Vietnamese people in Poland

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Vietnamese restaurants (left and right) in Szczecin, Poland.

Vietnamese people in Poland are one of the ethnic minorities in Poland. The Vietnamese-Polish community is the fourth-largest Vietnamese community in the European Union, although its numbers are difficult to estimate, with common estimates ranging from 50,000 to 60,000. They are Poland's largest immigrant community whose culture is not European, and are often perceived by the Polish public as being one of the largest, if not the largest, minorities in Poland; the factual verification of that claim is difficult due to lack of precise data. While enjoying economic success and, along with other immigrants, perceived as a competition in the workforce, the Vietnamese community is regarded positively in Poland.


  • Unlike the Vietnamese diaspora in the United States, who are often of refugee origin, the Vietnamese communities in Poland were formed of student exchanges mutually agreed between the two socialist countries. While it is common knowledge that the Soviet Union was Vietnam’s major economic benefactor in the 80s, the diplomatic relations between Poland, then a Soviet satellite state, and Vietnam are little known.
  • Vietnamese people are the largest immigrant community whose culture is not European. It is difficult to determine their number. It is currently estimated at 35 thousand. In Poland, which more frequently “sends” its citizens abroad than “welcomes” foreigners, the Vietnamese group attracts attention of scholars. What they find interesting is the manner in which Vietnamese people adapt to the Polish environment, diverse identity strategies of various groups, and the functioning of Polish-Vietnamese marriages. In the subject literature, it is highlighted that Vietnamese people usually enter the Polish community through group adaptation processes and, to a large extent, remain socially closed within their own ethnic group. Their social contacts with Poles are usually superficial and their cultural bonds with Poland are most frequently limited. Despite the above, there are Vietnamese immigrants who deeply relate to the Polish culture and have close relations with Poles, including Polish spouse.
  • Against the common belief, the Vietnamese do not want to be isolated from Poles. The difficulty in the assimilation process is caused mainly by the poor command of Polish and the lack of time. Young immigrants who speak Polish, are willing to present their culture to Poles. They organise various artistic, social and cultural meetings. Maybe these activities will make Poles know the Vietnamese better and will make them see the advantages of mutual cooperation. This is especially important to Polish businessman.
  • Within only two months in Warsaw, the Vietnamese had provided Polish doctors with approximately 21,000 hot meals. In addition, the community joined the nationwide action of sewing masks for doctors and donated protective masks, latex gloves and disinfectant fluid to hospitals and other public institutions. A shipment from Vietnam was also organised, containing a large number of SARS-Cov-2 virus detection tests, protective suits and disposable gloves. These activities were particularly intensified during the worst waves of infection: initially in the spring and then again in the autumn of 2020. During the first wave the actions were spontaneous, while during the second they were more organised.
  • In the last decade of the 20th century, the second wave of immigration from Vietnam began - mass and much more socially diverse. Due to the lack of knowledge of foreign languages ​​and Polish culture, this group of migrants, after arriving in Poland, needed the support of their compatriots who were already at home here. The new arrivals took advantage of family and friendly ties with the Vietnamese living in Warsaw and settled in their vicinity. Thus, hermetic Vietnamese communities began to form in Warsaw.
  • The Vietnamese have been present in Poland from the 1950s onwards and now have reached the second and third generation. The third generation is now also adults, they integrate well and adapt very quickly to Polish society. They also have a much better education than the average person in Polish society and find work in many fields.
  • On the other hand, Vietnamese people are "labeled" as not integrated very well, that is, slightly isolated from mainstream society. However, in light of recent migration issues in Europe, to Polish society, Vietnamese are seen as a good example of immigrants who work hard and push their children's education. Therefore, the view of the Polish people about the Vietnamese community here is generally very good.

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