After being in Ireland for two months I have noticed that most of the Irish stereotypes I heard about before coming here are true. I heard that the Irish were friendly redheads who can drink ‘ye’ under the table while complaining about the weather. The only stereotype that is not true in the statement above is that not all Irish people have red hair, honestly most of them do not. When I first arrived to Cork I learned that I should not try to keep up with the Irish when it comes to drinking because a pint is 16 oz where a typical beer in America is 12 oz. Also this is the first time that I am legally allowed to considering I am only 20 years old and the Irish have been legal since 18. Something that might take a little getting used to is the speed at which the Irish speak. During orientation I probably missed10 every other word the presenters were saying because they were talking so fast. Now that I have been here for a while I have adjusted to it and can understand them perfectly now. A stereotype that I learned about the Irish during my time here is that if you say you are any part Irish the person you are speaking with will try and figure out how you two could be related. I find this amazing because it not only shows the curiosity in the Irish people but it also shows how much they know about their ancestors.
Being an American in Ireland has brought my attention to how many stereotypes there actually are about America. The stereotype that surprised me the most was that all Americans own a gun. I would have to disagree with this stereotype and say that the only reason people believe this is because all of the big news headlines in America are about gun control and how it is so easy to buy a gun. This stereotype is used by the Irish to “fill a vacuum of knowledge” (Adel). There are some stereotypes which come right from the horse’s mouth and are very true, but this is not one of those examples. An example of a very true stereotype about Americans is that we drive everywhere.Since being in Ireland I walk at least five miles a day just to get around the city. Back home if I need to get to school, which is a 15 minute walk, I would drive there and spend the time I saved sleeping. I have noticed in Ireland that although tennagers can begin driving at 16, most of them do not begin until they are a couple years older. Getting a license in America is a big deal for tennagers but it does not seem to be treated the same in Ireland. I think that this is because even with a car, people still walk everywhere. One of the big stereotypes I heard about the Irish that turned out not to be so true was how much they love potatoes. I of course see chips and fries with every meal but that is the same in America. Before coming to Ireland I was under the impression that they praised potatoes and lived off of them, but the stereotype was dispelled.
The picture that I have chosen to convey a popular American stereotype of Ireland is a photo I took during the first week I was in Ireland. I selected this picture because there is no better place in the world to hold this convention and it is the most stereotypical thing I have seen since being here. This is the one of the only places in all of Ireland where a particular Irish stereotype was just hitting me in the face. At first I thought that they were making a joke of it, but as I walked through the convention I saw dozens of redheaded people all coming out for this event. I think that if this were to take place in any other country it would be discrimination but seeing as it is taking place in Ireland I am not entirely sure what to call it. I was and am still unsure of its purpose and whether or not it is some kind of joke convention, but either way it was interesting to see something like this after only being in Ireland for a week.