About the Day
The Polish National Independence Day is a national day in Poland celebrated on 11 November to commemorate the anniversary of the restoration of Poland's sovereignty as the Second Republic of Poland in 1918 from the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Empires. Following the partitions (the Partitions of Poland were three partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth that took place toward the end of the 18th century and ended the existence of the state, resulting in the elimination of sovereign Poland and Lithuania) in the late 18th century, Poland ceased to exist for 123 years until the end of World War I, when the destruction of the neighbouring powers allowed the country to re-emerge.
The Polish people still had to win their independence; it was not given to them. Poland’s independence is thanks to several generations’ efforts, who never gave up and refused to accept the loss of the state, working hard to regain their sovereignty, often at great cost.
What do you miss most about home?
Portugal is an interesting country full of beautiful places and nice people. However, we miss our families and friends as well as Polish cuisine.
What do you find rewarding about working in a multinational environment like JALLC?
The JALLC is a small organization and working here means close cooperation with your colleagues in a friendly manner. The nature of the tasks we perform means we need to work together and share our expertise and experiences. This is quite a unique working environment and really interesting. Finally, yet importantly, being part of the international community means that you get to know people from many different cultural and social backgrounds.
What is something unique in Portugal that others may not know?
For us, Portugal is home to picturesque towns and cities steeped in history. From the northern city of Porto to the capital, Lisbon, to the sunny islands of Madeira and the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal offers plenty to discover. Moreover, Portuguese gastronomy deserves a special mention. It is a country full of good wine and wonderful cuisine. From fresh anchovies to salted cod and grilled shrimp, the Atlantic Ocean is Portugal’s greatest influence when it comes to the kitchen table.
How do you usually celebrate this national day (in Portugal or in your country)?
The holiday was constituted in 1937 and was celebrated only twice before World War II. After the war, the communist authorities of the People's Republic removed Independence Day from the calendar, though reclamation of independence continued to be celebrated informally on 11 November.
As Poland emerged from communism in 1989, the original holiday—on its original date of 11 November—was restored. It is a non-working day and a flag flying day in Poland. Ceremonial gatherings, parades, and picnics are organized throughout the country to commemorate the anniversary of regaining independence.