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Thread: It’s bizarre to hear the far right talking about the need to protect Irish culture (it’s…

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Thread: It’s bizarre to hear the far right talking about the need to protect Irish culture (it’s almost as if they fail to notice it has already survived over 700y of colonialism, war, ethnic cleansing & famine).

Let’s talk about Irish culture t.co/JVUdXk5AUs

There are lots of definitions of culture, ethnicity & nationality but I think it goes deeper than even those. In the early Irish Republic it was about the Irish language, rural society & Roman Catholicism. The ‘dancing at the crossroads’ trope. t.co/vI2YaBLePT
This early vision gradually eroded under the undeniable fact that Irish people were part Scandinavian, Norman, English, Welsh, Scottish, Spanish & French & had different origins & perspectives. Dev’s so-called ‘Comely Maidens’ trope didn’t acknowledge our diversity. t.co/EOZJVMtE1l
Of course history has shown these ideas to be just as useful indicators as Irish wolf hounds, shamrock & round towers. Symbolic ideas, but they don’t tell you anything about what it is to be Irish or what makes an Irish person Irish, culturally. t.co/KfAyBTdQSe
There are of course negative stereotypes that have been waged against the Island. The drunken, the fighting & the garrulous Irish etc. There are the positive ones too – the land of saints & scholars. But these only tell you so much if anything at all. t.co/nxDRv3O6GO
Most would agree that story telling is a common Irish trait – it led to the finest novelist in English in the 20th C, Joyce & the finest poet, Yeats. That story telling is about communication. Story telling has always been exalted in Irish culture since at least the Celts t.co/TSQFr7sCmN
From ancient times poetry has been judged the highest form of Irish culture in Ireland. Even today poets are respected more than any other creator in Ireland (with musicians a close second). It’s a fundamental part of our culture, based on age old tradition. t.co/JTaUJX7CZ6
The Filí (Irish bards/poets) had charge of the listing of those entitled to vote in electing a Celtic king. Thus their verse literally gave power & this ancient validation lingers on in respect for books, libraries, learning & words in Ireland. Fascism does not. t.co/rptXYbRNSg
And racists seem to forget that Joyce’s masterpiece Ulysses, is about Leopold Bloom, a Jew living in Dublin & his wander around the city. There is a constant anxiety (again going back to the Celts) about how strangers might see us Irish & our need to look after them. t.co/ncRP6IVzJt
Another trait is the welcoming of strangers. Racists don’t seem to know about that one. Welcoming is because of another Celtic tradition of wanting to be seen as generous & welcoming – in Hiberno-Celtic culture to be seen as mean was the worst reputation you could/can have. t.co/LuLAAtLfbb
A reputation for meanness was feared by ancient Irish Celtic kings as the powerful peripatetic Bardic class (the Filí) might make a poem of your tight pockets & you would end up a universal laughing stock, unable to rule. So generosity is a fundamental trait. t.co/jXDGTMZBEN
Indeed until very recently it was considered rude in Ireland to describe someone as a foreigner or a stranger. There is a truth to the Irish cliche – a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet – in ancient Irish culture. Take note racists! Our greeting is 100,000 Welcomes! FFS! t.co/MTG51A0OUF
Stories of inspectors to the shacks of victims of the Great Hunger (Irish Famine when 1-1.5m died) recount the starving trying to offer their visitors the tiny amount of food they had. Racists seem not to know that about Irish history. Or that we were migrants then too! t.co/gDL5oACuCF
Another Irish cultural trait is generosity. The famine story tells how deep this is in the Irish Psyche. You can’t claim to understand Irish culture if you are rejecting refugees from horrific trauma elsewhere, nowadays. Imagine if Canada or the US had done that in the 1840s! t.co/0sqOOR3plu
Yet another cultural trait is a lack of expected formality in dealing with senior figures in society. Slagging is part of that tradition (the more u like someone the ruder u are to them if you are Irish). It’s not unusual to hear ‘How are yeah? Ye aul’ Bollix’ as friends meet! t.co/HeQGqYxoDu
This informality comes directly from Hiberno-Celtic tradition. Irish kings were elected from a derbfine (4 generations of relatives) within a kingdom of only several thousand people. Thus a ruler could not afford to upset voters or those who might influence them t.co/JfwpMznYSQ
Thus the far right trope of the distant leader on his (& it is always his) white horse to solve our problems, as only he can, is totally antagonistic to Irish tradition & culture. Fascists please take note. t.co/VqwnCO899H
Now all these cultural traits are extremely common & widespread – there are some people who don’t have them here though. They’re called the far right & they don’t understand Irish culture. t.co/xAjVJsFLSb
Whilst I’m not saying that other cultures don’t share some of these traits I can confirm that I do ask visitors to Ireland what their experience is & they all touched on these (& also how odd it was that Irish people kept asking them what they thought of the place!) t.co/wv9YeGtGxx
It’s hard to define what is traditional Irish culture, but I can confirm that racism, hate & ignorance are definitely not, since at least 500BC. I’ve read the manuscripts, asked visitors & consulted experts rather than trotted out half-formed nonsense about what it is to be Irish t.co/dZt95QGVIF
Finally I find it extremely offensive when I hear these vice-signalling, yellow-vest wearing, jack-boot stomping, rabble rousing muppets talking about the ‘swamping’ of Ireland. Before the famine there were twice as many living here, as now. Shame on them for insulting our dead t.co/TUBkcDPNKy
Just to add – Ireland has had an over thousand year relationship with the Mid East. In the Middle Ages an O’Brien king from Limerick was in trading contact with a Ruler of Iran. They exchanged gifts – the Shah got two Irish wolfhounds & a poor rain sodden Camel came to Clare!

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