I’ve been meaning to write this blog all week but I’ve been so swamped with exams recently I haven’t had the chance. But I’m free now so here goes. One of the most important aspects of being on the year abroad is to immerse yourself in the local culture, and partake in cultural activities. What’s the point in living abroad if you’re not going to make the most of your surroundings? Last Thursday, I did exactly that. The only thing is, my surroundings are Irish people. So, naturally, I celebrated St Patrick’s Day! A very belated happy St Patrick’s Day to any Irish folk who may be reading this.
I’ve never celebrated this day before as I’m neither Irish nor have had any Irish friends in the past, so I was excited at the prospect of a big celebration. A lot of thought went into preparation for this very Irish soirée. By ‘Irish’, I mean everything had to be green. We made green cakes, a big bowl of green punch, and painted shamrocks and Irish flags on each other’s faces. And of course we wore green. That was the rule. According to a very reliable source (my good friend Wikipedia), ‘on St Patrick’s Day it is customary to wear shamrocks and/or green clothing or accessories’. We did not disappoint. See picture for evidence.
What I gathered from the whole thing is that the Irish as very patriotic. A couple of the Irish girls mentioned how they were disappointed that they couldn’t be at home to celebrate the day properly, with all their Irish friends and family. Hopefully the party somewhat made up for that, but I totally understood how they felt. Had I been with the Welsh society at Leicester for St David’s Day I’d have donned my rugby shirt and gone to the pub to passionately belt out some Welsh classics, alas I was not, so I settled for buying a leek to have with my dinner. I also posted a picture of it on every social media site so people knew that even though I’m not in at home in Wales or with @welshsocleics, I hadn’t forgotten. All jokes and stereotypes aside, I think leek may actually be my favourite vegetable now.
Anyway, if anyone is planning on having a very stereotypical St Patrick’s Day soirée next year, all you need is some yellow and blue food colouring, a green felt pen, and ideally some Irish people.