‘Papa Polaco’ – Only in Costa Rica

May 19, 2006

The election of Polish Pope John Paul II caused no end of mirth in Costa Rica, where “polaco” (Pole) is another word for “Jew,” since most of the country’s Jewish community are descendants of Polish immigrants. The afternoon La Prensa Libre, caught up in the confusion, published a photo of the new “Papa Polaco” with a caption identifying him as “the first non-Christian Pontiff in 455 years.”

 

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