|Source:||A Pocket Guide to Northern Ireland [.mobi (Kindle), .epub (iPad, etc.)]|
|Author:||War and Navy Departments, Washington, D.C.|
THE Irish love to talk. Conversation is the most highly perfected form of entertainment. Although class distinctions are important in Northern Ireland—the large landowners, professional men, industrialists, tradesmen, farmers, laborers, all accept their allotted places in the social set-up—there is a democracy of self-expression. No Irishman is too poor or too humble to offer an opinion, and every Irishman expects to be listened to.
Argument for its own sake is a Scotch-Irish speciality, and arguing politics might almost be called a national sport. The pub is the principal forum. You may be deceived by the high temperatures developed in these discussions. The Irish call each other names, accuse each other of the most bizarre irregularities, indulge in wild exaggeration and virulent personal abuse. Listening, you may expect a rousing fist fight at any moment.
Actually this is all part of the fun and the show. In America we don’t hold it against a man because he tells a tall story with a couple of beers under his belt. In Ulster it is quite within the rules of the game to accuse your adversary not only of pig stealing but of actual treason.
A word of warning: your place in these arguments is on the side lines.
|Previous:||The People: Their Customs and Manners|
|Next:||Difference in Language|
This book comprises a selection of articles from the (British) Army Bureau of Current Affairs' WAR and CURRENT AFFAIRS pamphlets, all relating to America and, more particularly, to the relationship between the British and Americans during the Second World War.
"Our enemies are trying to make trouble between the British and the Americans during the war; they are certain to try it after they have been defeated, in the hope of escaping once more from the consequences of their crimes against humanity. It is our business to understand and work with the United States now and in peace-time; that means for us all at least to like and understand the Americans we meet."