Interview with Roksana Goc

A new common goal

, by Leon Schwalbe

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English] [polski]

A new common goal
Roksana Goc from Ropczyce, Poland Foto: Leon Schwalbe / Katharina Egle

Roksana Goc is a very open-minded person. She loves to sing and seems to be always in a good mood. At high school, where she graduates next year, she joined the science profil classes. Depending on her matura exams, she wants to use that for studying medicine. But if there is a possibility, she also would do something with music after finishing school.

Leon Schwalbe: Roksana, when do you think about your future – where would you want to be after school?

Roksana Goc: Definitely far away from Ropczyce. I’m not a big fan of our city. It is ok to live here – it is a safe place –, but if you want to experience something, you have to go to bigger cities. I’d really like to study in our biggest city in Poland: Warsaw. Or maybe Krakow.

What does living in Poland means to you?

It is very connected with my family. When you said Poland, that was the first thing I was thinking about. I can’t explain it exactly, but it feels like home. The biggest part of my family lives here, so I feel very familiar with Poland.

You said „the biggest part of my family“ – where does the other part live?

They live in Germany and Scotland, probably for reasons of money and a better future perspective. And my aunt met her husband in Scotland. But he is Polish, too. Sometimes I vist them – in Frankfurt, for example.

So, you already have seen other countries than Poland, what do you think about politics here?

It’s going down, down, down. (laughing) I can’t say good things about our government. I’m not that interested in politics but based on what I can see on tv programs or what my parents are talking about, I think that our politicians are making lots of mistakes.

I already realized that you are not alone with this point of view in your generation. But there are still lots of people that vote for the governmental parties. Is there such a big difference between thoughts of younger and older people?

My grandma, for example, said to me, it’s better to vote for PiS, because they give money and it would be better then for older people. But even my older stepsister said, she is suspicious about that. She didn’t say exactly why, but she voted for the PO [Platforma Obywatelska – the biggest opposition party in Poland, editor’s note] in the last election. And I think they don’t even keep their promises. They had the chance to give the people more money in the last few years. But nothing has changed.

Something that did change – in a negative way – is the situation in Ukraine. How do you feel about the war?

When I first heard about it, I felt terrified. Not only about the situation in Ukraine, but that it could affect us, too. I wasn’t sure if that would be an unrealistic scenario or not.

There are also some Ukrainian refugees in Ropczyce. What do you think about them?

I feel very sorry for what they had to suffer in their country. This war is very awful and they had to deal with lots of awful situations before coming to Poland. Since the war began, I appreciate everything I’ve got – the free time I have, my family, my home – much more than before. Because they lost most of it. So, I want to help them as much as possible.

It seems like you’re not the only one who feels that way right now, here in Poland. Do you think, the situation has changed something in people’s minds?

Yes, I think so. There is a common ground that we all have to help those people. It probably makes us a bit better and more attentive. I already realized that around me. Everyone is now helping, together with other people. It’s like a new common goal.

Where does it came from?

I don’t know. I was so sure that our president would say that we won’t let Ukrainian people in our country. But maybe even our government realized that this situation is very serious.

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