Sunday, June 25, 2017

What it Means to be Irish

Bloody Sunday is one of the most prominent events in my mind when thinking about the Troubles in Ireland. Bloody Sunday was the civil rights march that turned violent and deadly, killing multiple people, at the hands of the British army. 

The outcome from this event has evolved the Irish people into very passionate people. Now, I say very passionate because from the readings we have learned that a common characteristic of the Irish is passion but the troubles have evolved them into very passionate people. I believe this is what it means to be Irish. Fighting for something bigger than you is remarkable and is what several people we have met in Ireland are doing and they’re doing it with passion.

After meeting Irishmen that had family involved in Bloody Sunday and seeing all the work and time they have dedicated to the cause, opened my eyes to their passion and heart that lives inside them. These men and women have sought justice from persecution for their loved ones. They have also built a museum so the neighborhood, community and country will never forget the incident that happened in 1972.

Instead of picking a quote from a class reading I chose to pick a quote from our study abroad trip. The photo on the right is a photo of a wall I took in Derry on June 21, 2017. This photo is from a home that had been torn down but was previously someones home during the civil war movement. The wall states "you are now entering Free Derry". This wall was to represent a sector of the city that was choosing not to comply with the unjust laws of that time. This wall was to indicate that this particular area of Derry was free.

This wall and this quote symbolizes the passion that the people of Derry had and still do have for a free society. It shows that the people of this area felt strongly about the issues of the past and the current issues at hand, they felt that they could make a difference and nothing was going to get in their way. They used the passion inside them to never give up on getting equal rights for themselves, their families, their neighbors and their country.
Some benefits from studying aboard would be the influence the people from the visting country will have on you. For me, seeing people working so hard was touching. They were not just going through the motions, they knew they had a purpose and they were doing everything they could to share their purpose with the world. This has inspired me to find my purpose in life and once found, share it with the world.

From this study abroad experience I have also learned that everyone is fighting their own battles, so be patient and really get to know people. Because if you're lucky they will wow you with the amount of passion they have inside them just dying to be let free. Places like the Ulster University are swarming with staff that are all working to do their best for their community and their country. It's so refreshing to see people work with such passion and enthusiasm and it was a pleasure to get to know them. 

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