Ireland, Rick Steves, Kieran O'hare discussed on Travel with Rick Steves


The traditions of Ireland are doing better than ever. In fact, the old Celtic language that had to be hidden from the colonial rulers is now a required course in school. The Irish language is so close to our hearts and it's an expression of what we stand for as Irish people, coming up will also hear how the 18th century Ellen pipes a uniquely Irish type of bagpipe or making a comeback. Illinois is a funny word, it's an Irish word for elbow, and it is the most complex form of bagpipe in the world, and will share a bit of the teasing that's part of the crack you might find at a lively Irish pump. Because we've been oppressed and ruled for so long. We kind of had to make fun of ourselves. And the Irish are known for being good storytellers too. Remember that time at the hurling championship, Muhammad Ali wants the final once in our prime minister turned to him and said, would you like to be out there with a stick Muhammad, and he said I'd hate to be out there without them. It's an all Irish hour ahead on travel with Rick Steves. Stay with us. In Ireland, they call it the crack. Coming up on this all Irish edition of travel with Rick Steves. We get a taste of the ribbing and the friendly banter that you might encounter in the pubs of Ireland from a couple of friends who live in the rival counties of Kerry and cork. And musician Kieran O'Hare tells us about the wind instruments that keep Irish traditions breathing, like the ill and pipes and the tin whistle. If there's one thing everyone in Ireland can agree on, it's that the Irish really have a way with words. Let's start with a look at the eloquence that springs from their original Celtic language. He grew up speaking Irish as his first language on the scenic dingle Peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. His family has run the local dingle music shop for years, where folk musicians have often gathered for gem Sessions. Just down the street, there are also owns bar. It's also a music venue. He just reopened it a few months ago after a lengthy pandemic closure. Dara, welcome back to travel with Rick Steves consortium and so live gurgle here and so I'm saying a hi, how are you all today? It's a pleasure to be here and thank you for having me. I'm thankful you speak English too. Say that again and what you just said and falter row of Gillette, good idea not sure how she only asked him. There are how many people on the planet do you think could understand what you just said? I'd say about a million people give or take. There are probably about a 130,000 people in Ireland who actually speak the Irish language, but they're probably upwards of a million to do a good comprehension of the Irish language. It has gone less up to the time of the famine and after the family had a mass emigration and mass debts in the Irish language for a lot of it died, and in the last 20 to 25 years as when a huge revival of the Irish language, now we have great grand someplace for people to speak the Irish language. So a million people understand Gaelic now is the number going up or going down. The numbers going off definitely is going the right direction. It's a very slow and steady pace, but there are great incentives in place for people to learn the Irish language. Now, if you're doing your leaving certificate, which is the equivalent of your finishing school, you get an extra 10% on your points for your educational system. If you do through the Irish language, they favor you if you speak iron if I were you in high education on the island of Ireland. That's correct. Because the practical person in me says, why bother to learn a language that only a million people speak when you can learn English? What is it that drives a person to speak a language that only for centuries it's been down the Irish language has been we've been told that we can't be Irish we can speak the Irish language whereas now we have a chance to express ourselves and the Irish language is so close to our hearts and it's an expression of what we stand for as Irish people, which is why it's such an important part of our history. So it's an assertion of being Irish. Absolutely. It's proud of being Irish and it's just right to have that language. Totally not really and, again, because it's not vastly spoken. It's like having a wrong private language in some respects. Which can be very traveler wants to hear Irish spoken, what part of Ireland would you go to? A variety of pockets of Ireland and they're called glass areas and the Irish for an Irish speaking area. So an English I would say Gale tech speaking region literally precisely is literally translators and dingle is one of those areas. Now are these subsidized by the government so that people are sort of having an easier time economically there you live the traditional ways. There are grants given to schools to encourage the Irish language and they're also grants given to local communities in order to have language programs so on and so forth a lot of people participate in those. So the central government in Dublin is encouraging this, absolutely. And it's effective what they're doing. It's widely encouraged and again, the Irish language is unlike past centuries it's now cool again. So this is a natural revival for the Irish language, which is great. Good. It's interesting to me when I go to Ireland that I'm so charmed by the gift of gap. We all know about the gift of gab, but the gift of gab really in a nicer way to put it, I think, is the art of conversation. Now help me out on this. Because my theory is when you speak to an Irish man who speaks Gaelic as his first language and speaking to you in English, he thinks with a template, a linguistic template of Gaelic, and then he's translating it literally and talking to you in English, but he's more interesting and entertaining in his English language because it's got this Gaelic kind of structure. Does that make any sense to you? I understand what you're saying, but I think that the Irish are just natural born talkers. So whether they speak Gaelic or English precisely, I know people who are born with English and people who are born with Irish and they can tell a story as good as the next fella. I think it's the love of storytelling and the art of storytelling. I mean storytelling dates back to the very early times in Ireland and were big into where Irish jokes and Irish culture and like my sense is you go to a pub and it's driven not by a screen with a sports event, but by people talking to each other. That's something I love about Ireland and no disrespect to the U.S. I love it over here and I do a lot of things here but I walk into a barrier and there's 50 flat screen televisions in front of me and everybody's staring at them. You walk into a bar in Ireland and more often than not there is no television there's Irish music in this interaction with a beer in front of you and there's a great sign on a pub and Northern Ireland that says no Wi-Fi please talk to each other. And that's a perfect example of stuff. And as a traveler, what a great untrained getting into connecting with the locals. Absolutely. Is it right that you'd better sit at the bar than at a table if you want to speak absolutely. That's a practical tip. You sit at the bar you walk into an example because it's my hometown, but you're walking and there's an awful lot sitting at the bar account and he's the best guy to talk to because he knows everybody in the room who's a tourist wears to go what the weather is going to be like tomorrow, and even if he doesn't know he'll lie about it. And it's all part of the entertainment. Entertainment. He's like, he's like an entertainment machine..

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