?Comparison and contrast of evident similarities and bright contrasts between United States of America and one of the European country – Poland. Both of the countries have similar environment, geographic shapes: mountains, seas, lakes and forests, but different climates. There also differences between politic, religion, nation, history, and culture. At first glance, USA and Poland may seem to be worlds apart. Looking closer, we may see may similarities as well as differences. The similarities are innumerable, yet this holds true with the differences as well.
Poland, which is about the size of Texas, in comparison to United States, is a small country located in central Europe. It borders on Germany in the west, on the Baltic Sea and the Kaliningrad region of Russia in the north, on Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine in the east, and on the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the south. . The United States, which is located in the Western Hemisphere, is bordered by Mexico and Canada and between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Poland and the United States separated not only by the Atlantic Ocean, are also separated by the differences in economies, populations, culture, religions, governments.
These two countries that are quite opposite in size have some similarities. Poland and the United States are both constitutional democracies in the sense that they show a high level of respect for individual rights but they reflect this commitment in different ways. Both: the United States and Poland have a constitution–a kind of “higher law”–that treats the government as the major view to protect individual freedom and provides significant limits on what it may do. The United States has a democratic government, meaning that it is “elected by the people and for the people. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1879. Every adult over the age of 18 can vote. Power is distributed between federal and state governments. The United States has an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. The chief of state and head of government is also the president, who is elected to a 4-year term. The president is also the leader of his or her political party. The two major political parties that exist in the US are the Democratic and Republican parties.
Poland is governed under the 1997 constitution (ratified on the First Polish Constitution from 1793). In Poland, as in the United States every adult over the age of 18 can vote, in the same way as in United States, the polish government is also “elected by the people and for the people. ” However, in Poland the power lies completely within the federal government and not distributed between federal and state governments like in United States. The bicameral parliament consists of a 460-seat Sejm (lower house) and a 100-seat Senate (upper house). Members of both bodies are elected for four-year terms.
The president in Poland, same as in United States is popularly elected, however, in Poland, different then in United States for a five-year term and has the power to nominate a member of parliament as prime minister. The president, on the advice of the prime minister, appoints the cabinet. The main political parties are the Democratic Left Alliance, Civic Platform, Polish Peasants’ party, and Self-Defense party. The population in the United States is ever growing and vastly diverse. Ethnic groups from all over the world can be found in the US.
The major ethnic groups are Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians but many Americans also have mixed ancestries . The primary language of the United States is English. Protestant and Roman Catholic are the major religions. Other religions include Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and some tribal religions. Poland, in contrast to the United States, is one of the countries in the world with the least diversity among the people. Ninety nine percent of the population is Caucasians, the other (one percent) is mostly Asian: Turkish people who arrived on Polish territory in sixteenth century, to help Poland in the war with Russia.
Poland also has much less diversity in religion than the US, ninety-five percent of Polish people are Catholics, the rest are different sectors of Catholicism, including Greek Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches Education for children is mandatory in both countries, up to a certain age. However, there are some differences. In the United States public primary and secondary schools are locally government funded. In Poland primary, secondary, and college level schools are locally funded. In simple words, in the United States education is offered from pre-kindergarten to graduate school with public and private institutions.
In Poland education is also offered with public and private institutions, but at all levels from pre-kindergarten to college or university. As we can see, Poland and the United States are two countries with major differences and several similarities. After living in the USA for the past four years, I have noticed the differences and similarities between United States and Poland, and how the lifestyles differ from each other; the differences are: Poland is less crowded than USA, the houses are a lot larger, and Poles live a much more relaxed life than most people in America.
In Poland, there are narrow streets, fewer highways, fewer cars, fewer industries, while here, in the United States are busy streets with horns, fast highways, high developed industries; all of this make United States crowded. In Poland I was used to living in a big house, where everybody has plenty of space, and behind the house was the yard with the huge garden with rows of fruit trees. Here, in United States is a huge difference between the housing situation; the living style is quit different; living in a small apartment for almost to much money, but close to anything you can imagine.
Here, if I want a fruit I have to drive down to the market place and buy some, where in Poland I would go in the garden and get if of the tree. In America I have given up the freshness of the food for the convenience of the super market. Similarly, people in Poland differ from the people in United States. Poles are less busy than people in the United States also Poles have a more relaxing lifestyle because they do not work as much. People in Poland are not motivated to work any harder because they would not gain anymore from it.
Americans on the other hand, are constantly trying to get a better job or a more expansive car, and they gain these things through working harder and longer hours. In addition, Poles tend to have more time to socialize with neighbors and family, whereas in America, people tend to be too busy for these types of activities. In Poland, I knew a lot of my neighbors and their children, whereas in America I do not even know my next –door neighbor, because there are to busy with their work. In Poland, unlike to United States government own most of the natural sources.
This practically means, that you can stop your car in any forest and make a picnic near every lake. Here, in United States most of the territories belong to the private persons, which usually make them not accessible. There are also differences in the commercials; in Poland are fewer commercials, and they are less visible on the streets, then in United States. Because most of the Poles are Catholics (95%)the traditional forms of Polish life have grown out of the spirit of Christian Faith. Their high points, in all their wealth and diversity, are marked out by the Church calendar in its yearly cycle.
The Catholics’ doctrines have very strong influence on Polish people, their all moral and ethic question are answered by religion, in the circle of Decalogue. In America people generally are more self-creative and more free, to make their own decisions. I think the reason is, because here, in United States is a distinct and clear border between government and church, unlike in Poland, where church has a significant influence on the government. Life in the United States is not a piece of cake, but living conditions here far exceed those in Poland.
In some areas of the US life is tough for some people. But unlike in Poland success is rewarded to all those who strive to work hard and get far in the country of opportunity. If someone works hard and tries to improve their living conditions they can achieve their goals and live a better life, to compare with, in Poland in spite of hard work people don’t have chance to improve their living conditions; for the same job, Poles have about four times less money and almost the same cost of living as in United States.
While I love going to Poland as much as ever, the convenience of the United States keeps me here, leaving the temptations of Poland only as memories from my childhood and a place to visit. Visiting Poland is like going to the best vacation, where I can eat my favorite foods and drink natural flavored drinks. On the other hand living in the United States is quite different in look, shape and color. I know that life in America offers more opportunity that in Poland, and you can be more successful if you work hard, although I had to give up the relaxed lifestyle that I was used to.
At the moment I do not have a large home and huge garden, but I’m able to go to school and work toward a career so one day I can succeed in living a more comfortable lifestyle in America. I will always miss the place where I grew up, but I will try to make America my new home. All in all, despite many differences, few similarities and distance between United states and Poland there are one main, common thing: sun is rising in the same side everyday, and people have the same hopes and desires to feel secure and hope for better tomorrow.