Sunday, March 28, 2010

Irish Republican

I was really surprised how many people speak the Irish language in Ireland. It's now a mandatory subject in the schools. You hear it on television, on the streets, and it's apparently growing in use.

To be Irish is to wear your cultural identity in full view, bigger than life (like a Kennedy), and after a week there we got a better sense of it--of people just wanting to have a laugh and a little fun. Part of the identity is wrapped up in centuries of tradition, of Gaelic roots and pre-Christian roots and thousands of years in a place that can be a very isolated, cold and rainy place to live.

But who knows what will happen there, politically? (Or here, for that matter...) Our cab driver in Dublin didn't mince words. He said that he and his sons were "all Republicans, if you know what I mean", then winked at me in the mirror. "No," he went on, "not like Republicans in the states. No. Far from that, I can assure ya." I think I know what he meant.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I am a democrat, but not like those Dems in Kazahkstan, if you know what I mean, eh!!!