Sunday, 13 November 2016

6 reasons why my kids are more Irish than I'll ever be

My kids are finally starting to understand the concept of multiple nationalities. They know they are Irish, French and Mauritian, but because we live in Ireland, it is clear that they feel Irish first. And there are a few things that made me realise they are more Irish than I'll ever be.

They speak Hiberno-English  

I took me a few years to use typical Irish expressions because I had to get used to the way Irish people talked, but for my kids, it's natural. A few months ago, my 5-year old insisted on buying Actimel in Tesco, something I never bought before but that he had tried at the childminder. And when I asked him why, he just said " 'cos it's nice, like!". And when he was in his "I love to clean everything" phase, he told me "Look, I'm after cleaning the bathroom!"(which, if you don't know, is a typical irishism). Soon, he will be saying "grand", "Thanks a million" and "yer man". And that will be the end of it!!

And also Irish

Trying to to get them to speak French is an everyday battle. But surprisingly, they love learning Irish! My 8 years old is reading a book at the moment, and of course I don't understand anything, but he is able to translate for me! My youngest comes home and starts speaking to me in Irish. It's only a few words and expressions as he's only in Junior Infants, but he seems very interested. I wish they would put more effort into speaking French, but at least I know they enjoy learning a different language, which can only be positive.

They have the accent

My youngest speaks like a Dub, even though we live in Meath. I suspect it's because a lot of young kids have parents who are from Dublin but moved to the area a few years ago. He pronounces the "th" like the Irish, and when he said "like" (the Actimel story), it sounded a lot more like "loike"... When I heard that, my first reaction was "Where does that accent come from?!", because it's certainly not from me!!

They love salt & vinegar crisps

There are so many different crisps flavours I wonder how the salt & vinegar became the winner. My husband and I were never brought up with that kind of choice when it came to crisps. I am more of a cheese and onion flavour myself, but my kids, in their true irishness love to snack on salt & vinegar...

They know more about Irish traditions than I do (or at least they will soon)

This one is kind of a given because they learn about them at school: Halloween, St Patrick, St Brigid, Christmas...They sing songs I've never heard of and tell me stories I've never read as a child. Soon they'll be talking about the Late Late toy show and I'm so not prepared for that!!!

They consider themselves Irish

If I ask the question "Where are you from?", their answer is "Ireland". And that says it all really. That's fine because how else could it be? They're born here, they have an Irish passport, they go to the local school, they speak English...I would actually be concerned if they didn't feel Irish!

The good thing is, they tell me they're also French. The Mauritian part hasn't really kicked in, but I suppose it's because we go there so rarely  they can't relate yet. One thing for sure, they are Irish but they are well aware it's only one part of their cultural heritage, and that means we have done a good job so far!