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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day the Irish Way: Get Drunk!

My ethnic holiday is an embarrassment. What should we do?

by
Bonnie Ramthun

Bio

March 17, 2014 - 7:00 am

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Saint Patrick’s Day is an outrageous celebration of my Irish heritage. On that day adult Americans of all ethnic backgrounds feel free to wear green derby hats and shamrock necklaces, pack into bars and pubs to drink green beer and, if they’re really serious about celebrating the Irish way, end the day by vomiting and passing out in the gutter.

I’m offended by this, and it has to stop! Okay, just kidding. I don’t care a bit. The Irish are a fully integrated ethnic minority in America and St. Patrick’s Day is proof. You know your heritage is not an issue when you can poke fun at yourself.

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I don’t know how to make the Martin Luther King holiday as genuinely warm, funny, and celebratory as St. Patrick’s Day, but I’d like to try. Just last month a school system had to apologize for serving a lunch of fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon on Martin Luther King Day. How sad that the African-American holiday commemorating such a great man is about grievances and not praise. Why shouldn’t we all celebrate Martin Luther King day with soul food, vibrant African designs and colors in our decorations and celebrations, and a sense of fun and gratitude?

I fear that instead of moving towards celebrating Martin Luther King Day as a positive affirmation of African-American heritage, we’re moving in the other direction. Columbus Day has come under such attack that this brave Italian hero and explorer is accused of genocide and celebrations in his honor are protested. The very word “Christmas” has been banned in some schools. How long before someone wants to ban St. Patrick’s Day?

May this never happen. Long may the green beer flow in the pubs of America on St. Patrick’s Day. May the green derby hats continue to be perched on the heads of all, may the Leprechaun decorations continue to be ridiculous and offensive, and may you always feel free to be Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

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images courtesy Shutterstock: Patryk Kosmider

Bonnie Ramthun lives in Colorado with her husband and children. She's the author of mysteries and thrillers for adults and children. Her middle grade mystery "The White Gates' was a Junior Library Guild premiere selection and was a finalist for the Missouri Truman award. All her novels are available on Amazon.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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"I don’t know how to make the Martin Luther King holiday as genuinely warm, funny, and celebratory as St. Patrick’s Day, but I’d like to try."

A black friend and I were talking about this a few years ago. Our consensus: In a few generations when the average person no longer knows about King, Jr. like he no longer knows about St. Paddy, then King Day will be more about guilt free fun.
23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
"if they’re really serious about celebrating the Irish way, end the day by vomiting and passing out in the gutter."

Thank you for that wonderful description of the Irish way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Your point being that Nothing can insult the Irish? Or what was the point? Sounds exactly like the type of thing said about the Irish immigrants by Protestant bigots of the 1840's in their newspapers, magazines and pulpits. The bigots saw the Irish response. They took political control of the big cities and spit in the eye of their detractors.

YOUR Irish heritage? Lord help us.




23 weeks ago
23 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep, Bonnie's mom was 7/8th Irish. Came over during the potato famine. Peasant. and proud!
20 weeks ago
20 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, for one thing, the militant gays are trying to take over/ruin the parades.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
A wee bit o'funny for the holiday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fvx85hN6kx8

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Why shouldn’t we all celebrate Martin Luther King day with soul food, vibrant African designs and colors in our decorations and celebrations, and a sense of fun and gratitude?"

Because that would be "appropriation" and apparently it's just this side of lynching.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
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