Ireland: Cultural Agility, Cultural Transformation, Cultural Communication
Ireland was a wonderful cross cultural experience. I was specifically in Dublin. The people are charming, particularly the men over the age of 55. They were flirtatious – respectfully so – and full of wonderful stories, stopping periodically to call you “love”. I found the accent difficult at some points but quickly adjusted to “wahk” for “work” and funny expressions which didn’t sound like anything I’ve heard before.
I know now where Boston gets is culture! The pub culture is loud, communal, and boisterous. Not really my cup of tea but still fun to watch and observe. Speaking of tea, I drank a lot of it. It was cold and wet and I was chilled to the bone due to temperature and rain, so the tea helped. In fact for those three days I loved tea and didn’t really have a taste for my usual drink, coffee. Plus tea goes with buttered fruit scones… yum!
The Irish are culturally agile, open, fast, and flexible. I liked their ability to hustle for a euro. Their economy is suffering greatly now. They blame the banks but still maintain a good spirit and keep their sense of humor. The tour bus driver told us joke after joke, showing us the largest brewery in the world – Guinness – and where the crossword puzzle inventor was buried (three down and 5 up). The two main historical churches are Protestant but sell rosary beads in case you were interested. A funny cross cultural mix which most folks seem to accept.
They love the Americans, full of admiration and loyalty to us. In fact Barack Obama was there the week before visiting his cousin! They have a female President in Ireland, whom they adore. And her house is similar in architecture to our White House in DC. In fact it was an Irish architect who designed and built our White House!
Hats off to the Irish culture, I had fun and felt welcomed. Thank you, Ireland for a lovely treat!