MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s government honored Polish immigrants this week for their contributions to the South American nation’s culture.
Government officials and representatives of Uruguay’s Polish community participated in an event Monday marking the centenary of the recovery of Poland’s independence, and during which the principal landmarks of the European country’s history were recalled
During the event, organized by the Marshall Jozef Pilsudski Society on the 100th anniversary of the reestablishment of Polish independence in 1918, Education and Culture Minister Maria Julia Muñoz noted what an important contribution Polish immigrants have made to Uruguayan society.
Muñoz said that while she knows little about the life of the Polish people who came to Uruguay between the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, some of them are particularly recalled since “they strongly united the destinies of Poles and Uruguayans.”
Muñoz told the story of sisters Paulina and Luisa Luisi Janicki, daughters of an Italian father and a Polish mother, whose maternal grandparents went into exile in France and Argentina before settling in Montevideo in 1887.
“The Luisi Janickis were a family of workers and educators of very liberal thought for the time. The daughters grew up in an atmosphere of freedom and rebellion, all studied teaching and several went on to have university careers,” Muñoz said.
The Cabinet official said Uruguayans ought to be thankful to the Polish people.
For his part, the charge d’affaires of the Polish Embassy in Uruguay, Marceli Minc, gave in his speech a brief account of Poland’s historic landmarks.
The diplomat particularly emphasized the achievements of the first government after the recovery of independence in 1918, when the nation’s first head of state, Marshall Jozef Pilsudski, established social reforms that were very important for the nation.
Minc said that despite Poland having a turbulent history with numerous failed attempts to regain its independence from foreign invasions and to recover from the destruction wrought during World War II, it was the people who “united” to establish the nation that exists today.