The Daltaí Boards » Archive: 1999-2004 » 2000 (July-December) » What is a nice Irish Girl to do.... « Previous Next »

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Susan O'Rourke ( -
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 01:38 am:   Edit Post Print Post

Tonight has been a real eye opener for me.. I am second generation American having both of my grandparents come to this country in the early 1900s'. I was brought up in a tiny town called Brooklyn, New York where there were many parishioners of the same background. I was blessed to grow up with a clear and daily comprehension of what my heritage is. Now an adult, I have three small children and a German husband. I live in Mid Michigan, Saginaw to be exact which is primarily German and Polish. Now there's absolutely nothing wrong with that especially around Oktober Fest BUT.. I am desperate to find some way to connect my children with the other half of their Heritage. I have even tried calling the Bay City Chapter of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to see if they could direct me towards an organization that I might be able to join which would help to instill a stronger sense of awareness for my children....I have yet to receive a call back from them I think they're probably afraid I wont to rock the boat and join up with them....And while I'm on that one WHAAAAZUUUUU ....with that. It's 2000 Guys , for the love of Mike, maybe you should'nt be quite so archaic in your Ancient Order. Anyone out there with any direction to point me in or any suggestions that might help will be blessed. I guess if worst comes to worst I'll just sit around with the kiddies and watch Riverdance over and over and over and................Thankyou so much, Susan aka...paddyspig

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Seosamh ( -
Posted on Friday, August 11, 2000 - 05:34 pm:   Edit Post Print Post

How can you tell when Riverdance has gone into a second or third or fourth turn? Do you just sentence the kids to X number of hours? Some one had better take you seriously, so for what it's worth, here's what I suggest.

The Daltaí website lists only one Irish language teaching contact in Michigan (the language is our focus here), namely:

Seán Fallon
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Comments: Non-credit course.
14830 Cherry Lane
Plymouth MI 48170
Phone: (734) 420-0962 Email:
Comments: Non-credit course.

That doesn't look too promising. Most classes are for adults -- there are very few good programs to foster Irish awareness in kids.

Fortunately, this contact is connected with Comhaltas Ceoltóirí. Their focus is the music and members tend to be scattered everywhere. He should be able to clue you into Irish cultural activities like language and music classes, dance classes, concerts, feiseanna (festivals) and dances.

Since programs for kids are thin on the ground, what you really have to do is get into the culture yourself and make it a family thing. Probably the activities will be all the more plausible to the children if you are the leader.

For example, my father didn't send us to classes to learn Irish -- HE went to classes, then taught US what he learned. In Ireland, parents often regard it as only the school's responsibility. Kids then get the message that the parents don't value it.

Take an integrated approach: read them children's books, learn some Irish together with tapes and books, go to musical events and get them a couple of videotapes besides Riverdance. Maybe other people here can recommend books, tapes, etc. for children. The Dover Celtic tattoo book has Irish designs and costs a dollar (the tattoos are gone in a week). (It's also my observation that it is good to involve Germans. If they have any real German in them, they can become quite enthusiastic and determined.)

Brooklyn, NY

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Muircheartach ( -
Posted on Saturday, August 12, 2000 - 09:43 am:   Edit Post Print Post

There is a tape entitled 'Basic Irish for Parents' which teaches you to teach children basic everyday words and phrases in Irish. It is produced by An Comhchoiste Réamhscolaíochta, 7 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.

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