I’d completely forgotten it was St Patrick’s Day today until I got into work and one of my colleagues was wearing a bright green shirt and matching tie. It actually looked quite good – and he isn’t even red-headed!
I enjoy St Patrick’s Day. The wowsers probably say it involves too much alcohol (and it probably does), but it seems to me to be a better model for a national day than most. Certainly compared to our own very conflicted celebration that is only a celebration if you don’t think very hard about the anniversary that we are actually commemorating. St Patrick’s Day is a straightforward celebration of intrinsic Irishness that anyone who can claim a vague relationship to the country can join.
Of course Australia is full of people of irish background; and as a national stereotype, we do love a drink (although that’s not nearly as true as it used to be), so it is a perfect celebration for us. No commitment needed except the vague willingness to wear green.
My father tells me that I have one thirty-second Irish ancestry, so I figured that was enough for a quick drink down the pub after work today.