Polish culture is full of Arabic influences, says fascinating new research

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Jacek Turczyk/PAP

From the traditional clothing of the nobility, to designer and luxury goods, Arabic influences have left a visible mark on Polish culture.

Through analysing manuscripts from early Arab travellers and the Middle Eastern travels of Polish pilgrimages a team of 38 researchers have found Arabic traces permeating every level of Polish culture.

They also looked at the memoirs left by Polish pilgrims, their participation in diplomatic relations with the Arab world, and clues in science, literature, and arts, as well as philosophy, religion, and language.

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Team leader Professor Agata Nalborczyk from the University of Warsaw told PAP: “Our culture is not monolithic and has always taken patterns from very different sources.

The outfits of Polish nobleman were found to have Arabic influences.

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“We rarely realise in which areas and how Arab influences have left their mark on it.
“There is nothing more Polish, in general, than the outfit of a Polish nobleman.
“But a very popular element of his equipment was the bent sabre, whose patterns can be found in the Middle East.
“The robe was also complemented by characteristic belts – sometimes of Arabic origin.”

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