"Despite its dangers, or perhaps because of them, the mining profession has always held a high degree of prestige in Poland. The great value placed on coal during communism dictated that mining was one of the most well-respected occupations a Pole could have, along with which came special benefits and privileges. It is from this perspective that Barbórka – Poland’s nationally neglected celebration of mining culture and the men who toil in darkness deep underground - is still carried on with gusto in Silesia today. Combining ancient tradition, pageantry, fraternity and fun, Barbórka is undoubtedly one of Poland’s most strange and unique ‘holidays’".
Here you can see the miners orchestra marching trough the streets of Nikiszowiec at dawn on December 4, waking up all inhabitants of this historical coal miners' settlement of Giesche mine:
Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:45 am
Post subject: Generations of Coal Miners
Thank you for posting about The Miners Day. I had not heard of it before now.
My father, grandfathers and great grandfathers all labored in the coal mines in Colorado. Mother's family came from England and Wales. Fathers family from Poland. Most people do not associate coal mines with Colorado, but there was a good deal of coal produced there until the 1950's. I believe the coal companies must have advertised and provided some sort of incentives to attract labor, because my very small town was a real 'melting pot' - Poles, Italians, French, and many more packed into a town of only about 2,000. Coal mining was the only real industry for many, many years. A tough life, my father told stories of using mules to haul the coal cars to the surface before the advent of powered equipment. We have a photograph of shift change at a local mine. The faces of the outgoing miners all black from coal dust, contrasted with those of the incoming shift, with bright white faces.
Although I was born in Lesser Poland, all my childhood I spent in Silesia region. I remember the miners, even in their everyday life, outside the mine, they always had the black lines around their eyes - it looked just like makeup. Nowadays, I do not notice it anymore, I guess that the mining techniques changed over the years...
What is also important, there are less and less of them, as the mines are being closed and fewer people are needed to operate the modern coal harvester.
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum You cannot attach files in this forum You can download files in this forum