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Irish in Korea

Saint Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2014

 

When you live in Korea long enough expecting public holidays from home to fall on their usual day or date becomes a waste of time. Really. Anyone American will be familiar with Thanksgiving falling on a Saturday, and even the Superbowl the night after. Irish, like myself, are now most familiar with a Saturday Saint Patrick’s Day, and yesterday was no different from other years (except for last year and the year before when Paddy’s Day actually fell on the weekend…which kind of ruins my point), the day of Ireland and it’s ‘ness was transformed from its early weekday schedule to a much more alcoholic friendly Saturday.


Letter from Ireland, August 2013

Dunboyne, Ireland
16 August, 2013

Dear Korea

Negativity is an often attractive topic. It’s in our nature to be critical, to find issue with what is at fault, and even when we are happy we still find reasons to complain. This isn’t exclusive to any particular situation or condition, everyone does it in some manner or form. There may be some explanation to it, but that is not my aim today.

I wanted to write today about something which has being an increasing source of bother for some time, and since I am now in Ireland I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on it from a particular standpoint.


St Patrick’s Day in Seoul, 2013

If you haven’t heard already, I’m chairman of the Irish Association of Korea, and every year around this time we organise a small get together. You might have heard of it, we call it Saint Patrick’s Day.

I won’t blether on too much about it as my brain is exhausted at the simplest mention of the event, however give this link a click and you’ll find all the info you need about the event.


Just Saying by Dave Tynan

This video came my way the other day. It’s a stark reminder of what happens to those of us Irish people who are dealing with emigration, one the social issues among young people in Ireland leading into 2013 (for example, I have four brothers and of the five of us only two live in Ireland). It is safe to say it really sunk in here at If I Had  Minute to Spare towers. I’m not the only one – a friend back in Ireland posted on Facebook that this video actually made her cry. I wasn’t far behind her.


Letter From Korea, August 2012

Suwon
August 24, 2012

Dear Ireland

I’ve been kicking myself a little lately because even with so much free time on my hands, I don’t seem to be getting the same amount of work done that I would like to be getting done. In a recent post I ranted about having too many distractions and found it difficult to scratch things off my list. Things have gotten a little better – I think – and maybe it was the rant that allowed me to get much off my chest. Still productivity, or lack of, bothers me still.


I Live in Yeongtong-dong

I live in Yeongtong-dong in a normal suburban existence. There is nothing that stands out from where I live and how I live from all the other millions of other semi-bored suburbanites who populate the planet. My suburb is different but there is nothing that stands out. I like it this way.

If you are reading this from another country many things will amaze you, as Korea can be a visually amazing place. In Yeongtong-dong there are a lot of visually amazing sights, but as I have lived here for some time they have lost their wonder and they are only what surround me on a daily basis. They are normal. I like it this way.


Letter from Korea, November 2011

Suwon, Korea
22/11/2011

Dear Ireland,

A few months ago I was elected as the new Chairman of the Irish Association of Korea. I suppose I had it coming to me. So, what about it?

The Irish Association of Korea has been around for over ten years and primarily seeks to promote Ireland and Irishness in Korea. We do have a few other mandates, such as fundraising for a memorial to honour the Irish who died in the Korean War, but essentially we try our best to promote Ireland as a country rich in culture which is distinct from the many other countries busy promoting their cultural identity in Korea.

As I’ve written about the lack of general knowledge on Ireland in Korea before, I won’t go into it now. I think it would be appropriate to give a little information on what I’m hoping to do for the promotion of Ireland over the next year, aside from hosting the usual events such as Paddy’s Day and our annual céilí.


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