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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

A St. Patrick’s Day away from home

Corned Beef and Cabbage is traditionally eaten by Irish Americans on St. Patricks Day (
Corned Beef and Cabbage is traditionally eaten by Irish Americans on St. Patrick’s Day (

It’s a day of debauchery and rowdiness. A night where you go out with your buddies and see who can drink an “Irish Car Bomb” fastest. It’s a holiday when, for one night, regardless of where your family is from, you too can be Irish. I, on the other hand, am Irish all year round. Don’t be fooled by my name, the majority of my family hails from the Emerald Isle. Just take a look at my pale, freckled skin.

For my family, St. Patrick’s Day has always been a day of cultural recognition, a day when I can acknowledge my hertage and rub it in your face that my ancestors know how to celebrate!

And celebrate we do.

Despite hectic schedules, two working parents and children with too many extracurricular activities, my family always managed to find the time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a family.

My mother would make the St. Patrick’s Day staple, corned beef and cabbage, a meal which combines two cultures, Irish and Irish-American. Cabbage has always been popular in Ireland, and Irish immigrants used corned beef to save money.

During dinner, my sister and I received small gifts from a “leprechaun,” generally little trinkets, which usually were Irish symbols and paraphernalia.

My family would also watch the classic Irish movie “The Quiet Man.” The movie tells the story of a retired American boxer who returns to his native Ireland after the death of his father.

In general, the evening spent with my family lacked any sense of

rowdiness or debauchery and was a rather nice recognition and celebration of heritage.

I get the suspicion that, being away from home, my St. Patrick’s Day will not be as quiet.

Of course I’ll wear green, give the evil eye to those wearing orange, and flaunt my Irish pride like I do every year; but this year’s celebration will be different.

I will not be with my Irish-American family. I will not be in New York City, with its dense population of Irish-Americans. I will not get to eat a lovely home-cooked meal of slow-simmered corned beef and cabbage. Instead, I’ll get to eat what ever the cafeteria is serving. Yum!

Despite straying from my normal celebration, I feel like this St. Patrick’s Day will be fun. This will probably be the rowdiest St. Patrick’s Day of my 19 years of celebration, but how could a Friday night on a college campus, which just happens to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, not be?

I’m willing to sacrifice a home-cooked meal for fun, boisterous times with friends, because what better is there to do on a rowdy holiday than celebrate your youth and pride with friend?

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