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Young people


The motto of the founding act of the Academy of Zamosc states that, "the state of the Republic depends on the upbringing of its young people."  The Polish Republic of the 21st century takes the words of the Zamoyski Chancellor into consideration and has diversified offers for its young people.

In the first line of fire of interests allowed for the under 18's is the Laserhause in Katowice.  This Laser Entertainment Centre, among its many services, primarily offers a laser shooting gallery and laser paintballing.  The participants, in a scene straight from a computer game, in a maze of tires, chains and metal cosmic structures, are armed with laser weapons and special vests and compete against each other.  The UV lamps, strobes, flashing lights and fluorescent graffiti along with the music and sound effects transport the participants into the world of adventure.  The atmosphere thick with smoke also stirs the emotions.  The Laser Maze is another game offered by the Laserhause in Katowice.  The labyrinth consists of a set of lasers set up like the security measure at the bank in the film, Mission Impossible.  It is not easy to overcome the obstacles without cutting a laser beam and each error is signalled by an alarm.  The Laserhause is a place that has never been seen before.

Staying in the paramilitary theme of entertainment, it is worth have a look at the Bastion in Kolobrzeg.  The fortress, hidden among the greenery, welcomes visitors to view and take a ride on some of its armoured equipment on the army training grounds or have a go at shooting an airgun on the shooting range.  At the Bastion there is a T55 tank, armoured cars, armoured personnel carriers and a self-propelled floating transporter.  Driving around the training ground is a serious dose of adrenaline.  The Bastion allows a safe contact with military equipment, even those who missed out on conscription.  After playing at soldiers and enriched in knowledge about the army, the amateur soldiers are glad for a hearty bowl of thick pea soup served from a military field kitchen.  A souvenir shop with military memorabilia is the last port of call of the day.

It is a truism to say that young people like music.  It is also true that young people cannot remember the big-beat sound but at a concert given by Anna Rusowicz, the singing daughter of the famous mother Ada, the youth enjoyed themselves considerably.  The 1960's totally took over the Firlej Club in Wroclaw including the styling of the musicians and the lead singer Anna, the scenery and, of course, the music.  The music of today's youth is, of course, the rhythm of hip-hop.  Parties and rap music performances are held in various Polish cities whilst the original dance and style of dress serves in the recognition and development of the hip-hop culture. Performers such as Peja, O.S.T.R., Fokus or 52 Debiec are known by any self-respecting young person.  There is also an internet TV hip-hop station.

For present youth, the origins of the Jarocin Festival go back to ancient times.  In 1970 a musical review was organised under the name the "Greater Poland Rhythms of Youth".  Every year the Jarocin Festival is breaking attendance records.  It is indeed an honour for every performer to play on the same stage where such celebrities like Kora z Mannam, Renata Przemyk, Kasia Nosowska, Kazik Staszewski or Brett Anderson, Peter Murphy from the group Bauhaus once performed.


Jurek Owsiak, the organizer and good spirit of the festival in Kostrzyn on the Odra, explains that the name "Przystanek Woodstock" arose from the legend of the Festival in Woodstock and the atmosphere of the era of the flower children.  The word "Przystanek", was taken by the originator of the festival from the name of the television series "Przystanek Alaska" (Northern Exposure).  "Przystanek Woodstock" was originally organised as a thank you for the work by the volunteers of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity.  Best performance at the Festival is presented with the Golden Spinning-Top award.  The event is free for participants and very popular.  In 2001, more than 700,000 registered for tickets and were entertained by celebrities like The Prodigy, Dog Eat Dog, Halloween, Airborne, H-Blockx, Donots and Noah's ark.

It is widely known that movement is good for health, so the youth in Poland moves.  Most teenagers are still at school or study, so remain attached to their parents, which is why the Polish Youth Hostel Association are propagating the notion of roaming camps based on a network of youth hostels.  In Poland there are 80 such routes which include walking and cycling trails prepared for the roaming camps by the Regional Branches of Polish Youth Hostel Association.  The routes are typically organized along the most attractive tourist routes and calculated to take 7, 10 or 14 days.  A similar role is performed by the students' cabins or types of tourist hostels, run by the student organizations or persons associated with educational establishments.  The cabins usually include in their profile, the activities and habits of the visiting students and those running the cabin.  Such sites offer only basic living conditions and are subject to rules governing self-cleaning, changing footwear or the bringing and drinking of alcohol.

In a healthy body there is a healthy spirit.  To entice young people from their homes, cities are building Skate-parks which are obstacle courses designed for extreme sports such as skateboarding, BMX bikes and inline skaters.  Elements of equipment in a professional Skate-park include half-pipes, ramps, banks, fun-boxes, pyramids, rails, grind-boxes, London gaps, kickers, spines and picnic tables.  A variation on a Skate-park is a Skate-plaza, which is a place for street skating.  In a Skate-plaza the obstacles are natural components found in most streets such as walls, stairs, ramps, etc.  In Poland, there are 8 Skate-plazas, in Gdansk, Rzgow, Stargard Szczecinski, Bialystok, Krakow and two-level Skate plaza in Siedlce.  The Skate-plaza in Szczytna is the only Skate-plaza in Europe that is coupled with the track for racing in wheelchairs, which is professional rehabilitation facility.

The Catholic Church also directs offers towards the youth which include pastoral centres, retreats and also excursions for young people seeking their place in life.

The phenomenon of our age is the internet.  Young people have moved to a virtual reality, social networking sites, gaming and real-time communication with the most distant corners of the world.


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