March is one of my favorite months of the year. It’s not because the temperatures start warming up and it seems spring is in the air. No, it’s because every weekend is a celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
Being Irish, this is one of the proudest moments I can ever have. People everywhere in the country start wearing green and act like they can find this island nation on a map. They then proceed to drink until the green beer comes back up again. It is perfectly alright for people to dress up as leprechauns, talk in fake accents and wear outrageous outfits, because stereotyping the Irish is acceptable. It is also acceptable to reinforce those stereotypes, by drinking into oblivion. But why can’t other nationalities be more like the Irish?
Not a single other nationality is OK with masses of people poking fun at their image for the sake of a holiday. Right now you are probably thinking about Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for the Fifth of Mayonnaise). But do people walk around in sombreros speaking in Mexican accents? Not unless they want a lawsuit, puto.
Can you imagine any nationality on the planet being OK with an entire country dressing up in the worst stereotypes and holding massive gatherings? I will not throw out my ideas for costumes (I don’t want people stealing my great ideas) but picture for example, if there were St. Patrick’s Day equivalents of Italians, Germans, Asians and African Americans. The litmus test on this one is: Is it normal to find a politician or public figure participating in such a festivity? Not if they feel like keeping the public happy with them.
St. Patrick’s Day is not a vicious stereotype turned into a holiday. There are elements of truth in the Irish drinking stereotype, sure, but it is more of a celebration of the Irish culture. It is not racist. It is not a perversion of Ireland’s heritage. It gets people thinking about the hardships the country has endured and produces a more positive view overall. That, and Americans love an excuse to binge drink. Perhaps every nationality should be as understanding as the Irish.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!