Monday, February 11, 2008

Friends in similar places

I had a thought arise from the issue of new blood and how much and who. I read a good article once about if there are so many Polish (etc) people in Ireland, how come I'm not friends with any of them? I suppose it challenged (but in a nice way) our heterogenous (if that's the right word) society - how many of us went to school with, college with and still socialise with the same white, probably Catholic people we all grew up with? I don't exactly, but I've never kissed anyone from - oh my god, it's true! I think an English person is as exotic as my kissing history goes! Shocking. Of course, when I grew up, Phil Lynott was the only black person in Dublin - it's all different now, but how much has anyone's social scene changed?

I wondered if we should make an effort to have a different voice, a Polish or Chinese voice on the blog, and how that would sound. Would the commenting still flow as amusingly? Would we still get each other and how would it affect our group nostalgia orgies?

I often regret the lack of friends from other countries my daughter has. I'm hoping that will change when she starts in the Project school, one reason I want her to go there. I remember her meeting a Nigerian Irish student of mine when she was a small baby, and her eyes just boggled out of her head! I was well embarrassed, it was so obvious she'd never seen a black person before.

I don't know how to end this rumination. I suppose it's an open ended question I'm pondering.


  1. I'm waiting with considerable anticipation for the day that some of that foreign blood makes it way into our national soccer and rugby teams. Can you picture the scene of some big black lad with ginger hair and freckles bating it down the line in the new Lansdowne Road to win the Six Nations.

    Maybe we should cryogenically freeze Michael O'Muircheartaigh and thaw him out for the day that Mbeki Kudosovic is lining out at wing forward for the Galway hurlers in Croker.

    By the way - Jo, if you want to expand your snogging to a Northsider let me know, I know people who know people who could sort ya out.....

  2. I thought about that before. I have close English, European (incl Polish) and American friends. I knew a black Irish man years ago but in last 15 years I have no non-white friends. But I don't think anyone should have to find ethnic friends just for the sake of being multi-cultural. I hark back to my friend who moved here from London and found it not multi-cultural enough, which to me read, too white, i.e just as racist as too black etc.

    I think the 49£ visa should require a high level of humour intelligence, so if you happen to be from a humour-deficient culture, it's no entry.

  3. "I think the 49£ visa should require a high level of humour intelligence, so if you happen to be from a humour-deficient culture, it's no entry"

    Hasn't stopped any of us....

  4. I'm lucky that I have friends who are Polish, Jordanian, British and others here. Well, the Jordanian has gone back to Jordan, but she reads the blog! :-) I can ask one of them if they would like to join...

  5. Of course I never meant to suggest that we should enlist an ethnic writer just to be politically correct! It's more the feeling that as a group, or personally, in my own awfully small social circle, we don't represent the demographic of modern Ireland very realistically iykwIm.

    Erm, yeah, cheers for that Tib, but I'm sure I've stretched to a Nothsider in the past.

    What about the O'Hailpín brothers, the ones from Cork and the South Sea Islands?

  6. It's an interesting rumination Jo and so nice to see Tib offering to pimp you to his Northside brethren.

    I have one Polish co-worker I'm friendly with and outside that? One Romanian friend (lapsed) and........... yeah. That might be it. I do feel bad about that but surely it's the insularity of their communitites here as much as the Paddys stuck with each other in times past and countries far flung.

  7. At home, my global friendships consisted of a few Americans, British and Polish. Over here though I work with and am friendly with people from South Africa, Malaysia, Slovakia and China.

    Similarly to Tib I can't wait until all the new cultures start to spill into sport, Especially rugby!

  8. I think you're right SL, but it must work both ways - I think Tib's pimping them to me, in actual fact but it's a sweet sentiment alright, I was touched. :)

  9. I have a good friend who is Romanian and I know a Lovely Polish girl, I have a few english friends and a Mexican mummy friend from the montessori! My Polish friend and my Polish Hairdresser both said they don't have irish friends, irish girls are ealous of how beautiful they are, irish men just want to shag them!
    I find friendships with people with a different life experience fasinating and I have learned a lit about myself from my friendship with my Romanian friend, her blunt honesty is so refreshing!