It’s great to be Irish.
We’re loved worldwide. In the last year we’ve had Obama, the Dalai Lama and even the Queen over for tea. We can be drunk at any time of day and it’s not only acceptable, but somewhat expected. Fiddles, Riverdance, our sense of humour, red-haired wholesome cailini and a pint of Guinness in a country pub – Ireland summed up in a sentence. Or not.
In today’s Irish Times, Shane Hegarty explores Irish stereotypes and how keen we seemingly are to live up to them “the stereotype of a mischievous bunch, simultaneously baffling and charming outsiders. It’s how the world wants to see us, so why fight it?” After all, the lucky, lovable rogue has to be better than being a boring German, snooty Frenchman, hated American or worst of all – English.
Will we ever move past these dated stereotypes?
It’s not that all these things don’t make up a part of our culture but my goodness we just don’t all fit so neatly into this little box. Aren’t there any other characteristics we have developed during our unique history of struggle and generation-upon-generation of emigrants? While most of the stereotypes about the Irish are not all that offensive, they revolve around literature, arts, culture and our infinite ability to have the craic.
Going by our stereotype alone Irish people are fun to have around but of no practical use whatsoever. Could it be so? Can’t the world imagine for a second an innovative Irish person? Has our recent and long-term history not shown us to be practical and adabtable?
Do you know any down-to-earth French people or hilarious Germans?