Ethnicity

The town of Savannah may dye their fountain water green–and BTW, have the third largest St. Patrick’s Day parade after New York and Chicago.

Chicago may dye the whole river, but here, we dye our hash browns green.

You may think of Ireland and the ‘Forty Shades of Green’, or maybe you think of the rolling hills. If you’re old enough you think of John Wayne in THE QUIET MAN.

If you are young enough you may think of the pubs and Guinness. You may remember ‘The Troubles’, the Easter Uprising, for good or bad, Ian Paisley, the right reverend and Northern Ireland politician.

We have an Irish Terrier–a Glen of Imaal also known as a Wicklow Terrier. BrindleBlue and as defiant as any member of the Sinn Fein, the Irish lives deeply in this little one.

Me? I remember discussions about the ‘black’ Irish who were horse thieves because when ever Mom was angry with Dad that was what his family was– Black Irish and horse thieves. I remember stories about Great Aunts Fanny and Alice. And an Irish great grandmother who burned all the Chippendale furniture because she was mad at her husband. I remember the smell of Irish Soda Bread and corned beef and cabbage. I remember stories about being from Co. Mayo which was a haven for the Irish League–those who wanted the English gone and the elimination of their plantations.

I remember my granddad teaching me the sign of the cross in Irish:  In ainm an Athar agus an Mhic agus an Spioraid Naoimh.

Dad always said–at least once a year–that on St. Patrick’s day there were only two types of people in the whole world, “those who were Irish and those who wished they were.”

When Watts exploded in 1965, with all the social upheaval and activism, I remember telling my Dad that we Irish blew it. We melted right in with the pot. We lost our ethnicity. But the truth is….where ever you go there is something Irish. We were in Ukraine in 2006 arriving in Odessa and one of the first places we found was an Irish Pub complete with Bushmills and Jaminson’s behind the counter.

There was a recent program through the Great Books positing there is no single unifying culture group called the Celts that emerged from Central Europe and spread westward and ended up on the furthest small piece of known land. The Celts were an amalgam of music, arts, poetry, spirituality, war and economics put together as warriors rolled across the continent.

Trust the Irish to absorb, appropriate, and meld. To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day involves good food, good drink, and good cheer. To have that as your heritage is awesomeness!