Montag, 7. Mai 2007
Ireland from a Polish perspective
In today's post about Krystian's life in Ireland I'm going to blend a bit of Irish geography with Polish history.
Let's start off with the less stodgy of the two topics namely the Irish landscape. As part of his journey around the circumference of Ireland, Krystian and a couple of friends visited this time around the imposing Cliffs of Moher and the Burren.
The Cliffs of Moher are to be found at the south-western edge of the Burren area, county Clare, Republic of Ireland. They rise up to 214 meters at their highest point and boast one of Ireland's most awe-inspiring views. As such they are the place to be for any tourist venturing to Ireland and sure enough almost one million visitors admired them in 2006. However, despite the fact that the tourists throng the Cliffs of Moher each year like mosquitoes the lighting, the unspoilt beauty of them has been preserved thanks to the meticulously planned "Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience."
If you wish to find out more about this stunning place, visit:
The Burren or Burren (the definite article has only been added to the name a few decades ago) is a distinctive karst-landscape region in County Clare, Republic of Ireland which has an abundance of historical and archeological sites.
If you wish to read more about it, visit:
Let's move on to a less "stunning" topic namely a dark chapter from the contemporary Polish history.
On December the 13, 1981, the Martial Law (the control of a city, country etc. by an army instead of by its usual leaders) was imposed in Poland under General Jaruzelski as a desperate measure to "defend socialism" because the government felt threatened by the members of the first independent trade union in Poland-the Solidarity which was fighting for people to have more rights.
According to the Polish constitution the martial law can be imposed for national security reasons without the consent of the parliament. The moment the martial law was introduced thousands of Solidarity activists were arrested and imprisoned, airports were closed, and curfews (a rule that everyone must stay at home between particular times, usually at night, especially during a war or a period of political trouble) were introduced between 10pm and 6am.
However, Polish people were much more resilient than the Communist Party had initially predicted and were organising strikes and street marches despite feeling shellshocked by everything that was happening around them. It took two years and numerous victims for the martial law to be done away with in July 1983. It was only in 1989, though, that all the restrictive legislation which had been imposed by the Communist Party was abolished once and for all.
While reading about this traumatic episode in Polish history, I couldn't stop thinking about just how life-shattering this experience must have been for the Poles who where sealed from the rest of the world and chastised in any just imaginable way for two excruciatingly long years. Not to mention all the blood that was shed during that time. Still, the Polish put their foot down and didn't want to give ground in the battle for their civil rights.
This historic event should be a lesson to all of us in that we should always fight for a worthy cause no matter what that fight might comprise.
To read more about the martial law of 1981 in Poland, visit:
true-life stories about the time of martial law in Poland-http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/witness/december/13/newsid_4524000/4524704.stm
here you can watch a U2 song which is dedicated to the Solidarity movement in Poland- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQaFue_KvoQ