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Global Connections: South Korea and Poland

October 15th, 2010
05:15 PM ET

It has been an amazing seven weeks of making connections between two countries that on the surface seem to have very little in common.

We've connected countries as diverse as Malaysia with Sweden and the Ivory Coast with Canada. With your help, we even managed to connect Panama with the United Arab Emirates.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/15/korea.art.gi.jpg
caption="What do you know about South Korea?"]

Well, for our eighth and final set of countries, we've chosen South Korea and Poland for our segment "Global Connections."

Despite still technically being in a state of war, South Korea is currently one of the leading economies in the world and exports some of the world's most popular electronic and automotive brands.

Samsung, LG and Hyundai are all brands that came from South Korea and are popular in many countries in the west.

South Korea is also well-known around the world for its cuisine with dishes like kimchi becoming staples in many countries.

Poland has also seen a resurgence in their economy and has quickly become one of the powerhouses in eastern Europe.

So what on earth could the connections between these two countries possibly be?

Well, that's why we are relying on YOU.

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/15/poland.art.gi.jpg
caption="Can you connect Poland to South Korea?"]

We need you to send in your ideas and comments on what connections exist - whether it be text, video or photos. We'll be choosing the best ones and then airing them on CNN International. This is your chance to appear on the show to share your connections with the world.

The connections can be anything from culture and geography to music and the economy.

We also want to hear your personal stories too. Perhaps you have a family member that moved from one country to the other years ago and you want to get in touch? Maybe you visited one country years ago on holiday and something special happened? Whatever connection you think there is, we want to know.

All you have to do is leave your comments below on what connections you think exist and then one of our team members will be in touch.

If you think you know your stuff for both countries, you can also try your luck on this week's quiz by clicking here.
Now it's time for you to get involved - get connecting!

You can also leave your comments on our brand new Facebook fan page - just visit www.facebook.com/CNNconnect for behind the scenes photos, special interviews and even a tour of the CNN London bureau!

Filed under:  Global Connections
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Chris

    They both have a great military history. Poland survived being wiped off the face of the map for over 100 years, until it became a recognized country again in 1918. Even under the overbearing pressure from Communist USSR, the Poles managed to survive. The So. Koreans are survivors, too. They continue to survive and even thrive 60 years after their country was divided by war even under the overbearing No. Korean communists. They are alike!

    October 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  2. Naes

    I'm a South Korean citizen, currently living in New York CIty. I went to high school in Oxford, England, where I had an array of Polish friends, from whom I gained my initial awareness of the country. I possess pictures and videos I have taken with them during the school years. An incident, which allowed me to form one of my early connections with the country was when I was acquainted with one of the Polish friends who shared my interests in playing the piano. I recall I was instantly fascinated from our first meeting by his interpretation of pieces by Chopin, for whom I have great respects and enthusiasm. I would be more than happy to elaborate on my stories if desired.

    October 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  3. John Zornig

    A big connection is the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission for the Korean War armistice. As a leftover from the Soviet days, Poland (and the Czech Republic) are members of the commission nominated originally by the Korean People's Army (North Korea). Even though these are now basically Western countries, they still serve in the Commission. Poland actually has a small detachment located in the DMZ and at certain ports, whose job it is, along with the other members, to investigate and report on armistice violations – and there are lots of them – and movements of personnel and equipment.

    October 15, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  4. Angelito

    Karen O, lead singer of New York rock band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is half Korean half Polish (born in South Korea).

    October 15, 2010 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  5. Mezz

    Karen Lee Orzolek aka Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's is half-Polish, half-Korean!

    October 15, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  6. Mezz

    FERMENTED CABBAGE: Polish sauerkraut and Korean kim-chi. They eat it with everything. Everything!!

    October 16, 2010 at 12:10 am | Reply
  7. Mike Litorus

    Isn't the connection that they're tied for most defeats in war?

    October 16, 2010 at 12:16 am | Reply
  8. D, UK

    Both Poland and South Korea are big shipbuilding powers. The Gdansk shipyards in Poland are historic because of the ships built there and the birth of the Solidarity movement in the '80s. The Hyundai shipyard in Ulsan is probably the biggest shipyard in the world.
    Another similarity is that both the countries' capitals, Warsaw and Seoul, got brand new airports recently.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:25 am | Reply
  9. Andrew Cutler

    I've lived and worked as a teacher in South Korea for three years. My ancestral heritage traces back to Poland. Polish and Korean cuisine both incorporate dishes of fried dough packed with delicious meat... otherwise known as dumplings. Pierogi in Poland... Mandu in South Korea. 🙂

    October 16, 2010 at 1:06 am | Reply
  10. lucky

    there may be many connections, but I think the most obvious one is that both Korea and Poland are professionals in the field of industry.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:37 am | Reply
  11. commentor

    well they're both good at electronic, make their kids study a lot, enjoy sauna

    October 16, 2010 at 1:41 am | Reply
  12. Ignatius Albert Wijaya

    Both the South Korean and Polish national football teams were drawn in the Group D of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, which South Korea hosted. They met in the opening game with South Korea recording a surprise 2-0 win, which ultimately began their fairytale run to the last 4. Poland were eliminated in the 1st round after losing another game to Portugal. As a football fan, that was the first thing that came to my mind =)

    October 16, 2010 at 2:03 am | Reply
  13. toddsaed

    Beating Poland in the World Cup produced national frenzy, and a university English text book has questions about who kicked the goal and what country. There are many Eastern Europeans studying here, and they seem to have a natural affinity having been invaded many times like Korea. Korea has been homogenous historically, now changing as reglobalization bring prosperity, and though they go to the pyramids and Bali on vacation, Poland is attracting more tourists, getting more promotion on air for this, and ideally Koreans will want to visit the home of their most notable world sports opponents.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:30 am | Reply
  14. toddsaed

    Beating Poland in the World Cup produced national frenzy, and a university English text book has questions about who kicked the goal and what country. There are many Eastern Europeans studying here, and they seem to have a natural affinity having been invaded many times like Korea. Korea has been homogenous historically, now changing as reglobalization brings prosperity, and though they go to the pyramids and Bali on vacation, Poland is attracting more tourists, getting more promotion on air for this, and ideally Koreans will want to visit the home of their most notable world sports opponents.

    Leave Your Comment

    October 16, 2010 at 2:32 am | Reply
  15. Lee


    I'm an American that lived in Wroclaw, Poland two years and currently have been living in Daegu, South Korea for about a year. Both very homogeneous countries that are curious and welcoming to foreigners. Before I left Wroclaw, LG, the Korean multinational, just opened a factor nearby and suddenly you could see bit of Korea popping up around the city. From Korean restaurants to a Korean student in my English class among Poles.

    Having lived in both countries I have close friendships, ex- girlfriends, and was involved in many business interactions. I can connect everything together with the drink and food. Yes, alcohol may be taboo, but these two cultures celebrate it openly and it's just a part of who they both are. Vodka and soju are the magical spirits that bring them together after business, a night out with friends or family, weddings, or the karaoke room. Food is also an incredible part of these two nations... main ingredient, cabbage. Cheap, easy to grow, and delicious! Both countries also take pride in preserving their food culture. Milk bars in Poland are subsidized by the government to keep feeding schabowy and kielbasa to the masses and street vendors on every corner selling affordable Korean fast food. Both must face the ever present threat of Western food impeding on their taste buds.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:34 am | Reply
  16. Sae J. Kim

    I've heard that they have a favorite dish of noodle soup made of flour dough in Poland, as we have kalguksu( carl-gook-soo) in Korea, which we enjoy very much. But I haven't had a chance to taste the Polish dish yet. I would appreciate it very much if somebody introduce the Polish recipe.

    October 16, 2010 at 3:12 am | Reply
  17. khamdee

    that is very good point of ideas

    October 16, 2010 at 3:39 am | Reply
  18. Noah Kim

    Poland and South Korea are similar because they were both under control of axis powers. Invasion of Poland started World war 2, control over Korea caused the Sino- Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese war.

    October 16, 2010 at 4:11 am | Reply
  19. Witold

    There's pretty many connections between Poland and South Korea and it is quite easy to show them as they are very visible. In the middle of 90-s, few years after Poland overthrew comunist system and started free market economy the biggest Polish motorization company was sold to South Korean company Daewoo. In late 90-s and early 2000s until bankruptcy of Daewoo Daewoo cars were probably most common on Polish roads. Lanos, Nexia, Matiz – these are only few names of cars constructed by Daewoo in Poland. But Daewoo not only left its Korean trace in Poland in form of cars. The second highest building in Warsaw (and I think generally in Poland) was built by Daewoo. Now its name is Warsaw Trade Tower and it does not belong to Daewoo already for many years but initially it was commonly known as Daewoo Tower.
    I think it makes connections between Poland and S. Korea quite visible.
    Another level you can say there's something in common between Poland and South Korea it is recent history, problem with comunism and the political system transformation. Both countries after the II WW faced the invasion of comunist forces supported by Soviet Union. The difference is that in Poland they succeded to introduce forcefully comunism in the whole country for 45 years and in Korea they succeded only in northern part of peninsula. But, as in S. Korea there was no democracy also, in both countries the democratization happened in almost the same time – in S. Korea in 1988 and in Poland in 1989.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:32 am | Reply
  20. Seonuk Hwang

    Workers in South Korea and Poland work the longest hours, ranking first and second in the world, respectively.

    October 16, 2010 at 7:06 am | Reply
  21. Justin

    Culturally and historicaly, South Korea and Poland have so much in common it's almost too obvious to point out.

    Poland and Korea are both nations that have been sandwiched between larger and more active cultures: Poland has been invaded and influenced by Germany and Russia in the past century, while Korea has for centuries supplicated to Chinese influence before ultimately being colonized by Japan in the first half of the 20th century. Yet both have resisted imperialism and sought to keep themselves a separate and proud people, which by and large nowadays they are.

    Alongside that, both countries are very traditional and conservative and remain that way in this global culture. Korea is perhaps the one country in mainland East Asia where Christianity has really taken off. Its nearly impossible to be in an urban area of the country without seeing at least one red neon cross jutting into the sky at night. At the same time, Confucianism is still ingrained in Korea's culture, from which son's house the family gathers at for harvest festivals to which grammatical tense one speaks in to a superior.

    Poland is also just as tied to a conservative mindset, having fought off Soviet influence in the 80s through the Solidarity union. It is traditionally Catholic, and having Pope John Paul II being both Polish and Catholic strengthened those ties. Both John Paul II and Korean former president Kim Dae-jung were Catholic leaders who won Nobel Peace Prizes for their efforts with communism. Another interesting connection!

    I myself am bound to these two cultures in an interesting way. I'm largely Polish by heritage and my family comes from the one majority Polish county in America, and I teach English in Korea. After Christmas Eve Mass, I drank soju shots with the priest and his congregation outside Seoul while my family shared the oplatek (Christmas wafer) half a world away. In a sense. I live these two cultures each day, one by being right in front of me from the moment I wake up, and the other when I phone home to my family.

    October 16, 2010 at 7:23 am | Reply
  22. Helena

    I live in Poland and am native in the language. Poland is a wonderful country, and whenever i wake up to look out my window, i see a beatiful land. The land is filled with happiness and love. I am super happy that I live in such an amazing place.

    October 16, 2010 at 7:46 am | Reply
  23. David Kennedy

    The people of South Korea and the people of Poland have endured
    horrific histories.
    Both have survived and are now booming.Both are ancient,and both hold as sacred,their cultures.

    Both were Kingdoms. Both have been partitioned.Both had very special and unique reasons to celebrate the end of the last war.
    South Korea because their enslavement by the Japanese ended.
    Poland because it had already lost six million citizens.
    Both survived communism,Poland in 1989 and South Korea when the Korean War fighting ended.

    October 16, 2010 at 7:49 am | Reply
  24. Sudheer

    Poland is potentialy the biggest manufacturing hub in europe for the big Korean companies. With these there is a significant amount of relation building between the countries with Korean expats moving into the Cities close to the manufacturing hubs of Lodz, Gdansk, Wroclaw and so on.. At the same time virtually thousands of polish professionals travelling to Korea to be trained on production skills to work in these plants, helps with cultural assimiliation as well.. Koreans would be the most significant non european nationality across all international schools in Poland.

    October 16, 2010 at 8:57 am | Reply
  25. Erik

    Having been invaded and colonized time and again?

    October 16, 2010 at 10:05 am | Reply
  26. Alhi Anmer

    Both countries have been invaded by aggressive communist regimes. Both countries have suffered terribly in war. Both have very large authoritarian neighbours, so as a result both need to spend a high proportion of GDP on defence and both are close allies of the United States. Both are democracies. Both have been partitioned and had borders redrawn by Great Powers.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:18 am | Reply
  27. Stirner

    Some of my suggestions:
    1. Powerful neighbors: China& Japan/ Germany& Russia – painful history determined by geography: occupations, partitions, struggle against communism.
    2. S. Korean companies are important part of Polish economy, providing jobs, know-how... and TV sets
    3. Soccer. Both countries were rivals in 2002 world cup group stage match- yet another dark day for Polish football 🙁
    Like S. Korea in 2002, Poland will also co-host major tournament: Euro 2012

    October 16, 2010 at 11:03 am | Reply
  28. Kintar


    October 16, 2010 at 11:38 am | Reply
  29. alice


    I think Poland and South Korea share some similarities... First let me introduce myself. My name is Alice Lynch from Ireland originally. I am currently living and teachin science and English in an international school.

    I live in Seoul, the heart of Korea and there are so many beautiful places to visit, just like Krakow. In Seoul we have many beautiful temples and museums and lots of people. Right now we have over 50 million people. The people of Seoul are very kind and I have had nothing but positive experiences here.

    I've also visited Poland in 2002 (?) not sure of date but my husband (at the time) and I went there to visit and explore Poland. His has an ancestral link and we visited WARSAW, KRAKOW, Auzwich, Chopin's summer home and the late pope's home. We saw both sides of Poland when we were there Krakow is an oppulent city with many beautiful museums and people dressed very smart.

    I think there are many links to Poland and Korea, especially both countries have experienced war and have been poor as a result they have fought to become independent and now are surging ahead in the competitive world that we live in. I think we can also see similarities in food, for example the Polish food is very unique to its country, and they have many dishes that are healthy and tasty. South Korea has also food that is unique and yes, Kimchi is one of their traditional foods, which I detest. Both countries have their own unique languages. Both countries also have their own traditional styles which they embrace during their annual celebrations.

    Thank you,

    Alice Lynch
    Global International School
    Goyang, Seoul

    October 16, 2010 at 11:54 am | Reply
  30. Maciej

    the things in common....maybe not the most comfortable geopolitical location? Poland between Germany and Russia while S. Korea between China and Japan.
    both countries seem to look to the States as their biggest ally...
    I see no other connections 🙂
    cant wait to find out

    October 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  31. Luke

    Historically, both countries have been deeply influenced and frequently within imperialisitc designs of two great powers, Poland between Germany and Russia as well as Korea between China and Japan.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  32. Cori

    My husband and I met randomly at a street corner in South Korea. I am from Canada and he is from the US. We both happened to be there, working and living in nearby cities. One Friday evening, two fellow Canadian friends and I were walking home, when we had to a halt at a pedestrian crosswalk (of major intersection). We had no choice but to wait for the signal to change, and as we waited, two American guys also stopped next two us. Because we were all obviously foreigners, we struck up a conversation - the usual "where are you from?, how long have you been here?"... etc.

    In all, over time we got to know each other, started a relationship, and got married while in South Korea. We feel that South Korea is a big part of our lives, and as pet names for each other, we call one another "Ajuma" & "Ajashi" (yes, that's not the correct spelling, but the Americanized version, we're aware of this fact).

    October 16, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  33. Aaron

    They're both incredibly homogenous – Poland with 97% Polish and South Korea with 99% Koreans.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  34. Andrew Strege

    I spent four years living in Warsaw, Poland before moving to Seoul, Korea where I currently live. In both these countries, athletics seems to inspire a fervent degree of patriotism and national unity that I have seen in few other countries; it's evident in the beloved Korean skater Kim Yu-Na or the Polish ski jumper Adam Małysz. As well these countries have a strong sense of their national history and both have a plethora of museums and historical sights. Both these countries lost their sovereignty during the Second World War, and Poland and Korea were devastated by the Cold War and the Korean War respectively and yet have had an amazing resurgence in the last two decades.

    October 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  35. Thomas

    Yes, I can connect those counties both are producing cheap and low quality goods

    October 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Reply
  36. Kevin

    Besides the fact that in August of this year Poland and South Korea have signed an agreement in the field of atomic energy. Both Korea and Poland have a connection with paper. Poland has a history of Wycinanki (pronounced Vee-chee-non-key) that is paper cut-out art. Korea has a history of making paper (Hanji) out of mulberry trees and producing beautiful paper articles small boxes, collage pictures, fans and more.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  37. Michelle Hong

    I am Korean, and my husband is Polish. I can confirm that one thing both cultures have in common is an absolute adoration of grandchildren. Our 15-month old twin girls are the apple of the eye for both sets of grandparents! My husband and I have often wondered whether there are other Polish-Korean twins out there, and we are eager to see whether any other sets turn up as a result of this CNN project.

    Other connections between Poland and South Korea:

    - Both countries have a long, sad history of being invaded and occupied by neighboring countries.

    - Perhaps because of this history, both countries are staunch supporters of democracy and are friends of the U.S. For example, both were among the handful of U.S. allies who sent troops to help "liberate" Iraq.

    - On a more facetious note, both countries have a form of dumpling: the Polish pierogi, and the Korean mandoo!

    October 16, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  38. Yoonjin Lim


    October 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  39. Milla, Ottawa, Canada

    Similarities between South Korea and Poland:
    1.Wiped off the map before WWII by its larger and stronger neighbours. (Poland by Austria, Russia and Germany and Korea by Japan.)
    2.So called "liberated" by Soviets during WW II but in fact dominated by the USSR after WWII.
    3. People, families torn and divided by political and physical man-made boarders–South Koreans from North Koreans, Poles in Poland from Poles in the USSR territories.
    4. Subjected to the largest boarder fortifications in their continents.
    5. Currently, strong and influential economical powers within their geographical regions. (Poland within the European Union and Korea within East Asia.)
    6.Resiliant and hard working people bringing both countries under democratic rules and rising to become the economic power-houses within their regions: Korea in East Asia and Poland in the European Union.
    7. Both are largely unknown and un-visited by Western European and American peoples.
    8. Strong cultural and religious roots.
    9.Critical bases for US military.
    10. Recreated as independednt countries after WWII.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  40. Nelson Atwell

    I lived in South Korea for one year and Poland now for four years. What is interesting to me is that both countries were almost utterly destroyed by war. To me this is the most important similarity. It is also very interesting to compare how far they have progressed.

    Poland's recovery from the war was hampered by the Soviet dominance of them for the decades following the war, and it has set back their recovery. In comparison, South Korea was supported by the western world in it's reconstruction and now has one of the strongest economies in the World.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  41. Loren

    This is a quite simple question. Both Korea and Poland sufferred by their neighbors during the world war II. Korea by Japan and Poland by Germany.

    October 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  42. Macabre Pariah

    Both countries are connected through the Polish music composer Fryderyk Chopin. South Korean musicians are prominent enthusiasts of the virtuoso pianist, and they are regularly present at the annual Chopin Festival in Poland.

    October 16, 2010 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  43. Terry Baker

    I think Japan or China is more interesting than Korea. I really love Japanese food, and Chinese History. I wish the story could have been about Japan or China. Korea is too small and really people do not want to visit it. I have been to China two times and Tokyo and Fukoka once. I loved them so much. I went to Seoul one time and did not like it at all.

    October 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  44. Monika

    I am Polish, but there is one similiarity – starting with cuisine : Korean famous kimchi is a type of cabage, and cabage is a really important vegetable dish in Poland (warm, sauerkraut might be with carrot cumin) – (well, maybe kimchi is a bit more spicy than what we eat)

    October 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  45. Justin Baya

    I am half korean that's why i am proud to say we are competitive and unique people in Asia Pacific.... thanks a lot !

    October 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  46. Tim Sharman

    My wife has a Samsung laptop. LG is one of the largest foreign investors in Poland and the streets are full of Hyundai vehicles. You want more ?
    Tim Sharman, Warsaw.

    October 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  47. Aron

    They are both democratic, capitalist nations that have both been invaded and occupied by an axis power during World War 2. They are both coastal nations. They are both among the fastest growing developed nations in the world.

    There is a joint bid between South Korea and Poland to build a nuclear power plant on Polish soil in order to reduce Polish fossil fuel emmissions. South Korea's Government is also planning on a billion dollar environmental conservation project which is known as Green Growth which aims to boost energy efficiency and green technology.

    They both have one official language. There is also a Korean Cultural Centre in Warsaw, Poland. Family is the most important part of life for both nations' people.

    That is all from me. Thank you for this opportunity!

    October 16, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  48. Robert

    LG opened a big LCD TV set factory in Lower Silesia in Poland several years ago. Plenty of korean electronics is available in Polish stores.
    Also korean cars are pretty much popular in Poland like Deawoo, Hyundai and Kia.
    Mentality, culture, architecture, history etc. between Poland and Korea are totally different.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  49. Henry

    Both countries were repeatedly invaded by other countries, and view themselves as the victim.

    October 16, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  50. Aga

    🙂 That's what I like 🙂
    I live in South Korea and I come from Poland. And I can pleeeeenty of connections.
    Well, both Koreans and Polish are family people. They spend their holidays like Chusok or New Year at home like Polish Christmas or Easter. Whether for anything they are really passionate. Like Polish, they even invented their own vodka – soju, and like to have fun with friends drinking.
    Differences: Korea is definately not "deep green" like Poland and abuses the environment a lot. Shows off internationally without filling much with content. Our economies are simmilar in size, but Polish based on diversity of small and middle size business with strong invention sector, and Korean on big conglomerates... that's it. 🙂 I think I will find some photos...

    October 17, 2010 at 12:24 am | Reply
  51. Aga

    Seriously speaking if I think about it. Koreans do plenty of business in Poland and what connects us are Polish engineers working for Samsung at management level.

    I also have a personal story about how I didn't pay the fine in Korea because I am Polish...

    October 17, 2010 at 12:30 am | Reply
  52. Epiphanie Bloom

    Both Warsaw and Seoul have 'old town' neighbourhoods.

    October 17, 2010 at 2:13 am | Reply
  53. Jason Jeon

    Here's the connection. According to the OECD (2004), South Korea and Poland rank #1 and #2 respectively as the highest in annual work hours per worker. Having worked at a Korean company before, I can personally tell you the stats are accurate 🙂

    (Source: OECD (2004), OECD in Figures, OECD, Paris.)

    October 17, 2010 at 2:15 am | Reply
  54. JPNdefender

    Japanese do not want to be related with South Korea apart from Poland.

    October 17, 2010 at 2:21 am | Reply
  55. Jean Chae-Hahn

    I immigrated to US from South Korea when I was 16 years ago. My parents whom owns toy business has settled their business in Greenpoint Brooklyn when we moved from Korea. Greenpoint Brooklyn is heavily populated with Polish community so I feel like I know them like my neighbor. My new business, an organic toy company (for babies and pets) has started in my parents warehouse in Greenpoint 6 years ago.

    As our company grew, so is my neighborhood! Greenpoint is now flourishing with new hipsters and old polish neighborhoods. We enjoy Polish food, learn to appreciate their culture. When Polish president died last year, we mourned together.

    As I get to know my neighbors, I found great similarities with my own culture. The importance of family value, takes great pride on education and not afraid of hard work even share the fact that we're not too open minded about other culture or race at first, but once we get to know each other, it is like a family!

    I envy beautiful blond hair kids as they envy beautiful black haired child of mine.
    I hope our countries will become like close neighbors as I did with my beloved Polish neighbors in Brooklyn New York.

    October 17, 2010 at 3:03 am | Reply
  56. Tesu Jong

    Poland and Korea have not the imperialistic attitude towards others. In fact, two countries have never invaded other countries in their history. So these two countires deserve the name GENTLEMAN COUNTRY. Polish and korean people love peace. Many westerners say poland is a nation which cherishes its tradition and culture.

    October 17, 2010 at 3:07 am | Reply
  57. scope213

    Joint plan to build Nuclear plants and bunch of South Koreans go to Poland to learn about singing...

    October 17, 2010 at 4:18 am | Reply
  58. asleepatheavensgate

    One of the major connections between Poland and South Korea is pork exporting/importing. South Korea has a large pork market, partly due to the amazing Korean BBQ called samgyeopsal. With the FTA that was signed be the EU and SK that goes into full force in 2011, it is expected to greatly improve Poland park exporting to South Korea.

    October 17, 2010 at 5:23 am | Reply
  59. James Crouse

    Russia tried to exhort major influence in both countries.
    Russia has conquered Poland several times and during the Cold War had major influence in the policies that the Polish government pursued.
    Russia's involvement with South Korea is little bit tricker to connect. Late 20th century when the Asian countries had their borders blown open by the west, there was a race of who would control China, Japan and Korea. Japan under went the Meiji Restoration & transformed itself to emulate the West. Russia was looking to controlling Asia. Late 19th century, (In fact Japan & Russia fought a war in who would control the Korean peninsula. Jappo-Russo War. It's famous for the naval battle but the land battle were fought in Korea.) Russia had it's eyes on Korea....to at the very least influence policy in the small kingdom.
    In short, the connection between Poland & South Korea is Russia.

    October 17, 2010 at 5:43 am | Reply
  60. Chowdhury

    Both had turbulent history of wars and poverty and despite that they emerged as one of the few successful nations in the world, specially South Korea.


    October 17, 2010 at 6:19 am | Reply
  61. Jason Y

    Hmm as a S.Korean teenager I can only think of both nation's painful histories in war times.

    October 17, 2010 at 6:41 am | Reply
  62. Dylan

    Immediately I think of the connection that they were both occupied by axis powers in world war 2 during which time their their citizens were infamously mistreated.

    October 17, 2010 at 7:57 am | Reply

    Well, Poland and South Korea has this connection: I was born in Poland. Became a US citizen and I served in the United States Army. I was sent to South Korea to serve one year tour there. I know quite a bit of Korean customs. And being in Europe now I meet Koreans in Poland. The only difference is that in Poland one can meet more of North Koreans than Souh Koreans. There is a difference between two counteris as much as there is a difference between West Germans ans East Germans. Separation of a country with the same language does have its consequences after a long time. I think that if South Korea will unite with its Northern neighbor a disaster will follow. It could take over one hundred years before two nations could become homogeanous. ERIC

    October 17, 2010 at 8:21 am | Reply
  64. Minh Man

    South Korea and Poland were in the same gruop in the 2002 FIFA world cup

    October 17, 2010 at 10:00 am | Reply
  65. Ed Morada

    Both countries took a heavy toll in terms of lives lost as a result of a war; Poland during World War 2 and Korea during the Korean War.

    October 17, 2010 at 10:18 am | Reply
  66. H Bailey

    Poland and South Korea are close on the 'Power Distance' and 'Uncertainty Avoidance' dimensions of national culture. These are respectively the extent to which relationships between people are authoritarian, and the ability to tolerate ambiguity. These similarities between these two countries give rise to some interesting consequences. For example, this may be associated with preferences among states of health, and among medical treatments. See pages 1146 and 1151 in the article: "Preliminary findings of an investigation into the relationship between national culture and EQ-5D value sets" by Henry Bailey and Paul Kind in the current issue of the journal Quality of Life Research (Vol 19:8 Pp 1145-1154).

    October 17, 2010 at 11:03 am | Reply
  67. Guanxi

    Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany.
    South Korea is occupied by Neo-Nazi America.

    October 17, 2010 at 11:43 am | Reply
  68. Kyungkoo Kang

    Both countries have had a difficult times in terms of invasions from neighbors. South Korea was always of geopolitical interest to China, Japan, Soviet Union and the U.S. Poland was constantly been occupied during the two World Wars by Nazi Germany and Russian forces. This experience means that the two nations commonly have an interest to beef up its national defence and maintain a balanced diplomacy with its surrounding neighbors. Not only politically, but both countries are considered economically important for regional development by playing an important role for trading partners. Both are proud countries in terms of their heritage and culture. Both simply wants to progress and to not let the ghost of the past haunt them.

    October 17, 2010 at 11:45 am | Reply
  69. Baker

    They were both split by foreign powers. They've both been scenes of tragedy since that time.

    October 17, 2010 at 11:51 am | Reply
  70. Tony

    This is a stupid article.....I read this to find out the connection......they you request me to TELL YOU what the connection is?.......STUPID, VERY STUPID!

    October 17, 2010 at 11:52 am | Reply
  71. John Hattteberg

    Hmmm, I've never been to either country, but I'll give this a shoe.

    1. Both are US allies and democracies
    2. Both have a history in regards to belligerent neighbors
    3. Both countries were invaded by Mongols

    October 17, 2010 at 11:52 am | Reply
  72. H Bailey

    P.S. The article cited in my previous message specifically cites Poland and South Korea.

    October 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  73. Deez

    There is a military link...in Afghanistan. The military engineers who built up many of the bases in support of the coalition are a task force made up primarily of South Korean and Polish soldiers. Here's a DoD article:

    October 17, 2010 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  74. Larry Kurzer

    Dear CNN;

    About 10 years ago, after I had accepted an overseas assignment in South Korea, I found myself living in a small town with not much to do.

    One day, I went on the Internet and found a web site for an international Buddhist center that offered monthly opportunities for cultural exchange.

    One weekend, I got up the nerve and plucked down my 3500 won to take the bus from Chinhae to Busan.

    I was a bit nervous, my language skills were horrible, but I made up for it with my equally poor pronunciation.

    Surprisingly, I located the building with no problem and I walked upstairs to the 2nd floor where the Center was located, ever so slowly, not knowing what to expect and considering turning around. A young teenager welcomed me at the top of the stairs, grinning from ear to ear. He introduced himself as "Rocky," and I knew then everything would be all right.

    Before the program got started, he walked me around the Center and introduced me to some of the staff. One of the monks I met, coordinated the program and spoke perfect English, to my relief.

    While I was talking to him, I was thinking, “Note to self. He doesn’t look like he’s from around here." (and he looks more like me, only with a shaved head and dressed in a traditional robe).

    After a while I wanted to know his story, so I asked him where he was from and he said, Poland.

    I wondered, how does one from Poland end up a Buddhist monk in South Korea?

    Then he told me his story.

    Times were changing after the break-up of the Soviet Union, and South Korea was beginning to invest in his country. As a young man, he got his first good job, making good wages at an auto plant manufacturing Korean vehicles. It was also his first time to meet people face to face from the country of South Korea.

    Like a countryside garden, a small Korea town grew up around the plant, housing the Korean employees and providing some of the comforts from home.

    He was curious, and decided to visit. While he was walking around he happened upon a small Buddhist temple. He ventured inside and met the monk in residence. He went back after that, and another time, and another time…eventually becoming a student and later coming to South Korea where today he is now the monk in residence.

    That was his story, his Poland and South Korea connection.

    October 17, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  75. Libor Lenicek

    Poland is or was participating in monitoring of DMZ between South and North Korea. It was nominated together with former Czechoslovakia as two 'neutral nations' by DPRK. I just learned that on the tourist trip to Panmunjeom during my visit to South Korea.

    October 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  76. Jurgen R. Brul

    Dear CNN friends,

    South Korea and Poland are both members of the United Nations. Poland is a very important partner to Korea. Poland is Korea’s biggest trade and investment partner in Central and Eastern Europe. The trade volume between the two countries exceeded four billion dollars in 2009 and continues to grow. Products offered by Korean corporations such as Samsung, LG, KIA or Daewoo, are not only popular among Polish consumers, but are also produced in Poland. Over 100 Korean enterprises which are currently operating in the Polish manufacturing sector have created more than 20 thousand jobs for Polish workers. And there is still a lot more room for further development in this sphere.

    South Korea exports to Poland:
    – Communication Devices,
    – Automobile Parts and
    – Electronic Home Appliances.

    Poland exports to South Korea:
    – Automobile Parts and
    – Pork.

    The cultural exchange between both countries has also been flourishing. The number of visitors from one country to another is increasing by more than 70 thousand a year. The Korean cuisine is appealing to the palates of many Polish gourmets. Korean movies and music are becoming more and more recognized in Poland. Likewise, Polish culture including music, literature, and language, has already captured Korean hearts. Many young Koreans decide to study the Polish language, history and culture at universities either in Korea or in Poland. People-to-people contacts in the business and tourism sectors are thriving.

    With the Korean Cultural Center opening in Warsaw in January 2010 and cultural events of the 200th anniversary of Frederick Chopin, we have another opportunity for intensifying the mutual cultural cooperation and understanding between our two countries.

    Let us Now CONNECT to make our world
    a Better Healthier and Beautiful World
    for You and for Me!

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  77. Ako

    Both countries got shafted spectacularly by aggressive neighbors. Both have behaved decently to other countries. Both have been unwavering allies of the US, in spite of our erratic herky-jerky foreign policy, and both are woefully underestimated and taken for granted in the US.

    October 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  78. Erik

    Similar driving styles.

    October 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  79. Camp-x

    1) previous Communist colonies/countries.
    2) young/growing democratic economy.
    3) Both are car producing countries
    4) Both have been victims of bullying neighboring countries

    October 17, 2010 at 6:52 pm | Reply
  80. Jac Ferns

    I am 50 years old and have been to SK recently and I can say is the people of SK are so humble, polite and generous, kind and cooperative towards foreigners. Even a very old women will smile at you?. One of the outstanding quality is their honesty. I was new to that country and every time I was lost or confused I found them as angels everywhere guiding and assisting me. The youth of SK are so respectful towards elderly people, and this sort of respect you can find nowhere but in SK.
    The people of SK are very hardworking especially the students.
    Their food especially the variety and diverse mountain herbs mountain they use is unque, I feel at home in SK and one of my dream is that I live in SK forever,

    October 17, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  81. John W. Landrum

    With regard to links between South Korea and Poland:

    According to Pew Research web site:

    As of 2007, when the article referenced was written, South Korea had the highest percentage of Christians in Asia, and..

    According to the US State Dept:

    96% of the population of Poland identify themselves as Roman Catholic and other Christian denominations not part of this number worship freely there. The article does not spell this fact out, but, given the generally low percentage of self-identified Christians in Europe generally, it is reasonable to deduce from this that Poland has the highest percentage of Christians in Europe.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:28 am | Reply
  82. Hubert

    As a polish exchange student in Seoul I have noticed that both countries love cabbage, however they way of preparing and eating is quite different. Polish cuisine often involves cabbage that is cooked. One of the greatest polish dishes, made of cabbage is Golabki.
    Korea on the other hand is mainly using cabbage for their daily side dish, which is Kimchi. I fell in love with kimchi and feel the pain with the Koreans when the current prices are skyrocketing. The Kimchi cabbage can be used and prepared in many different way, which makes it an exciting part of a meal. The spices are also quite interesting since Polish lacking variety of spices. South Korea could definitely exchange some cabbage concepts among other dishes.

    I also find the drinking culture very similar as a bonding and frequent activity for a group of friends, doing shots of alcohol.

    October 18, 2010 at 4:52 am | Reply
  83. Lukasz

    And why does nobody write about Chopin's music and the fact that South Koreans, just as the rest of Asians, love it too and play it well enough to win prizes at pianist competitions in Poland?

    And here's my Szczecin web page: http://www.szczecin-info.cba.pl
    English version is provided. I tried not to optimise it, but, due to ads, it looks best in IE.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:55 am | Reply
  84. Rob


    My name is Robert Plona. My family imagrated from Poland to the USA and now I am currently living in Korea.

    Both countries are survivors. The Koreans survived the Japanese occupation that attempted to whipe Korea off the face of the Earth and Poland faced a similar occupation by Russia from 1795-1918. Both were freed by the US. Poland in 1918 and Korea in 1945.

    Both look to the US as their greatest allies.

    Both have sad histories but bright futures.

    Both country's diets consume alot of meat.

    Both are sandwitched between stronger neighbors, who histortically were a constant threat.

    We have a dish in Korea called Don-Gasseu which is very similar to a Polish cutlet.

    Both people have a strong sense of National Identity (even when living outside of the country) two very proud peoples, and they tend to gravitate towards eachother.

    Both refer to their historical periods as dynasties.

    Poland had a pope and Korea has the leader of the UN.

    October 18, 2010 at 10:25 am | Reply
  85. Songi

    I'm Korean and daily(more than twice) come to CNN to get to know what's happening in the other side of the world.
    The general ideas about Poland for Koreans would not be offensive because of the historical similarity.
    During the World War II, both the Korea Peninsula and Poland were colonized by Japan and Germany. The expression of colonization would be wrong for Poland but what I want to emphasize is that the governments of the two countries were taken over by them. As all we know, it brought huge impacts on the global, especially on the victimized countries. In a humanitarian way, it was notorious and showed how human beings could be worse than evil.
    However, the incredible fact is that after all badly hurt history, both countries become one of the fastest growing economies in the world. From this point of view, I think the most similarity is the spirit that the strong mind awakens to try to regain the glorious past and keeps the patriotism alive. That's why we love our country and how the history continues.
    The next thing I want to talk about is the religion, Catholic. Although the two countries have the traditional belief, The both countries have a big population of Catholic . 10% in South Korea and almost 90% in Poland according to a recent statistic. If you think about the geographical location of the Korea Peninsula, it is far away from where the origin of the Christianity came from and if you think about the fact that when the Catholic was brought into Korea, there were no missionaries from outside the Korea Peninsula and the Korean Catholic believers actually went to China to learn the theory of the Catholic church, which means absolutely volunteer, you will see the 10% Catholics in South Korea does mean as much as it would be in the west.
    Moreover, the literacy rate is very high in the two countries and I think that is why they are one of the leading countries in today's economy.
    Here is what I think about the similarity between the two countries and I believe if we share ideas about it, we will bring them up more.
    I really appreciate that we can have this cyber place to think and talk about something worth knowing.

    October 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  86. Lindsey Douthit

    I lived and worked in South Korea for 2 years and recently spent time in Poland visiting a friend from graduate school. Both cultures share a tendency to be sassy–perhaps I just have a bad sense of timing, but in both countries I found myself caught up in different protests.

    South Koreans and Polish citizens are not afraid to express their opinions, and they do so with flair. In Seoul I was heading to dinner one night and ended up in the whirlwind of protesters dressed up as American cows, protesting against the recent trade agreement to allow American beef to be imported in Korea (to this day, many Koreans equate American beef with mad cow disease). In Warsaw, as I was heading to lunch, I found myself mixed up in a crowd of protesters in front of the presidential palace, protesting attempts by the new Komorowski administration to remove the monument to honor former President Kaczynski, killed in April 2010 in a plane crash.

    Both groups of protesters, South Korean and Polish, demonstrated with force, yes, but also with a sense of quiet determination and yes, even humor (let's face it, people dressed up as cows is funny).

    October 18, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Long

      I guess everyone takes srgeruy is not . It is just some kind of rumor I think that almost 20~30% of girl in korea take eye srgeruy nose case is appoximately 5%~10% or more less than you know..? But I already know that It is huge rate compared to other country I didn't know why they want to take srgeruy But.. you know.. looking good face can gain more especially in korean.

      May 1, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  87. Busola Alaiyegbami

    With China’s admission into the WTO and Poland’s joining the EU, the bilateral relations are heralding a new development stage where opportunities and challenges co-exist.
    Poland is China’s larger trade partner in Eastern Europe and the strategic co-operator for further expansion on UE while China is the fastest growing economy in the world. Thus, contacts between the polish and the Chinese business communities are increasingly frequent and close. It is unavoidable that more and more Polish would work with Chinese, either in projects in China or other countries which Chinese firms export their services to.
    It should be noted that both Chinese and Polish societies represent similar basic values internalized during the history of communism. What is more, China is nowadays going through the same process of transition into capitalism as Poland has experienced for last two decades. Therefore, there is a huge potential for both countries to find common ground and develop organizational structure, management and motivation systems within the companies in accordance with common values and norm related to power distance.

    October 18, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  88. Li

    Both Poland and Korea has been invaded many times, in history., by the power nations around them.

    October 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  89. Joy Augustine

    When we talk about connections... it lies with the Polish and the South Korean people. If you look at their history, both Poland and South Korea have gone through bad times - "Partition" This has left a deep scar on both the countries. And their scar can not heal unless their education systems change. (I am not saying the Education System is bad) They share a cyberspace that contains the collective conscious mind which establishes the connections. They need to stop telling their children that a partition ever happened and rewrite history. But this would actually disconnect the connections.

    October 19, 2010 at 6:32 am | Reply
  90. Taewon Woo

    I am South Korean who live in the Warsaw 7months.
    and there's a lot of things we've sharing.
    History (between Powerful countries, Germany, Russia to Poland, and China, Japan to Korea), and some Food actually, (Dumplings of Korea, Pierogi to Poland), and both country are survived in recently recession of global economic crisis.

    But, I want to talk to Men's Wear. In Korea, Men usually wear black or grey, like dark color of comfortable jumper. In Poland, I saw that many men are usually wearing the dark color comfortable coats or somethin'

    Is it perfectly coincidence? It can be, of course, but here's the thing that I want to mention. – The Working time.
    OECD introduces the annual work hours per worker at 2004,
    according to that, South Korean workers spend their 2390hours to work. of course it's No.1 in OECD countries, and guess ehat, Poland was No.2 in OECD countries, they spent 1984hours to work.
    I don't know that Men's wear does perfectly explain their working time, but, I think that it's not coms from just all coincidence.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  91. Q

    The new EU Amassador to Korea is from Poland

    October 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  92. S Lee

    -The famous Polish composer, Penderecki created his symphony no. 5 "Korea". Later, he picked his music successor Ryu, Jae-Joon who is Korean.

    -Pope John Paul II was the first Polish Pope and he was the first Pope who visited South Korea. Thousands of people cheered to greet the venerable Pope and there was a special mass for the canonization of 103 Korean martyrs in Seoul during his visit. He was very popular in both countries.

    October 20, 2010 at 8:41 am | Reply
  93. Kasia Altman

    I was born in one and lived in the other: I'm Polish by birth and moved to South Korea after finishing university. I love both cultures and feel a part of both. I met my husband in South Korea and adopted a dog there as well, so Korea hold a special spot in this Polish-American girl's heart!

    October 22, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  94. Aga

    Aftermath. The show was very nice. I only would love to make one remark. Please never again mention paper-cut as something core important in Polish culture if you don't actually know it and have never been there. Polish folk culture differs a lot and when you drive 30 km the folk traditional dress maybe already the whole different. Paper cuts were peasants solution for cheap wall decorations in a region which is much smaller than Warsaw nowadays and it was ... more than 100 years ago, so it has now a museum value and is not a living culture at all. Therefore attaching it as something called "Polish culture" may be strongly insulting.

    Core difference is that Korea had been a feudal state until 1910, and Poland had first form of democracy established as early as 1570. Therefore Korean culture is strongly homogenous, but even they had also had astonishingly beautiful poetry and even for them it may be insulting to be associated with cabbage and paper.

    October 23, 2010 at 3:46 am | Reply
  95. lucky

    About two weeks past on finding connections between the two. I have a question what connections can be made among all the countries mentioned now and before?

    October 23, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  96. lucky

    Simply, Earth!
    Now about Poland and Korea again..
    I think people in both countries are hard workers

    October 23, 2010 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  97. Jiwon

    My name is Jiwon KANG and I am from South Korea. I live with my wonderful wife Beata and she is from Poland. I heard about South Korea-Poland Connection project and that is why I am writing this letter to you, because I think we are the best possible connection between those two countries.

    We met by accident in 2001 in Warsaw, Poland. That time I was backpacking from Wladivostok in Russia to Republic of South Africa. In my guide book it was written that there was Korean Studies Department at Warsaw University, so I went there and I found my wife in a place 7736 kilometers distant from South Korea.

    That time Beata graduated from Korean Studies and was preparing for doing her Ph. Degree in Korea. Next year she was in Seoul. The same year there was FIFA World Cup in Korea and the first game of Korean team was with Poland. (Surprisingly Korea won with Poland 2:0)

    Inevitably or by coincidence we started dating. In 2006 we got married and had two great weddings, one traditional in South Korea and one traditional in Poland. Now we live in Seoul. I run I-phone applications business and Beata is busy with finishing her Ph.D thesis in Korean Folklore, translating Korean literature and working for Polish Embassy and Department of Polish Language at Hankuk University. She also created Korean-Polish Couples Club called 7736 km. recognizing the rise of those couples staying in Korea. (She is really busy wife.)

    Moreover, we appeared on Korean TV show to raise awareness about multinational marriage. For the same reason we wrote a book about our life which was quite amazing adventure. Due to that book we had opportunity to confront our thoughts, opinions, experiences one more time. We got to know each other much more. The book shows that even we grow up in two relatively different cultures we had a lot in common. Usually people think that we must have much more problems in our marriage than couples that come from the same culture. But we think that is not true. If you do not respect, understand each other no matter what your passport says you cannot succeed in marriage. Maybe we enjoy different food and have different experiences but it does not interrupt our relation, rather it helps. And what more important is that we share the same values.

    Recently, Beata got the idea to learn Korean cuisine and write Korean cookbook for Polish readers. I try to persuade her to write also about Polish cuisine and introduce it to Korean people. And because her major is folklore she discovered lots of similarities and interesting stories.

    When I first read about South Korea-Poland connection project I thought about writing about similarity in history and crucial geopolitical location of those two countries or about likeness between two nations which are both very patriotic and very emotional. But then it came up to my mind that Beata and her life is the best connection between South Korea and Poland.

    Thank you very much

    November 1, 2010 at 5:02 am | Reply
  98. dorota podlaska

    Both Poles and Koreans are very kind and enthusiastic about foreigners. They like to communicate, but as the ability to speak English is poor they tend to speak to foreigners in their own language, and not care whether are understood or not. This is sometimes so funny! I started learning Korean, as I want to know what are they talking to me when I visit Korea again.

    January 7, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply

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