A Blog Post about Poland’s Floral Emblem Pansy

Pansy: Poland's Floral Emblem

May 29, 2017

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Poland's Floral Emblem

Hello again, Naho here. Do you know anyone who overthinks everything? - Well, I'm exactly like that.

Today, I would like to talk about a flower that I've always liked, and that happens to be Poland's floral emblem, the pansy.

Etymology of the Word "Pansy"

Pansies often feature some black blotches in the centre of the flower. If you stare at it from a certain distance, the black blotches may start to look like a person's forehead and chin, and some even say that they can see a person's face from the flower.

Those who named the flower must have thought the same, and called it "pansy" after "pensée," the French word for "thought," because the flower of pansy indeed looks like a person who's lost in thought, with a bowed head.

That's why pansy flowers were seen as a symbol of freethinking, and became highly appreciated among individuals and organizations that promote freedom of belief as well as humanitarianism.

Popular Among Collectors - Polish Tableware

Having the pansy as its floral emblem, Poland is a nation that takes great pride in its own philosophy as well as its unique culture. One of Poland's world-famous specialties is "Polish pottery." With beautiful, delicate designs and various lovely shapes, Polish stoneware is extremely popular, and the fact that they are all handmade by local craftsmen further adds a special touch to the products.

The designs seen on Polish pottery often include dots and flowers. As the country's floral emblem, pansies, in particular, are among the most common motifs. In order to create those patterns, a sponge is firstly cut into the shape of the flower and colored with paint, before being firmly pressed against the pottery to leave markings.

Polish pottery often refers to stoneware handmade by experienced craftsmen (mostly female) from Boleslawiec, a town located in southwest Poland that is often called the "Town of Ceramics." The products usually feature bright colors and lovely shapes that have a soft, feminine charm to them. They are simply pleasing to the eye and make for great gifts.

The Different Meanings of "Pansy" and the Polish Language

Other than being a lovely flower, "pansy" also has different meanings. It comes from the Anglicization of the French word "pensée" ("thought"), but is also an offensive word in English that shouldn't be used carelessly.

As the main language spoken in Poland, Polish is considered rather difficult for Japanese speakers to master. That being said, the country has been putting great emphasis on English education during recent years, and a lot of young people are able to communicate in English. So if you are an English speaker, don't get intimidated by the language barrier, and see what Poland has to offer as a tourist destination.

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