It is common for people to go out of their ways to find or learn something new, that’s curiosity overtaking other senses. However, what if in our journey to seek stories, we overlook the closest places to us no matter how bizarre it is, like for example, our very own bedroom?
As a World Youth Day pilgrim, we are assigned to a host family who will take care of us while we’re in Poland. Upon settling down to my temporary family for the next few weeks, I looked around my room and found something that caught my interest.
There’s a sword inside my room. Upon asking my host family, I learned that the sword in my room is the replica of the swords of Hussars from a fight in Vienna.
Of course, being curious enough to research about its history, I learned that in 1863, a battle between Austria and Turkey took place in Vienna. It was during this time that the Muslim (Ottoman) Empire wanted to invade Austria and other neighboring countries.
Overwhelmed with the number of the Ottoman empire, Austria turned to the Polish forces and the Winged Hussar.
Winged Hussar were Polish cavalry geared with a huge feathered contraption that makes loud and terrifying sounds that put off the defenses of the ottoman army. The wings were said to be worn by the army because of the loud and clattering noise it produces that often times scared of the enemy.
Another belief said that the purpose of the wings was to eliminate distracting noises from the opposing army that might cause their horses to panic therefore putting them at a disadvantage during wars.
The victory of the Winged Hussars is so significant that until today, their coat of arms, swords, and other remembrances can be seen all over Europe.
Sometimes, the grandest of stories start from the small things around us. Discovering the history behind the sword in my room will remain in my mind for a long time.
Do you have stories about Poland? Share it with us! (Michael Laxina)