Robert Frezza writes:I ran across an interesting passage in a book about the native peoples of Siberia called “The Shaman’s Coat.” In the 19th and early 20th centuries, a lot of well-educated Polish revolutionaries were exiled to eastern Siberia where they acquired a certain reputation among the natives. As one of them put it: “When the inhabitants learned that I was Polish, they came to me for solutions to all their problems; they brought me their broken guns, asked for advice on smoking fish, demanded that I cure the blind, that I heal their sick women, and wouldn’t believe that I wasn’t capable of doing all this. ‘But you’re Polish!’ Yukagirs and Yakuts would say, surprised and hurt by my refusal. For them, a Pole was a man with ‘golden fingers’, who knew everything and could do everything.”
Now that’s a cultural stereotype I could live with.