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CLC Cultural Thursday to highlight Polish culture

The community is invited to attend Central Lakes College’s virtual Cultural Thursday presentation on Poland at noon Thursday, Feb. 3. CLC instructor Ania Antus will discuss Polish culture, history and economics, and share her experience as a Polish dancer and instructor.

Central Lakes College instructor Ania Antus in a Polish dress
Central lakes College economics instructor Ania Antus dances a traditional Polish dance in an authentic dress outside of the college Monday, Jan. 31, 2022. Antus will discuss Polish culture and economics at the Cultural Thursday session via Zoom at noon Thursday, Feb. 3.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Ania Antus is betting not many Americans know much about Poland.

The Central Lakes College economics instructor and Polish native hopes to change that with her Zoom presentation at noon Thursday, Feb. 3, part of the college’s Cultural Thursday series.

“I was born and raised in a city in Poland named Lodz, and it means ‘boat,’” Antus said of the third-largest city in Poland and a former industrial center. “It used to have nine rivers. I think right now there is no river left because we have a textile industry that used the water in the past.”

Lodz is located about 75 miles southwest of Warsaw, the capital and largest city of Poland, a member of the European Union.

“It's really a city two hours south from Warsaw — like the central part of Poland,” Antus said of Lodz. “Used to be second-largest city but not anymore because of immigration. Lots of people left the city.”
A study in 1988 found that 54% of Polish Americans were of mixed ancestry from three generations or longer.

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“I married a Minnesotan and moved to America in 2001. And actually, I met him on a job,” Antus said. “I was working back at the University of Lodz. And St. Cloud State University started a program, they sent 22 students … to do a little story … and one the TV guys was my husband.”

The 50-year-old has a doctorate in economics and is also a distance-learning instructor with North Hennepin Community College and Metropolitan State University with about 200 students.

“I want to talk about history,” Antus said of Thursday’s online cultural learning event. “I really want to focus more on you know, the food, the culture, the dancing."

Russia, Prussia and Austria partitioned Poland among themselves in a series of agreements between 1772 and 1795.

“If you're looking for your Polish roots, how is it easy or not because Poland's history we were divided between three different countries,” Antus said.

Poland became a Soviet satellite state following World War II, according to the CIA, but free elections in 1989 and 1990 brought the communist era to a close.

“I want to talk a little bit about hyperinflation in Poland … more than 600% hyperinflation,” Antus said. “I want to talk a little bit about economy of shortage, why the Berlin Wall collapsed — you know, obviously, mention President Reagan because all Polish people love President Reagan.”

Antus said her first job after she emigrated was teaching Polish to Polish Minnesotans.

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“People that never heard about Poland, they kind of commingle it and mix it with, you know, Bohemia or Czechoslovakia,” Antus said. “I even heard my accent is Russian.”

Antus wants to share Poland’s world-wide contributions to society.

There have been 18 Poles who were awarded 19 Nobel Prizes in all award categories: physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace and economics. She noted on a trip to Washington, D.C. there are three monuments to Polish Americans.

“I think part of that is you discovered it, as you go, that there's a lot of Polish impact across the board,” Antus said.

Antus will also share her experience as an accomplished Polish dancer and instructor during the Cultural Thursday event.

Those interested in participating in the free and public Zoom presentation by Antus should register at https://tinyurl.com/2esve4dn .

For questions about this event or the Cultural Thursdays series, contact Jason Edens at jason.edens@clcmn.edu or 218-855-8124.

FRANK LEE may be reached at 218-855-5863 or at frank.lee@brainerddispatch.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchFL.

Related Topics: CENTRAL LAKES COLLEGEEVERYDAY PEOPLETHINGS TO DO BRAINERD
I cover arts and entertainment, and write feature stories, for the Brainerd Dispatch newspaper. As a professional journalist with years of experience, I have won awards for my fact-based reporting. And my articles have also appeared in other publications, including USA Today. 📰
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