- October 10, 2014
A Vilnius man in the Netherlands: I will stay Polish forever
“I started from scratch, I had to learn the language and find myself in new reality” – says Edmund Piunow, a Polish man from Vilnius who has been living in the Netherlands for 12 years and was nominated for “Polish man of the year” title in the “Young Polish man of success” category.
Piunow was born in a Polish-Lithuanian family. “My parents divorced when I was just a kid and I left with my mother for Poland. We moved to the Netherlands when I was 14,” – explains the young Polish man from Vilnius and adds that Western countries give you more opportunities than Poland or Lithuania.
“It would take longer to achieve what I have achieved here if I lived in Poland. I am grateful for that. But it was not that simple. I had to start from scratch, learn new language and find myself in new reality. The first few years were the most difficult, but it was getting easier and easier,” emphasizes Piunov who now is the founder and the director of the first marketing office in the Netherlands. rchw. Edmund Piunow
“For this moment my goal is to promote Polish companies in the Netherlands. I had been working for Dutch companies for years and now I want to utilize my experience to help Polish community companies. Just like most of them I started as a physical worker – in greenhouses, warehouses, as a cleaner in offices. According to me for most of the Poles setting up their own company is a chance for better future for them and their families. However, a good product or service is not enough. It is all about marketing – the way your company reaches the target group, how it is remember, with which it is associated and if it simply stands out against the competition,” explains Piunow.
According to the young entrepreneur starting one’s own business is very difficult, especially if you enter foreign market with different language and clients who have distinct mentality. “That is why I help the companies to create their professional image and to reach new clients making advertising clips and making advertising campaigns on Facebook. As I cannot help all of them I also publish special guidebooks in which I teach them how to promote one’s own company,” adds Piunow.
Edmund Piunow is also a director. He took part in making more than 300 Polish and Dutch productions, advertising clips, videoclips, TV programs and campaign spots among them. He was awarded his first prize for cinematic film achievements when he was 17. He coorporated with such Dutch stars as Marco Borsato, Van Velzen, Gerard Joling, John Ewbank and Laura Jansen. Piunow was also the director of the first two videoclips of the Polish artist Mr Polska.
Piunow visits Vilnius very often as almost all his family comes from this region. “If I do not work on some of my projects here, I simply meet with my friends and visit my family. Vilnius will always be one of the most special and beautiful cities in the world for me,” emphasizes Piunow adding that he is not able to explain his origins to Dutchmen in one sentence. “My grandparents were born in Poland, I was born in the Soviet Union, which is present-day Lithuania. And we are still talking about the same place. What is interesting some of the young Dutchmen think that Lithuania is a part of Poland. Of course, I will stay Polish forever. Even with my father from Lithuania I talked only in Polish. I am a Polish man from Lithuania,” says Piunow.
“I love traveling. I do not focus only on the Netherlands. Sometimes I have shootings in London, Poland. A week ago, I made a movie for a company from Biała Waka. When I write guidebooks or prepare trainings it is not important where I work cause I have my laptop with me. I choose Vilnius very often,” adds the young Polish man.
The candidates nominated in the “Young Man of Success” category are the people who are not older than 35 and who have distinguished themselves in their actions and achievements among young Poles in the Netherlands.
Also Internet users can vote for their favorites under the following address: http://www.polonus.nl/pl/stemmen-polonus-2014.html from 5 th October to 10 th November. The winner will be announced at the formal Gala on 15 th November.
Translated by Gabriela Godek within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.