|Photo Credit: dhester from morgueFile.com|
My 10-year-old daughter has been hard at work on an ancestry project for school. She chose to research Poland since my mom’s dad was born there. She’s been interviewing my mom, aunt, and uncle to discover some of the pieces of our Polish puzzle. She’s learning about foods, customs, games, traditions, jobs, holidays, and the language.
My daughter has investigated which family members still live there and why my grandfather came to America all those years ago. I have enjoyed listening to her excitement as she relays her findings and shares all the stories with me. Being a little foodie herself, she has especially loved learning all about the delicious dishes that my grandpa used to prepare. I know she probably still won’t dive into a heaping bowl of sauerkraut or cabbage rolls, but it’s been a fun learning experience all the same.
One of the areas that I’ve truly appreciated has been the language part. We found out that “Ja Cie Kocham” is “I love you” and “Czesc” is “Hello.” “Jak sie masz” is “How are you?” and then we stumbled upon a word that she’ll never forget, I’m sure. That word is BRAT. Do you know what it means? Yep! It means brother. She thought that was interestingly funny. Hee hee! We all laughed…except her brother, of course.
Anyway, I love languages. All kinds. I love to hear families speak to each other in their native language or mother tongue. It’s fascinating to me. I wish I could speak many different languages, so I will add that to my bucket list today!
In the meantime, I was inspired to write a poem after working with my daughter on this project. Here goes:
Do you speak French, Italian, Spanish, too?
Can you say “I love you” and “How do you do?”
Do you get lost when listening to Greek?
Are you confident with language? Or tongue-in-cheek?
Can you rattle off German and Polish as well?
Do you speak Chinese as clear as a bell?
Is Czech the one that you know best?
Are words so confusing you need to rest?
The great news is, we don’t have to speak…
Everyone’s language to get what we seek.
You see, there is something small that can bring…
Happiness to all. Hearts will just sing!
It’s free to give and to receive.
It’s the greatest of gifts, I do believe.
You carry it with you wherever you go.
Some keep it hidden. Some let it show.
The joy is great if you wear it awhile,
Every language gets it. It’s simply a smile!
I realized that everyone smiles in the same language. I love it! I encourage you to share a smile with someone today – a friend, family member, or complete stranger. You’ll make their day and I dare to say that you’ll make your own day better, too!
It’s the greatest of gifts. Your smile. Your Polish-German-Spanish-French-Greek-Chinese-Czech-Italian smile! Yes, that’s the one. Share it with your “brat” or sister! Ha!
Have a wonderful week, Sunshines! Bye for now.