People in Kashuby are kind, friendly and decent people. They love nature, singing and delight in the nature that has so generously bestowed the areas where they live. Before visiting Kashuby, it is worth getting acquainted with the elements that create the unique folklore of this region.
“Who am I? I am Kashuba!” Replies Boleslaw, flesh and blood Kashuba. A strong sense of identity, a certain separateness, attachment to the land and tradition are the hallmarks of people living in this Pomorskie region. With a hand-made snuff-box containing an aromatic snuff, Boleslaw travels along paths over the Kashubian lakes.
The thinks about the traditions that were passed on from his grandfather to his grandfather – in the winter he sings carols in colorful suites, in the spring he pours water on a „smingus-dyngus” day, and summer greets on midsummer. Rituals and customs are a permanent element of Kashubian folklore. However, it would not exist if not for …
Language, anthem, flag and emblem.
First of all, Kashubs have their own language. This is not a dialect, but a language. You have to take this into account when exploring this region, because underestimating this issue, it is very easy to offend Kashubians. In Chmielno or Kartuzy, of course, we will hear Polish and there is a good chance that the Kashubians will speak in a language that everyone understands.
They speak mainly Kashubian among themselves, during meetings, conventions, in museums or regional restaurants. Novels and songs were created in the Kashubian language. When a popular song flows out from the speakers – the “Kashubian notes” (“Kashubian alphabet”), we can be sure that we are just getting acquainted with the most characteristic element of Kashubian folklore.
A black griffin on a yellow background is considered the Kashubian emblem. It is a reference to the history of the Middle Ages, when the griffin became a symbol of Eastern Pomerania after the peace of Torun.
Another element of the collection of Kashubian symbols is the flag proudly flapping on the roofs of many regional institutions. It naturally refers to the colors of the emblem. The upper band is black and the lower band is yellow (or gold).
Interestingly, Kashuby does not have an official hymn, although there are two songs that are considered so. It is older, almost 140 years old, “Kaszëbsczi march” and younger “Zemia Rodnô”.
Kashubian dress, embroidery and kitchen.
A great, extremely colorful element of the Kashubian culture is the traditional folk costume, worn during the holidays, for special occasions. Blue, red and green, wide, women’s skirts reaching up to the knees, white apron, white embroidered blouse and black velvet corset – this is a popular Kashubian women’s dress. Gentlemen, in turn, put white pants under a white shirt tied with a red ribbon under the chin. On the shirt, in turn, they put a black vest.
Kashubian embroidery, or Kashubian” wësziwk”, is the hallmark of Kashuby. Although we have several types of Kashubian embroidery, colors are a common feature. These are five basic colors: blue, black, yellow, green and red. Traditional motifs refer to flowers: tulips, pansies, lilies, roses and forget-me-nots. Today, embroidery is still a hobby of many Kashubians and an idea for spending free time. It is difficult to find a Kashubian household, where you will not find a scarf, table cloth or tableware decorated with traditional embroidery.
However, Kashubians are not alone in their art. The region impresses with local cuisine based on traditional, healthy ingredients. Traditional Kashubian cuisine is a wealth of fish and meat, including goose meat, which is a culinary pride. Unique “ruchanki” or “szneka z glancem” are homemade desserts that can be found in many Kashubian restaurants.
The richness of Kashubian culture is huge and extremely diverse. It is worth getting acquainted with it before traveling to this picturesque Pomorskie region.