Studies & Degrees in Irish Culture
Choose where you would like to study Irish Culture:IndiaThe United States
When exploring the culture of Ireland, we should look at the distinctive cultural norms of the country, its language and people. Ireland is the third biggest island on the European continent and the 20th biggest one in the world. It is separated from Great Britain by the North Channel, and one of the distinctive cultural traits of the region is farming – historical evidence proves that this activity is deeply enrooted in the Irish culture. Cattle used to represent a major source of status and income, and this has not changed a lot during the years, with modern cattle population counting up to 6.7 million.
Another interesting aspect of Irish culture is literature – the country has made a real contribution to the field of literature with various works (in English and Irish). The more significant pieces were written in English, whilst some more famous contributors to Irish literature and culture include Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Bram Stoker, and others. Furthermore, there have been four Irish noble prize winners - Samuel Beckett, George Bernard Shaw, Yeats, and Seamus Haney. Although their works have been presented in English, the country’s oldest literature is written in Irish.
When talking about Irish culture, we should also mention their traditions. What is interesting there is that old pagan traditions are still present in today’s Irish calendar, and they are mixed with the Christian traditions introduced later. Christmas, for example, is celebrated in a way that encompasses many local customs, which do not seem to have much connection with Christianity.
As a final point, we can mention sports, which also are an integral part of Irish culture. Games like soccer, hurling, rugby are all enrooted in the Irish people’s culture, but most popular of all is Gaelic football. This type of football consists of two teams of fifteen players, and a goal can be scored by kicking or striking the ball with your hand into a goal. Similar to rugby, the ball can be carried up the field by carrying it, dropping and toe kicking, or hand passing to teammates.
Here are some of the most distinctive cultural milestones you might be curious to read about:
- Abbey Theatre – located in Dublin, the Abbey is a special theatre founded in 1904. It was the first state-funded theatre in the English speaking world. The theatre is closely associated with the Celtic revival of writers, who were involved in its creation.
- Islands of Ireland – not too many people know that there are many small islands, scattered around the main one, each of which is unique from the rest. Some of them are very good destinations for sport and extreme activities.
- Mead - a fermented beverage made from honey, water and yeast. It is extremely popular in Irish culture.
These are just a few of the many other cultural traits, which you can explore by visiting and travelling around the country.
Personal Qualities and Study Options
There are no special ‘qualities’ you need to possess in order to study and get to know Irish culture. Various opportunities are open to those who are interested in the country, its people, and traditions. All you need is curiosity, an open mind, and willingness to travel and explore. You might be a student, an adult, or a professor – there are a range of options to take a summer course or embark on a program in Irish Cultural studies. Such programs are available mainly at universities and offer a structured approach to studying Irish culture.