Monday, 19 March 2012

Green Issues

If you hadn’t realized, this Saturday was St. Patrick ’s Day. In Chicago it was pretty hard to ignore.

More photos on Flickr here!

People wear green, drink green beer and they even die the river green. It’s pretty serious. Needless to say, I’ve never seen so many people come together to celebrate Irishness.
A common question amongst Americans is “where’re you from?” – it’s the equivalent of the British weather chat. The answer to this isn’t as simple as it sounds.  People rarely answer “America” but rather “Chicago” or “New York State” quickly followed by “but my family is from Ireland/Italy/Scotland etc.”  And that leads to more conversation. A large portion of Chicagoans can claim Irish roots, and do. Even if no living ancestors actually came from there, it’s still a good excuse for a party.
It’s a relatively young country and had, I guess, at times struggled to find its identity with the influxes of immigrants from around the globe. But what actually defines America is the multicultural inclusivity.(I had no idea there were so many Latin American Irish... or maybe not) It has had the ability to pick and choose the best bits from a lot of different societies. What America lacks in depth of history it more than makes up for in range, and people are just as passionate about it as anywhere else.
On the other hand, St. Paddy’s may be a cunning marketing campaign to sell beer… If it was, it worked on me.

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