Hello and happy holidays from Lublin, Poland where I’m spending Christmas with my wife’s family. We’ve a dusting of snow to keep things looking festive.
Today we popped into a new mall which didn’t exist last time I was here, about 18 months ago. The Lublin Plaza is a giant temple to consumerism with a good helping of chain shops, a seven screen cinemaplex and bowling alley. The prices seemed fairly high for what is a poorer area of Poland and so the place wasn’t busy even though it’s the last Saturday before Christmas.
The mall reinforced my continued sense that Poland, like many other countries, confuses imitation of Anglo-Saxons (Americans, Canadians, British etc.) with socio-economic development. I find the ensuing loss of identity and distinctiveness depressing. Such imitation also results in reduced locality of services, manufacturing and trade with all that implies – dependence on multi-nationals for goods and employment, increased vulnerability to world markets (particularly in the race to the bottom for wages) and longer distances travelled for goods.
I wonder how much these malls, their foreign chain stores and the giant supermarkets from Tesco, Leclerc, Real etc really offer the Polish economy or society. Seeing the Christmas decorations in the Lublin Plaza I had to take a picture. Is there a catalogue for mall decorations somewhere? I felt that I’d seen the same decorations in Canada, USA, UK, Dubai… wherever I’ve been.
Enjoy your holidays wherever you may be and see you all soon.