In Ireland, beer has its own culture. Visiting the Guinness Storehouse showed me that drinking beer is an *experience* synonymous with Ireland. In the United States, people like drinking to get drunk; while in Ireland, people drink for pleasure, relaxation, sociability. Drinking beer unites people and creates relationships for those sharing the experience. Similarly, Guinness promotes its beer as an experience. While visiting the museum, I saw advertisements depicting Guinness as the St. Patrick’s Day drink, where the Irish come together with a Guinness in hand. This ties to the drinking culture in Ireland, where beer provides more functions that just aiding in the drunk process. Also, the taste of Guinness beer is essential to the experience. Today, we learned a breathing technique to heighten its sweetness, which made the beer taste a million times better and I particularly enjoyed that. As I’ve explored Dublin, I have observed hundreds of people sipping pints of Guinness together, chatting, laughing, and bonding. The brew engages citizens across all of Ireland.
As the Irish are typically social beings, they’re culture is compiled of high-context communication styles that is bizarre to experience as an American who is used to low-context communication. Specifically, every Irish person I have spoken with have been excellent storytellers, tell witty jokes, and poetic in their expressions. From Dr. Kelly’s engaging anecdotes to Sean’s humorous remarks, the Irish have a knack for captivating our attention. With that being said, their amusing conversations can sometimes be complex as an American who is accustomed to more straightforward conversations. For example, a local came up to my friend in a worried manner, saying “You are cold!”, referring to her lack of a jacket. My friend replied “No I’m not too cold.” The woman said in a more humorous tone, “Well you only got a jumper!” or something along those lines. My friend and I had trouble interpreting what the woman’s intentions were with her comments, unsure if she was concerned for my friend or making a joke. Moving forward, I am going to steer away from interpreting conversations from a surface level and try to pick up on signals on what the person is trying to convey!