Reflections on Loss and Rediscovery of Cultural Objects between Cultures: The Custom of Card Sending

Intercultural relations have multiple dimensions and may lead to numerous unforeseeable consequences. In migration across countries and cultures, reverberations of life decisions can be far-reaching in terms of the trivialities of everyday life as well as customs, habits and accompanying small objects. The recognition of loss, gain or rediscovery of a cultural object can be experienced at a very individual and deeply subjective level. This presentation focuses on the custom of card sending between two cultures: Polish and British as an example of a lost object that has been rediscovered and partly restored by post-accession individuals of Polish background and identity in the United Kingdom. The habit of sending cards on various occasions used to be highly popular in Poland prior to the era of the Internet and mobile phones. These technological advancements led to the replacement of a traditional paper card or a postcard with text messages, electronic cards and (photo-)messages on social media platforms. Yet, those individuals who made their life-turning decisions to relocate and settle in Britain after Poland joined the European Union observed the British vividness of the tradition of card giving. In order to participate in the life of their adopted communities, many Polish migrants have returned to the well-known custom in their British lives. Therefore, the tradition of card sending can be an example of a lost cultural element that regained attention in an intercultural context.


  • Intercultural Studies