Anyone who is Kashubian, or has spent a lot of time among Kashubians, knows that there is a distinctive Kashubian personality. The Morrison Annex wall mural at the Polish Museum of Winona includes these traits (paraphrased; boldface mine):
- Love music, wake up singing
- Are very intuitive
- Easily offended, but carry hurt silently for years
- Are very close to their faith
- Are too soft spoken and polite to win arguments, but argue in their heads for weeks afterwards
- Have an indomitable spirit
- Alcohol is not their friend
The Kashubian scholar Jan Karnowski (1886-1939), a leading member of the Young Kashubians movement, had this to say about the Kashubian personality in a 1911 journal article (translated; boldface mine):
The Kashubian population is characterized mainly by two attributes: religiousness and justice. Religiousness is a fundamental breathing of the Kashubian soul, not guided by reasoning, but grasped through deep feelings. Customs, tradition, and above all the priest's personality stand in for reasoning. The justice of a Kashubian is firm, persistent, with no let up. This may cause that famous legal mania, that relentless stubbornness and determination to pursue their rights. A Kashubian is ready to forgive all faults and grudges. But he shall never forgive an injustice. It is enough to hurt those two aspects of a Kashubian soul and the hostility will last forever!
The 1917 Curtiss-Wedge History of Trempealeau County quotes a 1912 letter by John F. Kulig of Independence, WI (1874-1960). It addresses Kashubian Americans and Silesian Americans alike, but the themes are familiar (boldface mine):
Although they, the early settlers, mostly all came from the German Empire, they came from different provinces. Those living near Pine Creek came mostly from the Province of Posen and Pomerania, and those near Arcadia and Burnside came from the Province of Silesia. They all speak the Polish language, but the dialect is decidedly different. The great majority of them are of the Catholic faith. One of the strong characteristics of the race is they are cheerful givers to churches. Another is that they are hard losers and do not readily forget when some harm has been done them, and they frequently carry their animosities to their death bed.
Does anyone recognize someone they know.. or perhaps even recognize themselves?