The Dolina Polish Folk Dancers wiped their brows and held their collective breath. The anxious audience at the Twin Cities Polish Festival wondered what was happening on stage—a quiet moment following an amazing display of energy and polished performance by the dancers.
Some clearly knew. Others had no clue. All stayed to check it out. Anticipation was in the air.
The suspense heightened as a handsome young couple came on stage—dressed in festival-going American casual attire, quite unlike the Polish national dress of the dancers, walking rather than bouncing, kicking, twirling, and swishing in the whirlwind created by the dancers.
Some heard the young man, Frank, pop the question to the glowing Ivana: “Wyjdziesz za mnie?” Though no one but Frank actually heard Ivana’s response her smile said it all.
Scores of delighted Polish Americans burst out in spontaneous support as the couple embraced, kissed and shared their special moment with friends, family and an audience of thrilled strangers.
The Festival overflowed with the music of Chopin, polkas, history exhibits, arts and crafts, souvenir t-shirts, flags, cookbooks and stories of Poles in Minneapolis and in the Old Country, sad memories of President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, and everywhere pierogies, kielbasa, Polish sausage and other delicacies.
Still, what Ivana and Frank—and their special witnesses—will remember is that moment when the newly engaged couple spoke from their hearts, “Kocham Cię.”