Sunday, March 25, 2012

(You can't fool) The children of globalisation

According to some famous T-Rex lyrics, you can't fool the children of the revolution. If you couldn't do it back in 1972, you certainly can't do it to our furure generation who are growing to be culturally diverse adults - the children of globalisation. Or can you?

I don't know how it only came to my attention recently, but there are a hell of a lot of multi-national children out here in Ireland!
Amongst Aviva's extended family and playground friends are the most interesting co-productions of at least two nationalities you can think of. Due to Celtic Tiger years, the most seen mix of genes would be Irish-Polish. However, thinking of all the parents and children I've met so far, I can list you any combination from Irish-Italian to South-African-Austrian-Irish.

Now, how come there are so many mixed race children in Ireland?
And do you think their future life will be easier, due to superior language skills, or only more complicated, through cultural clashes that their parents may never have experienced when they grew up?

One explanation for multiculural Ireland might just be a general misinterpretation of mine. As you all know it's a very small country with a population of just 4.6 million, most of which live in the general Dublin area (apparently where most of the jobs are...). As we live in this melting pot too, it's hard for me to judge what's going on "down the country" and it may just seem as if there are so many different cultures coming together in Ireland, when in fact there are still many purely Irish families in Offaly with six or more kids.

But isn't it also an accepted truth that since the Great Famine the Irish spread out (their seed) all over the world and continue to do so? Expressions like "Irish Twins" wouldn't have found their way into Idiomatic dictionaries if it wasn't for the US-Americans who mocked Irish-Catholic immigrant families for their fertility in the 1800s. And how come there are Irish pubs in every country of the world? It has also become a tradition amongst young Irish people to go travelling for a year after their Leaving Cert and in many cases to bring back more than only a souvenir from a foreign country (I'm talking about a girl or boyfriend obviously).

So, what will the future bring for our multicultural children? Experts predict that in a few thousand years there won't be such a thing as racial differences anymore, as we are all going to "melt" into one big race so to speak. On the positive side, this would eventually mean an end to racism. On the negative side, due to increasing globalisation there will be a flood of apparent possibilities that even our current generation is struggling to cope with. Being a binational family certainly has many positives, such as bringing up a child bilingually without much of an effort. But what is a young family to do in a recession-ridden country, where only one of them has work here and the other one is offered some somewhere else..?

On a totally unrelated matter I would like to mention here that Robert Sheehan was on the Late Late last Friday. For all the unfortunate ones amongst you who missed it (just like myself), you can watch a repeat on the link provided. Thankfully, he is even the first guest on the show. Just listen carefully to the tune he walks on to and remember my post on sharp dressed Irish men. Do you think we're kindred spirits perhaps ;-)?


  1. Hi Julia, I loved this post. Very interesting. I am not from Dublin but in my town there would be a quite a few multi-national children. I know families that are Irish/Danish, Irish/Phillipino, Irish/German and Irish/Polish. I'm sure I know more mixes but are not coming to mind at the moment. My daughter is fully Irish but I doubt her children will be. Check out my latest blog. I have linked you for the Sunshine Award :)

    1. Hi Nessa! Yeah, just saw it there :). Thank you! It's really mad, isn't it? Apparently even Barrack Obama is Irish to some extent. You wouldn't be able to tell by the colour of his ;-). You mentioned that you missed Gok on the Late Late the other day, no? I think you can watch the show again over RTE real player. What town are you from actually? Dundalk?