I guess this means St Patrick's Day weekend is upon us, right?
I'm not opposed to the holiday, but I don't really partake in it either. In the US it has developed the stigma of being that day in which green laden young people gather in public and drink to excess, and that's not something I ever wanted to feel associated with. Here in Chicago the organizers behind the South Side Irish St Patrick's Day Parade even cancelled the event for several years on account that it'd turned into just one big public drinking party. The parade has since resumed with efforts to gear it toward a family event.
Citing it's religious origins, we all know that St Patrick's Day is meant to signify much more than green beer and the subsequent green vomit which often follows, and for many Irish-Americans the holiday also operates to acknowledge of the immigration of the Irish to the states and the years of backbreaking work which they endured.
Perhaps I've been too judgmental though. As much as I dislike gaudy green leprechaun hats, plastic shamrock necklaces, and the spectacle of young people getting shitfaced in the street, I'm willing to accept that such individuals are just merely celebrating the holiday with the best intentions, or whatever. Besides, it's putting food on the table for those pub workers as well as the manufactures and distributors of all the green novelty stuff.
This holiday also brings to mind my late-father. He was so proud of his Irish heritage, enjoyed researching his family history, and visited both Ireland and N. Ireland dozens of times, during his trips making many friends. He even wrote and performed songs about Ireland, notably "The Calling" and "Ireland Dream". Despite his love for Ireland and having regularly performed his music at many Irish festivals, he wasn't fond of Guinness, nor did he indulge in alcohol much at all. He just really liked his ancestry.
Rani and I visited Dublin in 2010, but prior to that she'd visited both Ireland and N. Ireland once in her own, and she and my dad were fond of discussing their journeys throughout the different counties.
Anyway, although it's still a couple days away, I guess this is a more appropriate time than ever to wish everyone a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day!
Posted via m.livejournal.com.