Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Wonderful Idea

I spend enough time kvetching on this blog, so I thought I would say something nice for once! Walking through my local shopping centre in Ballymun yesterday, I saw this notice:


In 2012 Ballymun Market will celebrate traditional market festivals including Beataine, LĂșnasa Samhain & Nollaig. If you are a local community group involved in singing, acting, music, art, dancing or other entertainment displays, Ballymun Market would like to work with you. We have a limited budget for each festival which is available to those community groups who participate.


Seeing this really gladdened my heart. I think this is exactly what patriotism and the celebration of our national identity should look like. It should not be restricted to pride in international sporting events and Nobel prize winners and chart-topping rock stars. It should be rooted in the rhythms and routines of our everyday life, and in things-- festivals and customs and traditions and institutions-- that are distinctively Irish. National identity is one area where it is absolutely essential to be backward-looking.

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