Dublin: the City of Rebellion

During our first full day here in Dublin, we had the opportunity to go on a walking tour of the city to learn more about Ireland’s long past. I came into this trip with little social or political background knowledge of Ireland, so I really enjoyed seeing where actual historical events occurred that shaped Ireland into the republic that it is today. We visited Trinity College and walked along O’Connell Street to name just a few of the locations we visited. One lesser known location that interested me was the old Friends’ Meeting House on Eustace Street where Frederick Douglass came to speak about the horrors of the American slave trade. I found this site interesting because our guide, Darragh, told us how this event was forgotten about for many years, and it was only recently that his visit to Ireland was recognized and  commemorated.

Learning about how modern Dublin and Ireland came to be through a political and historical context allows us as students to begin to understand the importance of a shared historical context in business relationships and beyond. By having a shared historical context, cross-cultural relationships and situations become easier to navigate. Not only does this lead to better and more meaningful relationships, but it also lends itself to finding a common ground and shared interests and values with one another. With a common ground, people can better understand, respect, and trust each other, whether that be in a business context or not. For instance, as our tour guide shared with us on our tour, much of the history for Ireland’s indigenous population has been defined by rebellion. He shared with us how many people took inspiration from the American Revolution to start rebellions of their own. By making a connection to historical events that we as Americans are familiar with, we are able to better understand these seemingly foreign historical events that appeared at first to have no connection to our lives. Sharing an understanding of a different culture and different nation’s history other than your own dissolves barriers to communication and leads to more effective partnerships.

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