Celebrating Poland awayfrom Poland, 200 years on.
Frydyrik Chopin, famous for being one of the most brilliant exponents of the 19th-century Romantic movement, has also been one of the most popular cultural exports to come out of Poland. He brought the nation's lively folk dances and stately polonaise to the world stage, at atime when back in his homeland, Polish culture was being stomped out under the boots of Prussian and Russian imperialism. 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of the composer's birth in Warsaw, and not only his music but his image as a patriotic Polish émigré has endured – asensitive, melancholic figure who spent most of his adult life outside of Poland, but carried itwith him in his heart.It is a special year, then, for the Polish Festival @ Federation Square, which encapsulates so muchof what Chopin stood for. Like Chopin’s music, the festival is an expression and celebration of allthings Polish, turning Melbourne's iconic landmark into a market square typical of Warsaw orKrakow, full of spectacular dancing, mouth-watering smells and beautifully crafted merchandise.However, it is not so much a get-together of Polish people as it is a chance for ordinary