"We have been living here for thirty years. It was a nice and quiet place. Now, we have all those people coming from somewhere we do not know..." . Those people coming from somewhere we do not know ... are in fact the Vietnamese immigrants who came with the new wave of immigration of the 90's, and those words were delivered by Maria DOMOSIEWICZ, a basic Polish citizen living in the village of Mrokow. This formerly 300-inhabitant-village has recently undergone the installation of dozens, even hundreds of Vietnamese citizens, attracted by the arrival of a commercial centre next to the village. This example may look anecdotic, but it embodies a new phenomenon as far as the minorities in Poland are concerned: the brand new development of a Vietnamese minority. The Vietnamese minority is, in my mind, one of the most interesting minorities to study in Poland.
[...] to see how the Vietnamese cope with this non official status when some minorities have access to television, and education in their own language. Moreover, Poland is a country with a specific kind of minority: minorities generally come from the neighbouring countries, notably, because of the entanglement with the boundaries, the ex-members of the communist bloc, or from traditional ethnic and regional minorities, the Tatars for instance. However, Poland does not have an immigration like those of the Western Europe countries: an immigration made of citizens of Africa, Asia, Southern America, generally coming from the former colonies of Spain, France, United Kingdom or Germany. [...]
[...] On the other hand, most of the Vietnamese community's members have been living in Poland for a short period; they arrived throughout the 1990's until nowadays They were attracted, like the inhabitants of Mrokow (cf introduction), by the rapid development of Polish business, by the opening of new industries, and by the need of cheapest workforce than the Polish one. Nonetheless, they encounter now quite a lot of problems, notably because of the difficult economic situation, and their insufficient knowledge of Polish. [...]
[...] The Vietnamese generally begin renting rooms in Polish houses. Nevertheless, this physical proximity does not mean general acceptation of the «new neighbours», but only a practical business necessity. Later on, when they have managed to save money, they build brand new houses, which sometimes triggers off rancor and hatred between the native and the immigrant populations. Hence, we can say that generally speaking, the Vietnamese are physically relatively mixed with the native Polish. However, this physical proximity does not involve communication and ethnic mixity. [...]
[...] Above those «comportamentalist» descriptions, surveys have been made in Poland about the business qualities of the Vietnamese: «the Vietnamese are said to be honest. They respect their clients and it is easy to negotiate with them» Above all, the Vietnamese have proved to adapt quite easily to the Polish law, which make them use the Polish law to solve business conflicts, far more often than Polish people themselves. Moreover, they have the reputation of adjusting themselves to the system without any complain, which means that for instance they generally do not go on strikes, do not demand more days off or financial help from the State. [...]
[...] What's more, the Polish are not indifferent to the Vietnamese minority: when they are asked to mention one minority living on the Polish territory, the Vietnamese come as the first «non-traditional» minority (that is, a minority that has not been present in Poland for a long time, like the Germans, or the Jews . The Poles think of them before minorities like the Czechs, the Tatars . who have been living in Poland for a longer time. They may be even too «present» or too numerous, as far as inhabitants of Polish villages «invaded» by the Vietnamese are concerned. [...]
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