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The Irish Culture Essay

The Irish are the people living on the Island of Ireland. Their culture is not that huge as per many beliefs. This is due to the prominent divisions that are there between urban and rural people, between the Protestants and the Roman Catholics and also divisions between the Irish speakers and the English speakers. This division has gone ahead to even affect the new migrants and the native population (Mitchell, 1998). With such divisions, the Irish culture is bound not to be monumental, though it is significant to as far as international levels.

The old pagan tradition is still considerably reflected in the Irish calendar up to date. The Christian traditions have also a significant effect even though they came much later. For instance, in other countries around the world, Christmas coincides with the winter solstice, something that was chosen deliberately (Comerford, 2003). In Ireland, Christmas just like most places have several local traditions, some of them are in no particular way connected with Christianity. One example is on 26th December where it is also known as St. Stephen’s day.

There is a custom of “Wrenboys” who make door to door calls with assorted material’s arrangement. These equipments tend to vary with place which is meant to a dead wren that has been trapped in the furze. There is also the 1st of February which is the Brigid’s day. This day has also acquired different names which include Imbolic and Candlemas. This too does not have any Christian origins. Instead, it is seen as another observation that is religious in nature and was superimposed during the start of spring. There is also the Brigid’s cross that was made on this day out of rushes.

It is used to be a symbol of a solar wheel that is pre- Christian. Sumhain in November is another festival that is still greatly observed to date and it is currently called Halloween. Halloween has gained popularity and is celebrated world wide. The other pre- Christian festivals that have their names as Irish months name include Bealtaine that is May and Lunasa which is August. Easter and Marian observances are part of the important church holidays (Mitchell, 1998). The most eventful and prestigious of all is the S. t Patrick’s day.

It is marked as a national holiday in the republic of Ireland. To really ascertain its importance, the day is celebrated with a lot of festivals in the cities and within towns all around the country. Parades and marching bands are also availed to mark that day. Dancing is part and parcel of the Irish culture. In Irish dancing, two main kinds have been identified. They are the Riverdance and Real Irish dance. The Riverdance is very popular in that it is running up to the moment in major cities apart from Ulan Bater. It is even credited with the Irish economic boom by some economists.

On the other hand, the Real Irish dance is performed in such a manner that men do not dress in frilly blouses and one is not allowed to communicate except in a note in print to the panel of adjudicators (Comerford, 2003). The work habits in the Irish community vary with different people. Farming is largely prevalent in Ireland even though it is one of the activities in the Irish culture that comes from way back in history. Therefore in arming, the men are the ones who handle most of the activities that are related to it.

The women on the other hand do the marketing of the produces. The Irish farmers have come to be known for using the latest methods in agricultural production. The kind of produce that they make includes meat and dairy products. Cereals like wheat and barley are also chiefly produced. In production the Irish industry has done tremendously well in pharmaceuticals textiles, clothing, and even in fishery (Mitchell, 1998). Language is only one way of communicating. There are other forms of sending a message that bring forth communication. Gestures are one way of communicating.

The Irish culture also has its own unique gestures. Women are allowed to sit first before the men. The women are supposed to sit with their legs crossed right at the ankle or even at the knees. It is considered informal to have ones ankles crossed over the knee. A good gesture also includes buying your friends or drinking partners a round of drinks when your turn comes. It is looked at as rather rude not to. Therefore the people tend to be disciplined and everyone knows what is expected of them at a particular situation no matter how informal it may seem or be.

Shoving the line is frowned upon. Order is highly regarded and no one is supposed to be treated unfairly to an extent of having others shove the line. Using a firm handshake is also seen as a good gesture. Loose handshakes are associated with disrespect towards the person greeted or eve lack of interest. Therefore firm handshake symbolizes reverence (Comerford, 2003). In terms of governance, the Irish government of the time holds the office only and only when it still has the support of the majority of Dail Eireann members.

The Taoiseach who is the head of the government can voluntarily resign and if he/she does so, the whole cabinet is considered to have resigned. Then a new nomination is put for Taoiseach before the parliament to approve a new one. The Irish government according to its constitution should constitute between 7-15 members. The head of the government is nominated by one of the houses of parliaments and the Irish president formally appoints him. For that post, each political party nominates its member who needs the support of the majority members of parliament to win (Mitchell, 1998).

The Irish government is elected for a ruling term of five years. In this case since the current government was elected in 2007, it is expected to conclude its term in 2012 and go for a general election. In parliament, the senate and parliament debates are available and even published all the way through the session. The issues and questions tabled by the members of parliaments during the sitting are taken by the minister in whose docket it concerns. The replies are published at the end of each day’s parliamentary proceedings.

Each committee meeting has an official report which is published in 2-3 working days and at most in a week’s time. Therefore Ireland has a democratic system of governance (Comerford, 2003). In essence, the Irish culture is a unique one and identifies the Irish people. It is richly religious with over 80% of its population being Roman Catholics. They have lots of days they observe that are not necessarily Christian oriented but that is what makes them uniquely Irish. References. Comerford, R. Ireland Inventing the Nation. New York: Hodder Books, (2003). Mitchell, Frank and Ryan, Michael. Reading the Irish landscape. London: SAGE. (1998).


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