The Polish people, or Poles (Polish: Polacy ; singular masculine: Polak, feminine: Polka), are a nation and an ethnic group of predominantly West Slavic origin, native to Central Europe, inhabiting mostly Poland, other European countries and North America.
The preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of Poland defines the Polish nation as comprising all the citizens of Poland. Poland's inhabitants live in the following historic regions of the country: Wielkopolska, Małopolska, Mazovia (Polish: Mazowsze), Silesia (Polish: Śląsk), Pomerania (Polish: Pomorze), Kujawy, Warmia, Mazury, and Podlasie. A wide-ranging Polish diaspora exists throughout Europe (Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Belarus, Lithuania and Ukraine), the Americas (the United States, Brazil and Argentina) and Australia. Chicago, in the United States, has the world's largest urban Polish population after Warsaw.
Over a thousand years ago, the Polans of Giecz, Gniezno and Poznań — an influential tribe in Wielkopolska — succeeded in uniting Lechitic tribes under what became the Piast dynasty, thus giving rise to the Polish state.
Famous quotes containing the word poles:
“I see you boys of summer in your ruin.
Man in his maggots barren.
And boys are full and foreign in the pouch.
I am the man your father was.
We are the sons of flint and pitch.
O see the poles are kissing as they cross.”
—Dylan Thomas (19141953)
“The Poles do not know how to hate, thank God.”
—Stefan, Cardinal Wyszynski (19011981)
“War and culture, those are the two poles of Europe, her heaven and hell, her glory and shame, and they cannot be separated from one another. When one comes to an end, the other will end also and one cannot end without the other. The fact that no war has broken out in Europe for fifty years is connected in some mysterious way with the fact that for fifty years no new Picasso has appeared either.”
—Milan Kundera (b. 1929)