Monday, December 05, 2011

The three cultural traditions of Ulster

"I do not wonder the Gospel runs so swiftly in these parts. The people in general have the finest natural tempers which I ever knew; they have the softness and courtesy of the Irish, the seriousness of the Scots and the openness of the English" - John Wesley, from The Journal of the Rev John Wesley, April 1767

#alttext# We can dispute the characteristics he describes, but it's clear from this excerpt that John Wesley fully understood the triple cultural blend (of Irish, English and Scottish) which makes up the people of Ulster. If only our present-day beloved media and public institutions would take a leaf out of his book - get rid of their 'Troubles-tinged' * political glasses and stop perpetuating the "two tribes" political stereotype as if it is the only viewpoint. More about this in a future posting.

* 'Troubles-tinged' is great expression I heard first from a friend recently, whose identity I will keep anonymous. I don't want him to think I am claiming it as my own.