Archive for April 28th, 2005

Welcome Packs

Dear Foreign Family,

********Cead Mile Failte! – Wilkommen – Bienvenue – Bienvenido – Benvenuto – (Add Mandarin greeting here)*******

As the chair of the Mid-Ireland Residents Against Racism Committee, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome you to our humble and verdant land. A member of our committee indicated that there was an immigrant family living at this address, so in the spirit of deep solidarity and mutual respect, we are sending you a welcome pack which we hope will help you to integrate fully in our community.

Coming to live in another country can be a stressful affair, so by way of this short note, we would like to draw your attention to some voluntary guidance we have provided on matters that will make your permanent stay in Ireland a mutually enriching experience.

******Background Information******

Languages

Few sights are more appealing than to hear how our once bi-lingual nation has become a veritable Tower of Babble. It is permissible to speak one of our two national languages on this island. Either Irish, our native tongue, or English, are equally acceptable under most circumstances. It is advisable that any interaction with British Crown Forces or representatives of the Police Service of Northern Ireland should be conducted in Irish. Should you wish to learn Irish, please attend our ‘Ranganna Gaeilge for Immigrants’ Dé Mairt agus Dé Ceadaoin sa Chulturlann.

Few sounds are more heartening to our ears than the sound of a foreign face speaking with a native accent! 12 year old Filipino girl Margarita Fernandez is one example of a person who has caught the ‘accent bug’, and now speaks in a heavily accented Mid-Ireland vernacular. Do not be surprised if you hear her greet you with the local salutation ‘How’s she cuttin’ boy!’

Food

We value very much the diversity and deep repository of cuisine-related knowledge that the arrival of so many ethnic minorities brings to the people of Ireland. In this vein, we would like to invite you to prepare some of the dishes from your native lands and bring them along to the Ethnic Minority Bake Off, Dé Satharn sa Chulturlann arís.

Religion

Whatever the concerns you may have had before deciding to come here related to whether or not your religion would be accepted, we would like to reassure you that in Ireland we cherish all children of the nation equally, Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Mohammedan (pbuh) and Dissenter. Whatever your choice of religious worship, rest assured that all are equally approved of and protected.

Sport

Few sights are more bracing for the spirit than to see young black, Chinese and Indian boys or girls playing Gaelic Football and Camogie. Ireland is truly a multicultural society where the colour of your skin does not matter.

Drink

After a hearty afternoon cheering on one’s team at a football match, it is a common custom in Ireland to partake in a few alcoholic beverages at the local public house. We would cherish your company at this most hallowed and convivial of Irish cultural exchanges. (Note to Muslims: A wide range of non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Note to Orthodox Jews: Some Irish whiskies may be indeed suitable for the purposes of your alcoholic intake. Please consult the publican who will only be too happy to advise.)

Travel

All motorists, regardless of colour or provenance, are held in equal esteem on our roads. We tend to drive cars with steering wheels on the right, but if you choose to drive one with a steering wheel on the left, we respect and value your choice to so do.

*******And Finally*********

Once again, on behalf of the entire side of the community, I would like to extend a warm, fraternal and hearty welcome to you all. Lovely to see you!!

Hugh

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¡Hala Madrid!

Sid Lowe in The Guardian is perhaps the most perceptive and entertaining commentator around on Spanish football and its personalities, providing an English football fan’s perspective on La Liga. This week he writes on Real Madrid’s griping indignation at Barcelona’s ascendancy.

‘ ‘And then there’s Real Madrid, football’s gentlemen’s club, every bit as convinced of its superiority and utterly insistent on its godly behaviour – determined to prove itself holier than thou (except for that bit about not coveting thy neighbour’s best player of course). A great institution of great humility; one that humbly celebrated its centenary with a trip to see the King, the Pope and the United Nations. Oh, and by lobbying Uefa to ban all other football, all over the world, on their birthday.”

Inspiration Flagging

Spent the last hour struggling to find something to write. I have given up, but in my search for inspiration I found this short poem by Ogden Nash:

REFLECTION ON INGENUITY

Here’s a good rule of thumb:
Too clever is dumb.

Maybe tomorrow.


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