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Archive for March 17th, 2009

St. Patrick’s Day, Japan

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

I don’t think I ever celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Northern Ireland.  For most of my life it was not a national holiday.  I have no fond feelings of the day as it was a religious holiday that highlighted the divide in the country.

It’s much easier to celebrate this living in Japan.  When I tell people here that I am from Northern Ireland they assume that I am Irish.  I don’t often try to correct them as even I have difficulty in deciding if I am British or Irish.  To have to choose from either of those national identities feels wrong.  I am Northern Irish and a child of the Troubles.

The first time I ever attended a St. Patrick’s Day party was in San Diego.  This was also the only time I have ever eaten corned beef and cabbage.  Last year I attended my first St. Patrick’s Day parade – though this was in Tokyo.  This year Marty took the day off work and we went for a walk.  We won’t be eating potatoes, wearing green, drinking Guinness, or singing sorrowful songs.   Those are not the things that make us Irish, no matter what the Americans tell you.

Spring in Minami Senju

Spring in Minami Senju