2016 Vol. 8 No. 2 - Spring / Features

Introducing… POLcast

Did you know there is a program for high school students in Toronto to study history through music in Europe, and the first stop is Poland?

No? Then you haven’t tuned in to the liveliest podcast, first such podcast ever produced – about things Polish, appropriately called POLcast.

Recently started by Toronto-based Małgorzata Bonikowska and Tomek Kniat who have long published a Polish language newspaper “Gazeta”, POLcast is a weekly English language series of great stories and interviews with interesting people on topics ranging from serious, to fun, to quirky, to obscure.

They delve into Polish jazz, giving you not only a sample but also its history. In America jazz began as a musical outlet for feelings that couldn’t be freely expressed. Is it any wonder that Poles related to it so well during the long years of communist rule?

A recent episode gave us the story of Zig Misiak, a Pole who, with friend Raymond Skye, created the Six Nations Iroquois Program Teachers Resources Guide used in 696 Ontario schools. A recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Six Nations history, he still considers himself a student of Native/First Nations history, rather than an expert.

Growing up Polish-Persian? Polish is by no means restricted to a single, uniform identity. Małgorzata and Tomek want to explore the many complex identities that are so much a part of Canada, including Polish ones. And they’d like to hear from listeners who want to share their stories too.

Idioms, curses, and why this language is so damn difficult. Now there’s a topic you can return to many times.

And finally, there’s no way to overlook the Husaria, that amazing fighting force that stopped the Ottoman incursion into Europe at Vienna – and today is the inspiration for POLcast’s marvelous logo.

2015 was the year of podcasts, a rapidly growing new medium. You can listen to it any time, anywhere: in the car, on pubic transit, on a walk.

Have a listen – at any time – and read more about each feature on their website. MYPolcast.com. Also on radio, 1280 AM in Toronto.

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Irene Tomaszewski
Irene Tomaszewski is a writer and editor of CR. She is the co-author, with Tecia Werbowski, of "Codename Żegota: The Most Dangerous Conspiracy in Occupied Europe," published by Praeger in 2010, and translator /editor of "Inside a Gestapo Prison: The Letters of Krystyna Wituska" published by Wayne State University Press in 2005.

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