Sunday, April 5, 2009

What Nationality Would You Like to be Other Than Your Own?

Part 1
Not too long ago I did a 50 question survey on Facebook. The last question was: What nationality would you like to be other than your own? I didn't have to think twice about my answer: None. I was raised Irish Catholic. We, my 5 siblings and I, were brought up to be very proud of our Irish heritage. My mother's parents were straight off the boat from Ireland and settled in the Boston area. My father was 3rd generation Irish, and his family settled just outside of Boston. When John F. Kennedy became President, what more could we ask for!? I was only 5 at the time and still remember the excitement of his election. Ok, I am showing my age!
I was raised in a suburb of Boston, but still remember all the Irish influences inside and outside of the city.
One was the music. Irish music was very popular with my parents, not so with their children. We did not gain an appreciation of the music till many years later. Even though as kids, we would complain about the Boston radio station that played Irish music every Saturday all day long, when I was in Ireland a couple of years ago, I bought a CD of Irish music my father had listened to and loved. When the radio station wasn't playing Irish music, my father had the music on the reel to reel tape player he was so proud of; no 8 tracks, cassettes, or CDs existed at that time! When my brothers and sisters got married, the bands had to be able to play at least one Irish song. If not, my father and two uncles would get up; to the embarrassment of us all, cousins included; and sing a song or two or three ..... depending on the hour of the day and how much they had imbibed!
St. Patrick's Day was always a treat for us. We would go into Boston and watch the parade and here again, be serenaded by Irish music, both by the bands in the parade and my parents (neither were singers by any means). And yes, we would eat corned beef and cabbage for dinner!
I did try to learn the Irish Jig for International Night in high school, but my two left feet came into play, and I was never able to get the foot work right!
I enjoy what the Irish culture brings with it; the songs, the tales, the language, the land, the history. One of the biggest thrills of my travels was to be able to visit Ireland, and I hope to return there one day.
So no, there is no other nationality I would rather be other than my own.

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