unique irish

anonymous asked:

hi I speak english and spanish and I wanna learn a new language. my choices are Italian, Dutch, Irish, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Turkish, and Welsh. which one would you recommend me to learn?

depends what you want.

if you want the easiest possible time:

- dutch (english helps a lot)
- italian (spanish helps a lot)
- romanian (spanish helps a bit)

if you want a language that you’ll be able to use a lot:

- italian
- polish
- turkish

if you want a challenge:

- polish
- greek
- turkish
- irish

if you want to be unique:

- irish
- welsh
- romanian
- greek
- turkish

Being a Mixed Race Girl: The Unique Identity Crisis

In a world where appearances are everything, it can be hard to fit in when your identity can’t be pinpointed by the way you look. I giggle to myself every time I have to check one of those race boxes for test or something. Usually I check 3: African American, Hispanic and Native American (sometimes white…I do have a splash of Irish in me).

In high school and college I was forced to choose only one. I thought it was peculiar how eager the government was to pigeon-hole me and my culture into one description, a description related to my color. I choose to be “Hispanic” on paper for 8 years, not because I related more to that side of me, but, admittedly, because Hispanics are generally offered more scholarship sand financial because a language barrier is assumed. Apparently, the preconception is that I grew up speaking Spanish and so for me know English is a grand accomplishment. Yes, I grew up speaking Spanish as a secondary language, but my home was primarily English speaking.

I remember receiving 2 scholarships in high school for my PSAT scores: one for just doing well on the thing and one for doing well and being Hispanic. My counselor called me in and told me I could also get an award for doing well and being African American. Believe it or not, to qualify for this one, I had to prove that I was actually black, since I was in the system as only “Hispanic” and my light skin color backed that up. To do this, I had to fax in a photocopy of my dad’s driver’s license so they could see that yes, as far as skin color goes, my dad is as black as one can get.

I realized the conundrum of being mixed race pretty young. I remember as a young child noticing that my dad was waaaaaaaaaaay darker than me, Alex and my mom. But, I never thought anything of it…until other kids pointed it out. Everyone on my private tennis team, who all had the luxury of being unmistakably Indian, claimed that I couldn’t possibly be my dad’s kid, that I was definitely adopted. I remember coming home from practice dejected and asking my mom if she and Dad weren’t really my parents. It was then that she explained to me how genes work and that I get half my characteristics from her and the other half from Dad. One of the things I got from her was my skin color and hair. Then, she showed a picture of me and Alex and Dad together and pointed out that I had my dad’s smile and a bit of his nose. Feeling relieved, I went back to tennis practice to confidently report that I was indeed my father’s daughter.

The pressure to choose one race or the other is ever present for mixed girls, especially when you have traits that don’t stereo typically belong with  a certain race. I play basketball but I sound like a white girl and I also speak Spanish and dance salsa. I can belt out R&B AND the entire soundtrack to Wicked. And OMG do you know what it’s like to be the one politically conservative one at your high school table of black friends? “DISGRACE TO YOUR RACE!” Why can’t I just do what I want to do and think how I want to think because I want to?! Sometimes, I wish I looked more like one or the other so I could stop having to choose.

But I don’t have to choose! Being mixed race is awesome. It’s unique! I get to experience several different cultures and make them all my own. I get to enjoy the puzzled stares as people try to figure out “what I am.” I can only imagine how much worse it’ll be for our half-Filipino, half-……well, me…children when people try to figure them out. Either way, I don’t have to choose a stereotypical way to live or act. I can just be…me, and so should everyone else, regardless of their color or how others think they should fit in. Fit in by living how you want to live. Eventually, you will be surrounded by people who accept you for you. 

Irish Gothic
  • One day it will come to you, as it has come to us all, that you do not personally know any priests. You know each parish in Ireland has several priests, and so you will wonder, “where do they come from?” This question, much like “when was the last time I went to mass?” and “am I actually Catholic anymore?”, is to be quickly dismissed and forgotten, in order to maintain the fragile status quo. It is your duty as a citizen.
  • “7up when you’re sick,” they say, “that’s Irish.” “Shirtless men in the summer,” you’re told, “that’s Irish, too.” “Tea, swearing, boiled cabbage,” they spout in unison, “tractors, Lent, saying hello to strangers. All of these are Irish, and uniquely so. Irishness and these are one. These and Irishness are inseparable.” “Sudocrem and potholes” they continue, reassuring themselves of their identity, “accents, boom years, the immersion, The Late Late Show, towels in the hot press…” You know nothing of the outside world. You know not what they have to call their own. But you pity them, those bereft of the distinct joys of the Irish.
  • You do not know what caused the sudden resurgence of Irish names in recent times. Your best guess is that it was the boom years, somehow. All you know is that everyone in your generation is called Eimear, Roisín, Ciarán, Aisling, or Sean. You have a Franco-Germanic name, but you may be the only one. Didn’t you know a Michael once? What happened to him? You haven’t seen Sarah in a while. Quick, behind you! An Áine!
  • Emigration haunts us all. It is said to never blink. It is said to wear an unassuming smile. It is said to be 12 feet tall with arms that reach the sky. A lot is said. Emigration can wait at sea for years on end, observing. It can lull you into a false sense of security. It can trick you into thinking that you will live and die peacefully in Ballycloghan, Co. Longford. But Emigration knows better. At the slightest provocation, Emigration will swoop in silently and steal your cousins. It will leave parents without children. It will leave a country without a generation. Some think it destroys crops. Your grandmothers will throw their fists to the sky and yell, “boom years!” But you cannot blame the boom years. It is the natural course of life. We retire to our houses and light a solemn candle for safe travel. For a while we wonder silently when Emigration will return, but, as with the candles, we quench the thought.

It’s well known that Van Morrison got his start with a band called Them, which had a few hits before he left for a solo career, but with the release of The Complete Them by Legacy, it turns out that the story is a bit more complex than that. Rock historian Ed Ward has the story today:

“George Ivan Morrison was born to musically-inclined parents in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1945, and dropped out of school in his mid-teens with their blessing to pursue his interest in music. At first, he worked with showbands, those uniquely Irish outfits whose last incarnations can be seen in the film The Commitments. But he soon joined a more modern combo, the Monarchs, who played rock and roll and even recorded a single for CBS Germany in 1961. In 1963, he was in London again, working in the Manhattan Showband, and stumbled onto a gig by the Downliners Sect at a club, where they were playing blues and R&B, much as the Rolling Stones were doing. Morrison became convinced that a band doing this music in Belfast would be a hit, and set out with one of his colleagues to form one. The bar at the Maritime Hotel in Belfast provided a place, some like-minded guys provided the personnel, and an ad in Melody Maker for a London gig by someone called Shorty and Them provided a name: the hot new band at the Maritime was known as Them.”