Not too long ago, many of the people that were descendants of the early Polish immigrants in Texas spoke Polish but now it is rare to find someone that still speaks the language. In an effort to learn or re-learn the language of their ancestors, a group of people are meeting for Polish lessons every other Tuesday in the old parish hall at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Anderson, Texas.
The class is taught by Michael Kurtin and Teresa Golec Bystry, two fluent Polish speakers with different backgrounds. Mike is a native Texan whose Polish ancestors settled in Bryan and Houston Texas in the late 1800’s. Mike spent several years studying the Polish language at the Catholic University of Lublin in Poland, the same university that Fr. Karol Wojtyła taught at before he became Pope John Paul II. Teresa is a native Polish speaker who was born in Janów Lubelskie Poland.
At last Tuesday’s class, the main subject was food and drink. The instructors taught the class how to say the names of breakfast, lunch and dinner along with many different food names such as chleb (bread), boczek (bacon), masło (butter), czosnek (garlic), kukurydza (corn) and popular drinks like kawa (coffee), herbata (tea), wódka (vodka) and of course Piwo (beer). Mike, who has extensive experience in ordering and drinking piwo, even taught the class how to order jeden piwo (one beer), cztery piwa (4 beers) or Dziesięć piw (10 beers).
Below are a few photos of the evening of education: