I can't go into detail in the public forum but I'm not too happy with they way I had to grow up and even many others outside the family thought things were more than just a little "odd".
I'm only 3rd generation born in the USA so I guess I would be more Americanized. But I really wish I had learned some of the language. Like I said, I don't think even my dad knew Polish enough to speak it. He admitted once to not knowing what they were saying, and not knowing what was on the 8-track polka tapes we would often listen to in the house. I never knew what bands or anything. Just stuff he'd pick up in the department store that said "Polkas" on it. I am not sure it was true polka. I mean just a bunch of high-pitched sounding guys hollering "EYEEE YIEEE YIEEEEEEEEEE" over and over in 3/4 time with accordians. LOL! Seriously that is all I remember of it. Now my mother (who was Lithuanian" had some German folk music albums and I remember some of the sound of the words (but couldn't spell them here, etc.) One year way back after both my parents are deceased, I went to a German fest and they played a lot of the songs I remember from my mother's records! Talk about nastalgia! I loved the event but never had funds or time to go back again. I hope maybe one of these years again soon. I keep saying "next year" but who knows. There's no Polish Fest close enough for me to get to, unfortunatley.
To make matters worse, kids in school that knew I was Polish would treat me like I was a piece of trash. My parents always said there was a some animosity between Poles and Italians. And we lived in a predominantly Italian neighborhood. But back then, everyone though anyone Polish was an idiot, and something to laugh at and torment. Bad area to live in I guess. It did change to very multi-national as the years went on. I still live in the area and nothing like it used to be, thankfully.
The only time the kids actually were nice to me is when they started wearing the "Solidarity" buttons when Poland was fighting for freedom and then suddenly, since I was Polish they started pittying me
as if I was living in Poland and not the US and so I must be devastated or something. I was actually rooting for the Polish folks, yes, but not in a "fake" manor that most of the kids did because they were "told to" by the teachers in the school lest they get punished for acting "inappropriate", etc.
Sick world over here in them days. Things like that probably wouldn't fly these days. EVERYONE I think is treated more equally now days.
It wasn't very fun growing up, that's for sure.