Monday, March 14, 2011

Craic Agus Ceol

March the 17th is St Patrick's Day in Ireland; a four day festival of fun, drink, Guinness and of course, the parade. A display of colorful dressed people, flags and shamrocks, everything that symbolize “Irishness”. The whole country joins in a huge big party. Will you come and join us?

Well if you actually knew that this particular day had any significance in Ireland perhaps you would. But what if you are not Irish and you live in another country, would you?

That is because very few people know anything about the public or national holidays of another EU/European country. Every year loads of tourists flock to Dublin of course, but imagine if the Parade and the events here in Ireland or parts of them, would be broadcasted in all EU countries.

Wouldn’t that promote the events in Dublin and more people would fly over to take part? What better advertisement to have, than reaching out to the nationals of the countries nearest to you, show them what is currently happening in your country. A city break for fun, drink and cultural events and with so many low cost air lines in Europe, the perfect get away for a few days!

Similar events from other EU countries could be broadcasted all over Europe. What about the Patra, Xanthi or Naoussa carnivals in Greece, the Venice carnival and so on! In that way, not only we promote tourism within EU, something that we need now with the loss of so many jobs due the current economic crisis. 

But we also learn a bit more about each other, our culture and lifestyle, national holidays, share the events that happen in our cities. We create a common interest, a common culture and sense of belonging. It does not have to be a full length documentary, a few clips in our national broadcasters’ news would be sufficient.

We could stimulate the interest of our citizens with something different to relate the European project with. Apart from finances, banking and trade, there could be culture, fun and showing off your heritage, thus placing the foundations of unity and solidarity among the different populations of Europe. So why isn't this initiative happening yet?

Happy St Patrick's Day to all!!

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