POLAND RECENTLY joined several other countries across the globe to celebrate Jamaica's 50th anniversary of Independence.
Polish residents are among the greatest fans of reggae music in Europe. There are no less than eight major reggae festivals per year - the largest, the Ostroda festival, which was held August 10 to 12 and had dedicated much of its programme to Jamaica 50.
The Jamaican Ambassador Joy Wheeler, the Jamaican Honorary Consul Maria Dembowska and representatives of the Jamaica Tourist Board were special invited guests.
One day of the festival comprised a 'reggae university' during which high-level discussions on reggae music and its social implications, nationally in Jamaica and internationally, took place with sociologists, musicians and the Jamaican officials making up the panels.
The proceedings were broadcast live by the most popular television station in Poland, on August 11.
In anticipation of the events, the television station carried a quiz about Jamaica - the first-prize winner received an airline ticket to Jamaica.
Dembowska was successful in getting the most widely read Polish daily newspaper, Gazeta Wyborcza (which publishes a supplement every Sunday called Lick Your Fingers) to carry a feature on Jamaican cuisine entitled 'Exotic Foods'.
The presentation showed Dembowska and a very active member of the Jamaican diaspora in Poland, Dawn Grant-Skiba, preparing the dishes for the film crew.