Beannachtai na Feile Padraig. Happy Saint Patrick's Day.

I have had a blast this weekend, and it’s all thanks to St Patrick. When he was 16 years old he was a slave in Ireland. Six years later he finally escaped and did not return to Ireland until many years later, then as a missionary. St Patrick was an essential man when converting the Irish citizens to Christianity.


During St Patrick’s Day people all over Ireland arrange big parades celebrating Irish culture. Here in Dublin there’s also every year a huge festival with tons of things to do. I’ve been listening to some great Irish music and street performances. The festival is a week long and everyone who’s visiting are so friendly and happy! You won’t go an hour without talking to a person you’ve never met before. That hardly ever happen in Sweden, I don’t know if it’s because they’re shy or just not that interested in other people.

Of course it’s not required to wear green clothes, but everyone is happy to do! I didn’t have anything green to wear, but it wasn’t hard at all to find green clothes in Dublin. I’ve also purchased a flag with a picture of a shamrock which is an Irish symbol.

People go to long lengths to transform their cities so it looks like green paint bottles have exploded over it. Some even color the rivers green, I think it’s both crazy and hilarious at the same time!

I don’t think we have anything close to this in Sweden. The only time we get a little patriotic is when the Swedish hockey or football team plays a championship game.

Ireland is a country with such rich culture, and it’s really great to be a part of it, if only just for a few weeks. Nothing could be better with being here right now, except from it not being leap year. An old lady told me the most amazing and cute story of how she got engaged, and she allowed me to share it with you. As you probably know, leap year occurs every fourth year. In Ireland it wasn’t accepted for women to propose to their man. When St. Bridget one day went to St. Patrick she complained over this, and St. Patrick gave women one day every forth year when she could. That day is February 29th.

When Lily, the old lady was 20 years old, she knew that Harry was the man of her dreams. But he never proposed. They both lived in the UK at the time. But he somehow he agreed to coming with her to Ireland, and then she popped the question and they’ve been living there happily married ever since!

 So if you have met your prince charming, don’t hesitate to come here!


B'fhearr liom liomanaid. I would prefer lemonade

Then hurrah for an Irish stew
That will stick to your belly like glue.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when dining in Ireland. I knew that I couldn’t depend on fast food restaurants like Mc Donald’s everyday, because I had to attend some dinner parties, in classic Irish environments. I consider myself lucky to not be here during the oyster festival, because quite frankly oysters scare me a lot. But I’ve run across a lot of seafood, which I’ve been told have recently become very popular to include in their cooking. I don’t speak for everybody in Sweden but from what I know, oysters and seafood (except from fish) isn’t cooked a lot back home.  It’s been hard to get an answer when I’ve asked people about some traditional Irish dishes. They don’t have an Irish version of meatballs or a dish that when you think of Ireland, immediately pops up in your head. But something almost everyone told me was the most Irish thing you could eat is an Irish stue, usually made with lamb. I had never eaten lamb in Sweden, and I’ve been told many times that it tastes like “a cardigan” which means I think, that it’s dry. Now afterwards I can’t really tell you if that’s how lamb tastes, because I’ve never really had a cardigan stew for dinner. But I can say that I really enjoyed the food that I got.


It’s very normal to go to pubs in the evenings, and the most famous Irish thing to order is a Guinness beer or Irish coffee. Not that I have tried it for myself, the Irish drinking age is 18 just like in Sweden. But a pub isn’t just a place where you drink. It’s a place where family and friends can meet and relax. I don’t think we have pubs that families go to together, it’s more friends that go together if you’re in your twenties. When families gather together in Sweden it’s more common to get a cup of coffee together.


Slainte! (cheers)



Ni lia tir na nos. Every country has its own customs

If you are by nature a sensitive person, the Irish way of making jokes may offend you. At first I didn’t understand why they where making fun out of me all of the time. But soon I realized that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, it’s simply how they make jokes and it is not personal at all. And Irish prejudice about Sweden is that we’re not so good at making jokes, but I don’t think they found me boring and humorless, at least I hope so!


Something that I noticed pretty quick after my arrival was that compared to Sweden, some things are not socially accepted to discuss. This is because a big majority of the Irish population is both religious and conservative. Mentioning for example abortion is almost a taboo, which you certainly don’t speak about. Probably the worst thing ever to say when visiting Ireland is that the Republic of Ireland is a part of the UK. It’s like saying Sweden and Finland are the same country, and who wouldn’t object to that?


On another hand, Irish people are extremely polite when it comes to conversations. And they never act in a way that could be seen as arrogance. To stay honest and humble is key! Also always remember to keep eye contact when greeting someone. This Irish quality is something I appreciate a lot, because I feel that sometimes in Sweden you can get the feeling that people are just nice and polite because they have to. Saying “nice to meet you” may mean without you knowing, the opposite.


As most of my close friends know, I’m pretty good at making a fool out of my self. But with this story, I would like to say that if it happened in Sweden, people wouldn’t think I was doing anything strange at all. So please tell me in the comment section what you think.        

Ok... So naturally, I’m the complete opposite to a time optimist. My first week here I had an appointment in Dublin. Being the typical Swede that I am, I got there with plenty of time to spear. But the time of the appointment came and went, and the person I was supposed to meet did not arrive. 15 minutes late, I saw him walking into the building as if he had all the time in the world. Finally when he arrived, and asked me if I was ready to start the meeting. “Yes, I’ve been here for about a half an hour” with a smile, so he would understand that I wasn’t mad at him. The look he gave me then is almost impossible to explain, but it was very clear to me that he found it very odd that I was early.




Ticead amhain go dti an Dublin, le do thoil. One ticket to Dublin please

I’m going away for 3 weeks and I couldn’t be more exited! Do you want to know what my final destination is? I’ll give you a few clues.

It’s the country with green plains, shamrocks, Guinness beer and lepricons.

You guessed right! I’m going to Dublin, Ireland. And during this few weeks you’ll be able to follow my journey and also my three friends’ journeys in other countries on this blog. Exploring the culture in Ireland is something that has intrigued me for several years, and the fact that I now finally have the chance to fulfil this dream is truly amazing. I’ve chosen three main subjects to write about, and they are Irish etiquette and customs, food and drinks and Irish traditions.

I have to go and pack now, my plane to Dublin leaves in 2, 5 hours!


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