An Introduction to This Polish-American Life
By Natalie Rokita
Halo halo Wszyscy! & Welcome to the first ever blog post of This Polish-American Life, by me from Siemka Creations. 😊
I’d like to welcome YOU – fans, visitors, and “rodzinka” (family) on this fun journey as I share my thoughts, experiences, traditions & culture of being “Made in America” and raised pure-bred Polish, all with a little humor woven within.
SO! For starters, I think a good place to begin would be explaining what “Siemka” actually means, why it's so special to me and why I chose this sweet word to be my company logo. Stay tuned for the latter in Part 2 of this blog post!
Let's take it back to Poland, summer of 2010. The laidback days when I’d travel to the Motherland for weeks at a time and soak up all that there was to see and do, eat and drink, party and laugh about with friends and family who filled my heart when Poland was home for those short but sweet summers. Roadtrips to Czorsztyn renting paddleboats to cruise the water, joyrides to the "nearest" (40 km away) McDonald's just because we were craving a "McCzyken", and endless nights having an "ognisko w polu" (bonfire in the fields) blarring music from a car radio and dancing around the fire like children. What I’d do to enjoy one more carefree summer like that...
Every year I visited Poland, I looked forward to learning all the new lingo that transpired since the year before. And it is something I still look forward to today! Some of the OG words over the years have been:
The list goes on...
That year in 2010, I kept hearing “Siema!” every time someone picked up or hung up the phone. Go ahead and say it out loud with me – [Sh-ee-eh-ma]! It’s a nice sounding word, if you ask me!
Along with “Siema”, I also heard “Siemka” [Sh-ee-em-kah], which is a derivative of the original, and my favorite of the two. 😊 Both words are an informal way to say hello or goodbye, and I absolutely fell in love with it. It’s such a light-hearted, effortless word... pleasing to the ear and just rolls right off the tongue!
All that summer, seeing or calling up friends always started and ended with "Siemka!". It made me feel cool – included. As if it were some club I belonged to because I was using the lingo everyone was using and, most importantly, made me feel like I belonged.
And that was it! It stuck with me for years to come. When I was back in the states, I would jokingly answer the phone saying, “Siemka! Co tam?!??” to my brothers or friends, like we do with many other Polish sayings. I don’t know why it fascinated me so much but it did, and looking back I would never think hearing “Siemka!” that summer in Poland would one day inspire the name of the brand I built from scratch...
Stay tuned for Part 2!