KPA w Arizonie przyznało stypendia

12 Maja 2018, w sali parafialnej przy kościele “Our Lady of Czestochowa” odbyło się uroczyste wręczenie stypendiów przez Kongres Polonii Amerykańskiej w Arizonie. W tym roku stypendia w wysokości $1000.00  otrzymali Wiktoria Latocha, Sandra Kubica i Julian Lach. Nagrody wręczyła Prezes KPA  Elizabeth Matej-Horchem. Poniżej zamieszczamy essej napisany przez studenta Loyola Marymount University w Los Angeles Juliana Lach.



“Importance of Tradition and Heritage in today’s World”

In today’s modern world, where everything is slowly becoming uniform and similar, I think that heritage and tradition are tremendously important. Heritage and tradition are important because they provide you with wisdom from hundreds of years of history and help you develop character based on this wisdom. The character that your heritage provides you with is something that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd and make you unique. Even though many cultures share similar heritage and tradition, every family has different ways of implementing them in a special way. My heritage has truly made me into the person I am today, and I believe the best way to show how it has built my character is through the tradition of Wigilia.

Every Wigilia, my parents called me down from my room to come help them set up. When I finished setting the table for everyone, they always told me to set up for an extra person. I was confused at first, but they clarified that it was tradition to place an extra plate in case an unexpected guest that wants to join in on the celebration arrives. Looking back on it, I realize that this tradition symbolizes the inclusion and hospitality I learned from my Polish heritage. Since I was sometimes an outsider due to my heritage, I learned to accept everyone for who they were. I knew how it felt to not be accepted, so I always tried to make people feel included.

During Wigilia, I helped set all of the meals on the table and gather my family to eat. Before we began eating, we partook in the tradition of sharing the oplatek, or the symbolic flour wafer. Thinking about the previous year, I always hared with everyone and wished them luck in the future. In retrospect, I now see that oplatek sharing exemplifies the planning and organizational skills I gained through my upbringing in my heritage. My parents ingrained these skills into me so that I would always have planned goals that I was striving to achieve. Immigrating to America was a large sacrifice for them, so I remain set on my goals to show my appreciation. Oplatek sharing reminds everyone that they have to stay on track to make the most out of the next year.

After the sharing of the oplatek, My family ate the twelve delicious dishes that were prepared. After every Wigilia, I left the dinner table with a sense of gratefulness. I believe Wigilia represents the humbleness and gratitude that my Polish heritage has helped me acquire. My parents grew up in Poland under a communist regime, so I realize how blessed I am to grow up free because of the knowledge they bestowed upon me from their experiences. I learned from them that no matter what the circumstances are, I should always be positive and thankful.

My Polish heritage and the qualities I gained because of it are the basis of my identity. Whether it is through service for the Polish American Congress or holding Polish Heritage Club meetings in high school, I always plan to uphold my heritage. My hospitable nature, appreciation of my situation, and proactive planning have helped me succeed and are all a part of me because of my heritage. Ultimately, I believe heritage is important in today’s world because it is what sets you apart from other people and because it is the driving force behind what you achieve.


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