of this video was about me being awkward and nervous. I’m sure a lot of people might be wondering why. It’s a bit difficult to explain, but I’ll give it a shot.

Poland was very difficult for me. All of the other countries I went to I was fresh and adventurous and fun. In Poland, I was felt very heavy, very pensive, and couldn’t enjoy it as I wanted to. That’s not to say that I didn’t like Poland. I loved it. I was exceptionally happy to be there. I just had too many emotions burdening me as well.

Last time I was in Poland was when I was 16 years old. I went there for a month to visit family. I stayed at my aunt’s place most of the time. We’d go to Warsaw from time to time, and her husband would show me different historical places.

“This is the statue of Mr. Suchandsuch. It’s very important. Do you know why?
“no”
“You should! You’re Polish! You need to know history!”
“I don’t care for my history.”

And the conversation would end with him looking befuddled. What kind of a Polish man was I if I didn’t care for my roots? Not a very good one, that’s for sure.

At the same time, my Polish isn’t great. I’m highly functional. I understand everything being said to me, but I don’t know how to write in Polish, and my grammar is horrendous. I think in English and translate into Polish. My Polish is embarrassing to me. I speak it with my parents, but not with my brother and sister. My brother hates it when I speak Polish to him. My pronunciation is terrible. Better to speak English.

I know a few gyopos here in Korea. A gyopo is someone who’s ethnically Korean, but didn’t grow up in Korea. Some gyopos don’t speak Korean fluently. I know many of them are treated not so kindly because they’re not “fully Korean.” They should speak the language! Hell, we get yelled at online for not speaking enough Korean, but we’re not even Korean! Korean people that don’t speak Korean? They get a tongue lashing from ajummas. Yes, I know that’s not the case for EVERYONE, but this happens to many that I know. But that’s not the point I’m getting at.

My great discomfort in going to Poland was that my identity as a Polish person was incredibly weak. Apart from being born to Polish parents, eating some Polish food from time to time, and speaking the language abysmally, I could barely consider myself a part of these people. My pilgrimage back to the motherland had me embarrassed and ashamed. I didn’t want to disappoint all of the Nasties we’d meet there, all of whom knew I was Polish. I was worried most people would be like “oh. So…that’s who we relate to? Umm…that’s lame” I was so concerned that I’d let everyone down.

What hit me the hardest, and still hits me now as I write this, is how supportive and loving everyone was in the audience. Holy shit guise. The way Martina cried on stage in Sweden is how I was almost getting on stage. My voice quivered at some points and I had to stop talking. Seeing so many smiling faces out there when I felt so deeply that I didn’t deserve it was something that was extremely difficult for me to process. Even now I’m finding this post very difficult to write.

This was also very special for me because of my parents. When they came to Canada they were very poor. Very poor. And I was such a shitty teenager, and constantly disappointing them. To be able to go back to Poland to a crowd of loving people made my parents so extremely happy and proud. Thank you for doing this, not just for my own sake, but for theirs as well. Thank you so much.

I’m gonna stop now before Martina sees me get emotional. She’s busy editing Amsterdam and I don’t want to disturb her. I’ll leave this post with a link to the pictures from the event. For the Poland Day 2 video coming later today we’ll post the rest of our Poland adventure pics.

ToFebruary
  1. Kendra Garcia

    Hey Simon, I think I can relate somehow to how you feel, I’m Mexican American, all of my family is directly from Mexico, including my parents. Spanish is my first language, although I regret that I don’t speak as fluently as I’d like, I’m not bad, but I feel like I along with others know my Spanish should be better. It doesn’t help that I really like Korean( & Japanese) culture, music, and boys, more than most of my own culture. I like the way one movie put it (Selena) I’m not American enough for the Americans and not Mexican enough for the Mexicans. It’s frustrating, but I find it’s best to just be myself regardless of how others feel about me “losing my culture” and “forgetting my roots”. My interests involve many cultures, and I like it that way, it’s best to remember that for me. Don’t worry too much about these types of things all of us like you the way you are :)

  2. Elsa Green
    Elsa Green

    Ow Simon, I want to give you hugs <3

  3. Danielle J. Pekalski

    Hey Simon, you are far braver than I, returning to Poland. My dad is Polish, mom is Italian, but she raised me. My last name is Polish, I have awesome hair, and I know some Polish food, that’s it. I know other languages, and other cultures better than “my own” whatever that means. Sometimes it’s hard to live up to “being Polish enough” or “not being Polish, etc., enough, but at the end of the day, you are you. People are going to judge you no matter what you do, that’s their problem, not yours. Besides, you are who you are, and it seems a lot of us Nasties like you, Martina, and the rest of EYK. You must be doing something right! woop woop Polish high five!

  4. I think I know how you feel Simon… I know the past is important, because it contributed at who you are today but you just need to keep it as a reference point…keep what memories you think are important… that can help you strive to always become a better and better person or could help others do so…

    I don’t know my own history that well either… I know a few history related things… but even if I knew my entire history with every detail… that still wouldn’t make me a patriot… I don’t even know how to express in my own language sometimes, to make myself fully understood and I don’t like my country… nevertheless… I don’t think I can love a country in its entirety… there’ll always be bits and pieces… in the end…love is where your heart is.

    ♥♥♥♥♥♥

  5. Victor Ha
    Victor Ha

    Lol I think “more then” should be “more than” on the bingo sheet @2:47. I don’t know why I find typos humorous. :)

  6. Dianna Rivera
    Dianna Rivera

    I understand somewhat how you feel. Except for me its a different situation. I grew up speaking Spanish and English at the same time; trying to find out as much as I can about my parents’ cultures. I learned very little because my extended family (aunts/cousins/uncles they all live in Canada, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico) does not live near me nor are there many Peruvian or Guatemalan people around where I live (here the hispanic population is pre-dominantly Puerto Rican, Dominican, or Colombian). It also doesn’t help that I never have visited either of my parents’ home countries because both places are technically “unsafe”. That and neither of my parents know what their countries are like anymore, my mom left Peru for Venezuela before she turned 20 and my dad left Guatemala when he was 8 (and a complete true New Yorker). I can say its because of that I grew up so Americanized that even in high school my classmates in AP Spanish (college level) would mock me for being too “gringa”. I chose to become more fluent in Spanish to connect with it better and also because I want to learn many more languages.

  7. Caitlin Burrows

    Oh, Simon. I just want to hug you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your Polish Nastes love you and they’re proud to have you represent them. I think it’s true that a lot of people don’t truly embrace who they are and where they came from until much later in life. And it’s great that they do, because where they came from is so rich in traditions and culture. This may not exactly be the same thing because there was no language barrier, but it happened to me. I’m half English and half Canadian and I was born and raised in the United States. Growing up, it’s not that I didn’t care about the English side, but when I wasn’t in America I was mostly visiting my relatives in Canada (with rare visits to England scattered in there) so I didn’t think much of the English side of my family. The most I remember thinking about it was, “We’re going to see a play and there’s going to be great candy and Beano/Dandy comics.” When I went to college I was an English Lit major and had the opportunity to study abroad. I chose England because it’s such a literary country. While there, I thought, “This is my family and this is my country and I’m proud to call myself British.”

  8. Nicole Bragg

    Oh my gosh. I can’t even imagine how many emotional feels Simon must be having reading all of these comments. I’m crying and they have nothing to do with me. May I dare to say that the Nasty fandom is the sweetest, kindest, most loving fandom I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. We love you, Simon and Martina!!!

  9. Martina, at minute 5:16 when you start speaking Polish, with the inflection in your voice, you sound just like the characters in the video game series The Sims :-).

  10. Karolina Rasińska

    I was waiting for this post. omg Simon, so many feels T_T
    We are very, very, very, very (x100) sensitive about our history, so I understand how burden you must feel.
    also I’m currently living in UK and seeing so many pierogi makes me feel so homesick (foodsick?)

  11. Weronika

    OMG, guise you made me soo teary. Meeting you in Warsaw, talking with you, and now I’m watching video, reading post, and what I see link to the pictures that I made during fanmeeting. It’s too much, I feel so emotional, so proud and… awwww. Thank you Simon and Martina.
    And Simon,
    you can be proud of your polish, you didn’t born in Oland you didn’t live here, and still you are able to speak a little bit. Many polish people who go to live in another country forget polish after 1-2 years, or even pretend that they aren’t polish.
    You don’t do it, you trying to speak which is great and all polish nasties are proud of it. And you say loud that you are polish. Thank you for it.
    Moreover you even promote Poland, you introudce to others our food, and say that’s delicious. That’s really a lot. Thank you for it.
    And with grammar, you know that polish is one of the hardest languages, even polish people who live in Poland from ages doesn’t speak correctly in polish.

    I was really glad to meet you both, Simon and Martina. Thank you for everything

    (bb cream,biotechnologist ^^, if you remember me Martina)

  12. unicornsgalaxy

    Now I need to add to my grocery list:

    Pierogies (Which auto-correct wants to correct to groupies…hmm maybe I don’t need to make it plural…)
    Stuff to make Stuffed Cabbage (which is what my family has always called it because I don’t think they know the name for it and even if they did, don’t think they would have been able to pronounce it).

    All that food looks so good! Goes back to eating my lunch.

  13. Oh. I’m from Poland and I’ve been on the fanmeeting. I’ve screamed for S&M, hugged them. And just a moment ago I read the post and I suddenly got emotional. Simon, we are PROUD that you are Polish! Never doubt it. Right now I just want to hug you one more time and have hope you’ll never feel embarassed or ashamed visiting Poland again. I’m almost sobbing and my English is probably very shitty atm, so, just… That’s who we relate to? HELL YES!

  14. Simon-

    I’m really glad you were able to visit Poland. I have the same feelings when I return to Korea, because I’m adopted and speak Korean very poorly. Despite the fact that I didn’t have an opportunity to learn it growing up, I still feel ashamed of the fact that I cannot connect with Koreans on a native level. And am usually too embarrassed to try. Luckily, like you, I met many open-hearted people that accepted me anyway. I hope you go back again and are able to enjoy it more. You post brought tears to my eyes. <3 화이팅!

  15. Damarys Zambrano

    I forgot to mention they moved here to make my life better and I am proud of that

  16. Damarys Zambrano

    I totally understand you. I am a Spanish American, but I can’t speak it fluently. I can understand all of it but my grammar and speaking skill are like a 3 year old. In America I have friends who are like me so it’s not so bad. But over Christmas break I went to Puerto Rico. I was was so nervous. I had never been there before and I have like 100 family members over there. When they tried to have a conversation with me I could under what they said, but then I spoke like a 3 year old and they gave up on having a conversation with me. Some of my family even would reprimand me on how I should know how to speak Spanish and how I don’t know my culture. The trip was fun and I did have fun on the trip and I had some Spanish cousins who spoke English. They helped me a lot. I do feel ashamed for not knowing Spanish, but my family moved to America and I very proud of them for doing that.

  17. I wanted to write something to cheer you up, but all I can do is just smile. I don’t care what languge people speak, what food they eat, with whom they are. If you feel Polish, you are one. What you feel is the most important thing. You shouldn’t be ashamed of not speaking perfect Polish becuase you spent most of your life in Canada. To be honest, your Polish is better than some young people’s Polish xD What’s the most beautiful is the fact that you care about us, about your country Poland, about your parents who are Polish. Maybe you don’t know all those famous people from Poland (Do you think people who live in Poland know them? I don’t think so…) Your heart is really beautiful, you are so good a person that you shouldn’t even think that way. It makes me sad that you were so nervous and felt ashamed. We all love you. You make us proud! PROUD. Remember that!
    You have never disappointed us. You make us happy, because of you we can smile and proudly say. Simon is related to us!
    Please, don’t worry about it anymore, and next time enjoy your visit in Poland. I’m sure Martina also want to see your smile.

    You can cry because our food and vodka are that good but not because of other things.
    Keep your head UP (kkk) and be confident! Ask yourself a question. Who am I. And then you will know everything. Don’t care about others, care about what you feel.
    However, we Polish nasties, Polish people, are proud of you and happy we could meet you! Seeing you so emotional also makes me cry ;;; So smile, because Simon who smiles is the most handsome, the most cool and the most most beautiful one! : )

  18. Patrycja Olejniczak

    I was born in Poland and raised there as well, but since I moved to Germany couple of years ago I don’t feel like Poland is ‘my country’ anymore…. speaking of history – Polish people had to fight for their country so that it exists on maps, and even if they lost their country they still had tradition, culture, history – that’s why they are so proud and think of historical figures as significant for every Polish person to know them. I caught myself calling my 10-year-old brother ‘stupid’ as he didn’t know who Mickiewicz was. Nowadays it doesn’t matter what has he done, but Poland is a country that lives its history.
    I admit – every time I’m visiting Poland the first thing I’m thinking is FOOD.
    And don’t worry about your Polish, Simon, I bet there will be people that will say ‘wow your Polish is good’ as for a person that doesn’t use it as first language. I’m using a lot of German/English when I don’t find any Polish translations.

  19. Gizelle Iwona Batko

    hellu simon and martina – i just wanted to say that im sad that you THOUGHT that polish fans would NOT support you…. i just want to remind you the Nasties love you for who you are not where you are from!!!! you being polish is only an additional connection that fans have to you however its not the primary one! Despite your discomfort i hope you enjoyed it in poland, us polish fans absolutely love you guys and i hope the next video will show us in a more… positive light… thx for all the vids

  20. Gizelle Iwona Batko

    hellu simon and martina – i just wanted to say that im sad that you THOUGHT that polish fans would NOT support you…. i just want to remind you the Nasties love you for who you are not where you are from!!!! you being polish is only an additional connection that fans have to you however its not the primary one! Despite your discomfort i hope you enjoyed it in poland, us polish fans absolutely love you guys and i hope the next video will show us in a more… positive light… thx for all the vids :)

  21. Agnieszka

    I’m Polish and I never thought about you in that way , I think that you’re trying to speak in my native language makes me proud because you’re trying and this is the most important thing you don’t have to be perfect in that language , look at me my English sucks so much and I’m learning it like 10 years in school soo yeah I feel ashamed too but gues what we all just people we don’t have no we can’t to be perfect so don’t feel that way , put your head up and be proud because you did great job :) For me you are 100 % Polish person no matter what . I’m glad that you visited Poland I hope that next time when you be able to came here you’re going to enjoy your time more than this time and that you’ll be more relaxed :) I’m a teenager too and I have done so many mistakes and this is your past Simon don’t look back we’re all growing up so don’t be ever ashamed ! Because all Nasties are proud of you ! We all love you !

  22. Stephanie C

    It’s wonderful to hear you speak about this because too few people realize the trauma and complexities of immigration and how it affects people. I think its something more and more people (who have not experienced it) need to become aware of so they can become more understanding to people around them who are struggling with felling split between two worlds or disconnected to a part of themselves. Perhaps with more understanding it can be less difficult and more special to those who exist under the framework of immigration and multiculturalism. I hope those watching this can see how Simon’s experiences is like others, and how those experiences play out in their home country.

  23. Makiyan Gatito

    omg simon you’re the sweetest ;_;

  24. Ah, I know the feeling. I’m a 华裔, that is, a gyopo but for Chinese people. (Though I’m only half Chinese). I speak Chinese with my mom, and I’ve visited China every year, and even though it kinda feels like my second home, it also feels like I’m just a visitor, that this isn’t my country. My Chinese is just like a Chinese child’s: perfect pronunciation, (almost) perfect grammar, but a miniature vocabulary, and I feel so stupid when I start to speak to Chinese people and they think that I can speak perfectly, and then they say something and I just don’t understand. (But at least I have it a bit easier than others since I look half foreign!) Thing is, it’s impossible to maintain two nationalities perfectly if you grow up in one country. That’s just the way it is, and we all know how teenagers are – it’s not cool to be different from the other kids, and so we start rejecting our heritage. I hated China up till I was maybe 18 or so, but this summer I came back from having studied Chinese in Beijing for one year (I’m 21 now). When I was there I was angry with myself for letting myself forget and push away so much of my Chinese and my heritage, but really, who can blame us? I think it’s something that most kids of multiple nationalities go through, and it’s up to ourselves to grow up and start taking care of it when we’re older and more mature. You still have your Polish embedded in you, it’s not too late to start learning again. If you want to.

  25. Wombatio

    As for a Pole living in China I’m experiencing something different. Seeing you guys going to Poland gave me a heartache from not being able to meet you even though you were visiting my own country. Now it’s easier for me to go straight to Korea then back home… and yet being so close it’s still quite impossible to just go and say ‘Hi!’ to you in person. It’s fascinating how unpredictable our life is and where in time and space it puts us… Maybe I’ll see you in China, huh? ;P

  26. Rosanna Lam

    Aww, that post was so heartfelt. I never used to feel this way when I was younger, but lately I’ve felt like I’ve been becoming less Chinese. :S So I guess I can kinda relate. ><

  27. Justyna Opora

    Simon, you don’t need to worry about Polish community so much. In Poland young people are often disappointed and not happy about their motherland in general. Most of teenagers dreams about living in UK, US or Canada. Actually, i don’t like the idea of living the rest my life in Łódź (it’s right in the middle of Poland, about 100 hm frow Warsaw). Most of us, young people, don’t feel the bond with our country, so we don’t judge eaisly people like you. As glad as i’m that we share the same heritage with you- you’re motherland is Canada. My little cousin was borne in Florida, and right now he speaks Polish fluently, but that’s becouse he’s with us almost every holiday! You should’nt be ashamed. As long as you won’t bump into some mean pro catholic old ladies you will be fine. Pozdrowienia z Polski :)

    • Okey, I think you are taking this too far bringing in religion and speaking for ‘most’ of teenagers being ‘not happy about our motherland’. I love my country, of course it’ not perfect, but the way you wrote about it is just not nice. And for a record people here feel bounded with Poland. Telling Simon not to worry about Poland being judgy ..I think you are doing it wrong way. Simon in Poland we don’t judge you for lacking language skills not because ‘we are not bounded with motherland ‘ or hate it so much that we ‘dream about moving to UK,US or Canada’ but because Polish people are nice and understand the fact you weren’t raised in here, moreover they would rather congratulate you for trying to speak your native language and not forgeting your roots than criticize you , so don’t worry eat pierogi and chillax,polish nasties love you and Martina ;)

    • Gizelle Iwona Batko

      I agree with Sei, I know a whole load of Polish teenagers/people who live in the UK (like me- i am polish and live in the uk practically all my life) who actually really want to go back to poland because life in the UK isnt as dreamy as everybody makes it out to be! ofc i am not generalising, there are those that love it, there are those that hate it… my point is i have no idea what you mean by this ‘most of us young people dont feel a bond with our country’ ahaha please ;D do not speak for the majority!

  28. Michalin AH

    Geee, I knew it would be emotional for you to visit your motherland but I’ve never ever expected you would feel burdened ~ I am glad that you felt welcomed because you guise are really really welcome in Poland, in fact if you ever want to visit Baltic sea I live nearby and can provide accomodation >_< jk [no but seriously.... my grandma makes insanely delicious pierogi & kluski śląskie] ^^

    I hope to see you again some time… I wonder if it will be you coming to Poland again or maybe me going to Korea? Anyways, have you guise listened to the CD yet? I guess it would have been more accurate if 'Jesteś szalona' was included but I hope you will like it regardless^^

  29. Meike ter Haar

    Hey Simon, it’s okay. Even if you feel like you don’t deserve the nasty-love, you do. We don’t see you as “Simon the polish guy that should he able to speak polish” we see you as “Simon the super epic fun guy”! So don’t worry about it because the culture you were born in doesn’t define you as a person, your actions do. So Simon, don’t be sad or embarrassed because we nasties will support you no matter what! :D
    x Meike from the Netherlands

  30. Simon, I’m really impressed with how you were able to pull yourself together and go on stage. You didn’t seem gloomy at all (maybe a teensy bit fidgety) and I would have never guessed what you were going through up there. It must’ve been difficult! I’m pretty sure you know that already, but we understand your situation and don’t really care how good your Polish is. It’s enough that you came to see us.

    And let me tell you, both of you don’t need any editing to be genuinely funny and entertaining, I was laughing the whole time. Thank you so much for that amazing evening!

  31. Helena Smołka

    Oooh Simon please don’t cry. We,Polish Nasties, were all happy to see you and hoped that you and Martina had grat time visiting Poland. We can understand how you feel, we won’t judge your Polish,don’t be embarrassed :)

    Hope you liked it here and please come back anytime, it would be great to see you and Martina again
    ヽ(*・ω・)ノ

    ps. How do you like the poster i gave you? The big one with your and Martina’s portraits,Ironman, Doritos, Spudgy, Meemersworth,TOP and lot of other cute stuff on it? :)

  32. For me it’s quite normal that you don’t know that much about Poland. We’re being learnt about it schools for at least 10 years and I can’t call most of ppl that graduate from high school self-conscious Polish. And you grew up abroad. If you had spent most of your free time in library learning stuff about Poland than you wouldn’t have had any childhood at all. So cheer up! we loved you before we knew that you are Polish and we will still love you despite the fact that you might suck at polish history (as most of polish, i dare to say). Personally I feel kind a proud of having such a cool fellow-countryman as you^^

    p.s. thanks for all the times when you forced Korean celebrities to speak Polish, I had lots of fangirling moments because of that:)

  33. Bubalooy
    Bubalooy

    It’s decided. I’m gonna move to Poland and eat all your food!!! ALL OF IT!!!!!

  34. I think you’re in the same boat as a lot of other first generation kids out there. I’m a first gen Chinese-Canadian and like you, when I was young I understood 100% of whatever Cantonese was being spoken around me but when I spoke, I had the worst Anglo accent and my grammar was terrible since I just did Google translate in my brain from English to Chinese. People made fun of me (both adults and kids) of my terrible accent so much that I point blank refused to speak to you in Chinese if I knew you spoke even a smidgen of English. I only ever spoke in Cantonese to my grandparents (zero English) and my mom because she was militant about making sure I spoke Chinese. I remember the terror and embarrassment the first time I went to Hong Kong at 13 to visit my family over there. Since it was just me and my mom, I didn’t even have my sister to speak to in English. I clearly looked Chinese and understood what was being said to me but I couldn’t read and could only mumble in awful heavily accented Cantonese. My highlight of the day was the hour of English news I watched religiously for my English fix. But when I came back to Canada, all that embarrassment finally made me realize how useful it was to have extra language skills. I finally started genuinely practicing my Cantonese and finally became fluent after a year or so. Now I’m 23 and I can proudly say I’m fluent in Cantonese and proficient in Mandarin as well :) So don’t fret Simon! You have a great heart and you can never disappoint your Nasties no matter what your Polish sounds like :) If you decide to study more Polish in the future, all Nasties, regardless of our nationalities, will be cheering you on!

  35. Hannah

    But Simon, it’s being you that’s important. Us Nasties dont love you because of where you come from; I’ll bet every single one of those Nasties were thinking “WOW Simon is Polish like us THATS SO COOL” not that you arent Polish enough. Thats not even a thing. Youre a person, not a culture WE LOVE SIMON AS SIMON ^^

  36. fuuko4869

    I don’t think I can ever fully relate with what you were going through, but uh, there there *pats head*

  37. Polish food looks so amazing!!

  38. I feel ya, Simon. I’m in the same boat, but I never went back. I just kind of lost my European side to me. Never been back since I left over 10 years ago. I get weird when people ask me about my culture or “how do you say –” or the most painful: when they ask about my family.
    Maybe one day I’ll take a language class or something and go back.

  39. Dina Panda-Chan Kitiara

    guys…why r u so awesome, no seriously how do u do it??????????? love u so much!! NASTY power^^

  40. Aga Czerwińska

    Simon, you did great on the fanmeeting! You could never disappoint us even if you’d say all the Polish words in wrong way. But actually, we understood everything you said to us! Meeting you guys was amazing, thank you for coming! I can’t wait for the next video.

  41. irritablevowel
    irritablevowel

    This is a pretty classic first generation/second generation language outcome. My parents both speak Spanish, but I don’t. I don’t even really understand it. I get a few words here and there so that I can get the gist of what people are talking about, but there are many non-native speakers who understand Spanish MUCH better than I do (let me tell you, I heard about it from my Grandma when she found out that Gwyneth Paltrow spoke Spanish) Sometimes people are surprised that I don’t speak Spanish because my parents both speak Spanish fluently (my father more than my mother. Like Simon, she’s always worried that her grammar is terrible). My parents both grew up in New York City, in a latino neighborhood, so they heard Spanish being spoken around them, but English was the language of school, work, and most importantly, the language of their peers. Language isn’t just what you teach your kids. Kids learn language from what they hear around them, from their friends, from the signs they see, the shows they watch, and the music they hear. Language is a full cultural experience, and the majority of their experience was in English. As a result, English became their default language, and as adults the language of their everyday home life, which is why I don’t speak Spanish. That’s usually how it happens. It isn’t the first generation (children of immigrants) to lose the language, it’s the second generation (grandchildren). So Ajummas and Ajusshis, and Abuelas and Abuelos can grump and grouch all they want. The truth is, no matter what they believe, they wouldn’t have been able to do any better.

  42. Maria Magdaline

    They gave you the bread and salt, they can’t kill you Red Wedding style now. (It’s in the Rains of Castamere episode)

  43. Vanessa

    I don’t want to write some long-winded comment but it’s pretty comforting that others feel this way. Not just Simon but other Nasties. I’m one of the few in my family that doesn’t speak Spanish. Even though I’m pretty functional, but I’m not fluent… therefore, I don’t know Spanish. I deal with many Mexicans that I feel look down at me for not fully embracing my heritage and language(I’ve heard them comment about me in Spanish, What a shame?!). I just don’t really identify with them, not fully. But I’m not fully American either. ::Shrug:: Not Mexican, not American but a mixture of both.

  44. Kahu Pohatu-campbell

    Good on you Simon! I think its really awesome that you can share your experience with all us Nasties.

    As a linguistics student I find it totally ridiculous when people expect me to know how to speak Maori just because my parents are Maori, as if language is some kind of innate ability that we are just born with. -_-

    On the other hand its pretty good when I’m learning foreign languages like korean, because korean people look at me, see that I am quite clearly NOT korean, and then when I speak korean, like literally even if I just say Hello, all the old korean Ahjusshis and Ahjummas LOSE THEIR MINDS. They think its just CRAZY for a foreigner to speak korean.

    Which at times can be patronizing but at other times makes me feel like a bit of a celebrity ~

  45. emily235

    This post ;-; I’m so happy that I take the time to read the blog entries, as opposed to just watching the videos as I know some people do. (I know there’s nothing wrong with that, don’t kill me) It just makes me feel so much closer to you guise, and gives such an emotional look at the usual fun side that is shown in the videos. But yeah, this entry especially. Poor nervous Simon ;-; And the fact that it’s like a sort of redemption, coming back to Poland… Egh. I get so emotional about things, even if I’m not really involved in them. I’m so happy for you Simon~!

  46. lady_kire
    lady_kire

    I understand about not knowing your language and going through the I don’t care phase. I’m first gen Chinese-Canadian and I went through the I don’t care phase as well. I think we all do… My brother has said that he doesn’t want to be Chinese and that he’s not…(rolls eyes)
    Growing up in Vancouver, my parents made me learn how to speak Cantonese until I gave up. Now that I’m older, I regret the decision to quit. Most of my cousins don’t know ANY cantonese and will not be able to have a single conversation. I can speak it, but I can’t read too well and when I speak, I’m awful grammatically, have some slang/accent, and speak at a elementary school level.
    I take Mandarin lessons now, but I’m not comfortable as people stare at me if I don’t know what to say, and I know there are people who will lash at me for not knowing Mandarin.
    I’ve taken greater appreciation for Cantonese and I feel that both my grandmas might like me a bit more for knowing my native tongue and learning about my heritage.
    Wish I could teach most of my cousins and my brother though… One got pissy at a Buddist temple for not understanding blessed jade and one doesn’t think Chinese is important… my parents are trying to force my brother into taking mandarin again…

    Point is… be happy you know some of your language. It may not be a lot, but it is still a part of your heritage.

  47. hapagirl
    hapagirl

    Aww Simon~
    Seriously you’re just giving all the feels! I feel for you.
    I live on Hawaiian homestead and am like 60%. I’m constantly looked at weird because I don’t speak like everyone else because I don’t have the accent and I know nothing about the Hawaiian language. And it was mainly me refusing because it was constantly shoved down my throat about me learning the language and being Hawaiian.

    I know that me saying don’t feel bad and don’t worry won’t help. But we all love you and I’m proud that you’re open about it, this takes a lot of courage.

  48. TheArrowPen

    Simon, I haven’t had a similar experience, but I wanted to tell you that I found your post really touching. The fact that you were that affected by going to Poland, that you had such strong, mixed emotions and felt so concerned about how you would relate to the country and its people when you got there — this is going to sound weird, but I feel like all those things speak to your character, and to how much you care. I’ve always loved that you and Martina are so honest with us, and this post really exemplified that. *Hugs*

  49. hironyx

    the girl holding the soo zee mask looks a lot like leigh behind a soo zee mask LOL

  50. sweetest-song

    I feel you simon cause im a gyopo and i live in a korean based communities so i get all these ahjumas and ahjusshis who try and talk to me in korean and i can understand what they are saying for the most part but i cant speak
    i talk like a complete foreigner
    and there is a language barrier between my grandparents and i which is really sad because i cant talk to them as freely as i would want to
    even so i still try and learn so the language barrier isnt as bad
    HANG IN THERE SIMON
    if it makes you feel any better you AMAZING polish to me :D

  51. Seishin

    Simon, I totally get where you’re coming from too. I’m first-gen Portuguese Canadian, and I’m embarrassed of how little of my heritage I actually *know*. Especially growing up in Toronto (where you probably know has a huge Portuguese expat community). My Portuguese is also *highly functional* (totally stealing that BTW), and being around family and friends I feel that they look at me sometimes as ‘less than’ because I’m not fluent, or that my social circle is not made of the same background. I sometimes feel in the middle of 2 worlds: more Portuguese than Canadian with my friends, more Canadian than Portuguese with my relatives (more extended than my immediate family). Add to that the knowledge that my parents are well known in ‘the community’, so growing up I felt doubly judged by people that looked down on me for ‘acting *too* Canadian’ (someone even told me that, once). It’s tough sometimes.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is … I feel you. And don’t feel ashamed. We all made stupid decisions and had bad attitudes when we were teens and thought we were ‘too cool for school’. Feel proud that you’re wanting to learn more now, as an adult. With age comes wisdom and respect, and the desire to know our roots. :) Those people at the fan-meets in Poland ‘get that’. Your parents ‘get that’. :) It would be a LOT worse if we didn’t grow from how we were as kids. lol

  52. I guess the trip to Poland was a … FEELS TRIP!

  53. I think this feeling of being embarrassed is something a lot of people who know a second language can relate to. I’m French-Canadian but grew up in Toronto; my dad speaks French but my mom doesn’t. The only French I learned was when I went to a French-immersion school up to the end of grade 8, and my French has just gone downhill since then due to lack of practice. I even get nervous speaking to my grandmother on the phone now! Btw I love Bison Grass vodka, you can get it in Toronto too! If you mix it with apple juice, it tastes exactly like apple pie. Amazing!

  54. Brielle Christina Beaver

    You’re awesome Simon!

  55. Leta Ko

    Very Sweet blogpost Simon!! I completely understand! I’m korean american and i’m really “white washed” I feel a lot of korean judge me because I don’t speak completely fluently. I can only speak conversationally, understand pretty well, and i can read and write like a kindergartner.. xD

    don’t sweat it though! You’re the person you are today because of how you grew up! You might be completely different if you were really into your polish roots!

  56. Mary G (매리)

    Simon, I feel the same way about my Polish roots. Granted my parents, and not even my grandparents, were born in Poland but we live in a Polish neighborhood and my mom grew up knowing Polish. I love the language, love the food and love the history (because I’m a history person), but my Polish is terrible. I can read/listen and understand. maybe say some cute phrases, but it’s terrible. I feel that same disconnect when I talk to other Polish people.
    But it’s ok, we have the connection of something we care about (kpop) and that connects us.

    -big kpop, kimchi eating, family hug-

  57. John Lee
    John Lee

    Simon, I think I know how you feel. I felt exactly the same when I came to visit Korea Last month. I was born in Seoul, but moved to the U.S. when I was very young. Your description of your emotions mirrored my own, all you had to do was substitute The U.S. for Canada and Korea for Poland. I regret how much time I spent turning my back on my Korean roots and I regret being a shitty kid to my parents who sacrificed so much to move abroad. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to go back to Poland under such fantastic circumstances and thank you for sharing it with all of us! My visit to Korea changed me for the better and seeing your videos keeps the experience fresh and alive. You guise are the best! Your love of life is so contagious, it makes us all the better in seeing the world through your eyes! Thank you again!!!

  58. Aww, Simon! You big dothraki crybaby! You guise are adorable. Nasties won’t judge, we just appreciate how much you’re willing to share with us. As you can clearly tell from the other comments, people in this community can relate *hugs all around*

  59. There are a lot of people who think that no matter where you go, if you’re part of that ethnicity, you should actively participate in the culture. Sort of hard when you’re not immersed in it daily, right? Don’t worry about what others think Simon, because you’re always going to find supportive people who understand your situation! I know, because I’m sort of like you, just from a different country. :)

  60. Jolene 졸린 McConnell

    Oh, that was awesome. I taught in Poland for a year before I moved to Korea to teach. This video was two of my favorite things rolled together. Like Nalesnki and kimch jjigae (but, you know, delicious). Or a Maluch and a scooter delivery boy. Or Tyskie and galbi. Or the Krakow rynek and Namdaemun. So wonderful!

  61. Aria Haneul

    Don’t feel bad, Simon. Your parents left for a reason: to give their kids a better life. There’s no arguing that you have a good life, and that’s all that matters. Heritage is important, but if we dwell on the past, we can’t enjoy the present and move towards the future!

    • True. And I don’t dwell on it often. I often don’t think much about my Polish-ness, especially here in Korea, where the Polish community is almost nonexistent. It was being in Poland that brought it all out in me :D

      • just Anna :)

        Simon, the thing is that you don’t deny that your family came from Poland and that’s cool and I think that it makes Polish Nasties proud and happy, at least I am :). You don’t need to know all the things about Poland and now you have time to learn our history, of course only if you want to. Angry youngster is far behind, be happy where you are now :)

      • Aria Haneul

        Sorry, I need a moment to spazz about the fact that SIMON REPLIED TO ME. Ahem. As you were.

  62. Namite0001 .

    I totally understand you, Simon. I’m a gyopo too, and even though I’ve gotten more proud of my heritage, every time I see another Korean person, especially ajummas, or heck, even when I go to my church (which is all Korean), I get really nervous, because they expect me to know Korean. And I’ll feel ashamed when they try to talk to me, because it’s usually through some form of broken English (not too bad, but you can tell it’s not perfect), and I become conflicted because I don’t know whether to reply in Korean or English. No one has really reprimanded me because I don’t know Korean fluently, but I still get the feeling that they do in their minds.
    I even went through the period of “I don’t care about my heritage”, especially during middle school, when I was obsessed with Japanese stuff (which makes things 100x worse). My parents would scold me for it, but I wouldn’t listen.
    But now, I want to say that I’ve improved my Korean, especially through Korean variety shows and watching Korean videos on youtube (without subs! :D), but I still feel inadequate. So I guess what I’m trying to say via rambling is that I feel you. But stay strong, we’re a Nasty family and we stick together :)

  63. Carolynn

    Dear Simon you are very brave and I commend you! Hugs and best wishes to you and the beautiful mrs. You guys are such a pair and so amazing! I love your hair (Simon) don’t take that the wrong way but it’s super cute! :D you constantly amaze me with your creativity and amazing uses of phallic words! ❤️

  64. Pia Pal

    Simon, I think I kind of understand you, since I am a first-generation American. It’s like you feel sort of ashamed because of losing some of your parents’ culture, but you really shouldn’t feel that bad. We grow up in a different country than our parents did and mix with new cultures to create our own beautiful cultures.:D

    Don’t be sad; have a hug! ^.^

  65. Alyn Clay

    Simon in the Motherland!!! Can’t wait to watch!! Wahoo!!!

  66. littleDramz

    SImon! You don’t need to be ashamed of mistakes you made as a teenager. We were all idiots back then; heck, I’m trying to figure out if I can be considered an adult considering my enormous blunders! Maintaining your culture is very difficult especially when you’ve lived away from your homeland for so long. You should be proud that you can still speak Polish and that you were able to re-visit Poland as an adult to reflect on how important it is to respect your heritage. You’ve still got plenty of time to re-learn Polish and reconnect with the motherland!
    P.S I’m not Polish but I’ve experienced the same things you’re going through!

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