Not every country has its “St Paddy’s Day”

Not quite St Patrick’s Day

Ireland’s national celebration of St Patrick’s Day sees a feast of Irish culture that has vast numbers of people flooding into the country, bedecked in shamrock’s and green leprechaun hats and, around the world, international monuments, from the Sydney Opera House to the Pyramids of Egypt, bathed in green light. Irish culture is on show, with dance, music, food and fashion. Every country has at least one national day. But, they’re not quite celebrated in the same way.

Recent years have seen Irish society change to a spectacular melting pot of nations. Among the most populous non-Irish national communities are Brazilians, Italians, Lithuanians, Polish, Romanians and Spanish. “Home Thoughts From Abroad” is a six-part mini-series for Dublin Community Television, that opens a window on the cultures of these countries, and examines how those communities in Ireland, manage the balance of integrating, while keeping their cultures alive in their own families.

“In Ireland we have St Patrick’s Day,” explained Declan, who is producing the series. “That provides a showcase for our music, dance, food, drink and literature. It’s a party that it seems the whole world joins in with. It’s not the same for most other countries. National days are often military parades, celebrating independence from one or another imperial power. Another aspect is that we are an island. In larger countries – such as Italy – there is a strong sense of regionalism. The culture of Puglia, for example, is very different from that of Tuscany.”

The series is funded under the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland’s ‘Sound and Vision’ programme, It looks at areas such as music, dance, food and language and how they are expressed by ex-patriots here in Ireland. It is due to hit screens in 2023.