Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

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Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby S_o_S on Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:41 pm

Shamelessly jacking Pixel's thread. But I have a point. I know for a fact that Northern Ireland isn't an especially well-known country around the world, especially in comparison to the Republic of Ireland. So this is a chance for me to spread some awareness and see what people know already. Fire away.

Please note that any discussion of the Troubles and split community will stick to a straight discussion of the facts and nothing else, or we will seriously run the risk of a rule 3 infraction.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby eli_gone_crazy on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:09 pm

favorite foods?
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby Victin on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:26 pm

What can you tell me about Northern Ireland culture and folklore?
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby S_o_S on Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:37 pm

Food: Belfast has a pretty high rate of heart disease. Take that as you will.

But Northern Ireland has a lot of signature dishes and foods, mostly different sorts of bread. Potato bread, soda bread and Veda, or black bread. You can commonly find all three in the Ulster Fry, basically a full English breakfast with some of our specialities.

... Also a large factor in our rampant heart disease. There's also a good shrimping industry in the small coastal town of Portavogie, but that's about it.

Culture and Folklore: Most of our folklore is shared with the Republic, but we have the Giant's Causeway and Rathlin Island, so we get all the myths about Finn MacCool (a giant) and St. Patrick investigating the island for snakes to see who it would belong to.

Culture however... Culture is very divided due to the split community here between Protestants and Catholics. Things are getting better, but background is still a really key factor in our culture. There are, fortunately, lots of cross-community initiatives working to change this which I'm very grateful for. From my perspective as an actor, the theatre industry is great here, there are absolutely loads of opportunities for young actors and increasingly, big productions are coming here such as Game of Thrones to film. We've got lots of big actors too, such as James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson. That's right, Taken Man is from Northern Ireland. Ballymena to be specific, about an hour from where I live.

That's the thing about Northern Ireland. It's a very small country, so it's quite tight-knit. Everyone knows everyone around here.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:44 pm

Um... Northern Ireland is technically part of the UK and the Commonwealth, and the Republic isn't, right? or is it the other way around?
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby H22 on Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:54 am

Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:Um... Northern Ireland is technically part of the UK and the Commonwealth, and the Republic isn't, right? or is it the other way around?


Technically NI is British, and the South/Republic/Eire is not

:( For everyone who died for that sentence.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby S_o_S on Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:09 pm

Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:Um... Northern Ireland is technically part of the UK and the Commonwealth, and the Republic isn't, right? or is it the other way around?


This is correct. The Republic is a free country, while Northern Ireland is still unified with Great Britain, and makes up part of the United Kingdom. However, we do have a devolved government - we have power over certain aspects, but Westminster has full control over others.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby Qara-Xuan Zenith on Sun Mar 17, 2013 5:45 pm

So, uh... care to tell the ignorant among us a bit about what St. Patrick's Day is-- its significance, what it commemorates, how it's celebrated...
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby IslaKariese on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:46 pm

Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:So, uh... care to tell the ignorant among us a bit about what St. Patrick's Day is-- its significance, what it commemorates, how it's celebrated...

Well, coming from an American, I'd say the holiday is about little green men, gold, rainbows, and four leaf clovers. But that's just me.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby S_o_S on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:51 pm

Qara-Xuan Zenith wrote:So, uh... care to tell the ignorant among us a bit about what St. Patrick's Day is-- its significance, what it commemorates, how it's celebrated...


Drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. And parades. Parades of green.

St. Patrick is the patron saint of the island of Ireland, but for obvious reasons, he has more significance to the Catholic/Nationalist population of the island. It's considered a bank holiday (public holiday), but many places choose not to take it, especially here up north. My university does, so I have tomorrow off, yaaaaay <3

But yeah, the story is as follows. St. Patrick was taken from his home as a teenager by Irish raiders and taken to Ireland. While in captivity, he turned to God for solace and began to dream of converting others. After escaping (an escape that God told him to make in a dream, though one would think the thought had occurred to him before), he later returned to Ireland as a missionary having studied for fifteen years. Note however that he did not introduce Christianity to Ireland. He lived there, preaching and converting until his death, believed to be on March 17th. He famously used the pagan rituals as part of his teachings rather than trying to get rid of them altogether, and formed the Celtic Cross (a cross with a circle on it) as a result.

As for the traditional symbols: the shamrock symbolises the rebirth of spring and the emergence of Irish nationalism (as is Irish music), the snake goes back to a myth that St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland (this is false, Ireland never had any snakes - this actually refers to the banishing of pagan ideology), and the leprechaun is an invention of Walt Disney. No, really. Well, it's a mythical creature from Celtic folklore, but it was Disney who popularised it and began to associate it with St. Patrick's Day.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby Scarab on Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:33 pm

Please tell us the story of the snakes :D
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby S_o_S on Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:28 pm

Scarab wrote:Please tell us the story of the snakes :D


St. Patrick chased the snakes into the sea when he was attacked by them while he was fasting. As mentioned, this is completely false; it's likely that there were never snakes on Ireland.
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby Scarab on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:33 pm

S_o_S wrote:
Scarab wrote:Please tell us the story of the snakes :D


St. Patrick chased the snakes into the sea when he was attacked by them while he was fasting. As mentioned, this is completely false; it's likely that there were never snakes on Ireland.


...You couldn't have put more, I dunno ,dramatic energy into it?:P
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Re: Cultural Exchange: Northern Ireland

Postby S_o_S on Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:47 pm

Scarab wrote:
S_o_S wrote:
Scarab wrote:Please tell us the story of the snakes :D


St. Patrick chased the snakes into the sea when he was attacked by them while he was fasting. As mentioned, this is completely false; it's likely that there were never snakes on Ireland.


...You couldn't have put more, I dunno ,dramatic energy into it?:P


I had no energy when I was writing that. Use your imagination :P
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