Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Polly from Lithuania

Something related to Lithuania just popped into my mind. In fact I know this already since my childhood, but I was only reminded by it after my blog post about fat white cartoon characters. Her name is Polly McShane (incredibly non-Lithuanian name by the way), a nationalistic Lithuanian from the cartoon series The Kids from Room 402. She’s so to say the smart ass of the class and thinks she has many friends, even though nobody actually really likes her. She has a fascination for spoons and goats.

On the world wide web I found back one of the episodes in which classmate Nancy visits sick Polly at home. Lithuanian Polly had been eating a bad blynai according her mom. Polly’s aunt Nietschka is there to take care of her. During a little healing ceremony Polly states that Lithuanian foot massages are even better to cure diseases than having a goat in bed. Well… Polly is furthermore a bit upset that she couldn’t take part in the student elections. She’s asking Nancy whether Lithuanian culture is offered at school as obligatory part of the curriculum and expects that every Canadian youngster should be able to order a meal in Lithuanian in any random restaurant in Lithuania. In your dreams.

To be honest I don’t really recognize the stereotype Lithuanian in Polly’s character, besides maybe the fact that she always aims in getting the highest grades. To me, many Lithuanians also seem upset getting ‘just’ an 8 (on a scale from 1-10 in which 10 is absolutely wonderful). The ‘6 is enough, yey!’-culture I know from Dutch students definitely doesn’t show any traces here. 

Besides the often eaten blynai I don’t really consider Lithuania to be the country of spoons and goats. Where is the potatoe fun? Furthermore, the accent which the Lithuanian characters in the cartoon series are given sound rather Polish. Auwch. To conclude, Polly’s stop-word is ‘Fabiola!’ (like in ‘oh my goodness!’). Nice try. It was a very enjoyable series though!

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