Census diversity: ‘We share our Catholic roots’
Finishing his studies, Maciej Bogdalczyk came to Ireland from Krakow in 2015
Maciej Bogdalczyk: “Our mentalities are very similar.” Photograph: Maciej Bogdalczyk
Maciej Bogdalczyk only knew one person in Dublin when he arrived in Ireland in 2015. He had just completed his master’s degree in public administration in Krakow in Poland and had heard positive reports from friends about the job opportunities here.
“I had one friend from secondary school who helped me a lot at the beginning. She told me the important information of how to get a PPS number and explained Irish habits and culture.”
Bogdalczyk found a job as a waiter and now works in security. He has noticed a lot of similarities between Irish and Polish people and feels more comfortable speaking English now.
“We share our Catholic roots and our mentalities are very similar. It’s the deep-rooted values of the Irish people, their kindness and helpfulness.
“I love this country but I do feel there is one disadvantage. People talk about money too much here. That’s not the purpose of human life. ”
Bogdalczyk has also struggled to build friendships with Irish people. “Most of my friends are Polish and other nationalities. It’s very hard to overcome barriers between Irish nationals and people from overseas. But I do have some Irish friends .”
Bogdalczyk describes his house in Dublin as “an international community” which has taught him to open his eyes. “There are five rooms and each of us is from a different country – Morocco, Germany, Ireland, Poland and Nigeria. “It’s been a great lesson in kindness.”