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Savoir Vivre


In Polish we use Pani when addressing women and Pan when addressing men. First names are not usually used until invited. It can be right at the start of meeting someone or later on, maybe after a toast with vodka (na zdrowie in Polish). 

The usual times for present giving are birthdays, name days (birth date of the saint after whom they are named – these are often more popular than birthday), and Christmas. 

If invited to a Pole's home for dinner or tea, bring wine, flowers, pastries or sweets. Gifts are generally opened when received and consumed.

Do not come late, try to make it within 15 minutes of the set time – if you are going to be late phone your hosts and tell them so.

Unless the invite is to an outdoor party you should avoid casual dress – shorts, t-shirts are not a good idea. If you know your hosts better, you might ask them what they except. Dress in Polish means a training suit or workout outfit (dres in Polish), so beware, unless you are planning a jog in the fields before a snack!! :)

Toasts are only made with hard liquor (generally vodka). Champagne or sparkling wine is the second choice. Beer is not usually at the table but it can be served later on.

Alcohol is served in small glasses so you can swallow in one gulp. Vodka is best served very cold.

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