A kingdom since the 11th Century, it became a republic in 1989 after a brief and unwanted flirt with communism. It has 16 regions and a varied physical geography of mountains, plains, lakes and coast. Poland is almost entirely Catholic with an ethnic origin of mainly Silesians and Kashubians.
Bands like the Warsaw Village Band are becoming very well known throughout Europe, reviving traditional Polish music and presenting a political statement against mass culture. Founded in 1997 by 6 young musicians.
Polish traditional music was collected by Poland's answer to Cecil Sharp - Oskar Kolberg in the 19th Century. Sadly, the communist state suppressed the Folk identity and only recently has a revival begun. Tradition seems to have stayed alive in the region of Podhale.