Do you know that island in the Atlantic Ocean? That Island where it always rains? The island where people only drink Guinness and eat stews? That island where everyone has red hair and is always drunk? That island with an accent you cannot understand? The island where they speak with a funny accent and use words like ‘craic’, ‘savage’ and ‘grand’?. The island called Ireland! An island that is well known for all its stereotypes, but that is special to me. An island I absolutely love, find out why in this week’s blog!
My love for Ireland and the Irish developed when I lived in London. Let me tell you the story:
When I did my first internship in London I had to move rooms at some point. When looking at spareroom.co.uk, a website I highly recommend anyone using when searching for a room in London, I found this ad from an Irish guy looking for someone who could rent his room for 1,5 months. Since my internship would last another 2 months, I was ideally looking for a room that would cover the whole period. However, since I had the opportunity to live with Irish people, I thought it would be worth having the layover. Little side note, the location of the room (next to brick lane) was amazing and the price was very reasonable.
Enthusiastic and excited I went to the viewing. I don’t know why but I always taught that Irish people were awesome, maybe because of the stereotype that they are one of the world’s best drinkers. When sitting down with the guy who rented his room, he emphasized that they were looking for a housemate, and not someone who would just use the room or be in the room all the time. That sounded like music to my ears, since I was looking for adventures and experiences to add to my overall incredible London experience. I do have to admit, it was hard understanding his accent.
After leaving the flat I was really hoping I could get the room, since it just felt like living with Irish would bring so much more than living anywhere else. Imagine how happy I was when I received the message that I got the room. I felt like the next adventure could start.
I could not have been more right. This experience, living with the Irish literally changed my life (for the better!). That is also the reason why I am writing this blog. My housemates weren’t just housemates, they became mates for life. They welcomed me like I was family, they invited me to join for sport events in pubs, chill nights, parties and so much more. They introduced me to the amazing group of Irish lads in London, who all mean the world to me. They taught me about the Irish culture and the way they think. They showed me how to live everyday like it could be the last and enjoy it to the fullest. To enjoy great ‘craic’. To be sympathetic and not ask: ‘‘what kind of job has your dad?’, but rather ‘how’s your family?’. They taught me how to drink Guinness and made sure that I will drink tea with milk for the rest of my life. They made the trip to Dublin incredible, because of all the great recommendations. And the list goes on and on and on...!
One of the best nights out with the lads in London before the Mcgregor - Mayweather fight
The reason I love Ireland is because of the culture, because of the people. In my opinion the Irish are how everyone should be; open, welcoming, non-judgmental, sympathetic, social, caring and brutally honest. Although, I have some experience with their brutally honest humor, I am still struggling at times. However, it’s the best humor in the world.
Since this is just my experience, and quite subjective, I decided to have a look at Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimension model and see how my experience about the culture correlates with this model.
This shows that the Irish culture has a low Uncertainty Avoidance, meaning: “ideas are important, being imaginative is appreciated. Irish businesses embrace creativity and are always looking for new ways to approach problems.” Irish people have an open, innovative and dreamlike mind-set.
Scoring low on the Long Term Orientation model dimension shows that: “Ireland has a culture classified as normative. People in such societies have a strong concern with establishing the absolute Truth; they are normative in their thinking. They exhibit great respect for traditions, a relatively small propensity to save for the future, and a focus on achieving quick results.”
This model shows that the Irish live everyday to the fullest, have a dream-like and imaginative mindset.
Obviously there is a counter-argument for every culture’s characteristics, but my experience with the Irish have made me truly fell in love with Ireland. And I did not even mentioning the astonishing landscapes of this island and the amazing city Dublin! Check this video to see how beautiful Ireland actually is. Never been to Dublin? Please make it a priority, you will not regret it!
To conclude, Ireland is not a place where you should go for the weather. Ireland is a place where you should go for the people, for the culture. Ireland is a place that is special because the people are special. I owe a lot to the Irish and could not be more grateful to have met them. Ireland has become a place I truly love because it offers so much more than most people think! Sláinte to Ireland!