20 Aug The Musical Isle

Irish music is one of the few indigenous music styles to have attained both international popularity and commercial success. Though traditional music styles do not often translate well when played for audiences outside of their native country, Irish folk ballads, drinking songs, and rock music have all connected with listeners around the globe. This is particularly true for American audiences with a hankering for a sense of the ‘old country’. Below you’ll find Panrimo’s picks for the Top 7 Most Beloved Irish Songs. 7) I’ll Tell Me Ma https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBKdcn7whOs Though the video above is a performance by the all-male troupe Na Fianna, I’ll Tell Me Ma is a song traditionally sung by young girls. A well-known children’s song bemoaning the hijinks that result from adolescent flirtations, it is lively, fun, and easy to dance to. In fact, it used to be associated with a game! Similar to ‘Ring around the Rosie’, a group would hold hands to form a circle around a boy (or girl) in the middle. At the appropriate moment, the center child would call out the initials of their crush, who would then join them in the middle. Ah, young love. 6) Siúl A Rún https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rHLxnuYUYU Siúl A Rún (Walk, My Love) is a lament for lost love was written during a particularly war-torn period of Ireland’s history, though no one is quite sure which. Best guesses place it sometime around the Glorious Revolution, when English occupying forces gave young Irishmen the difficult...

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04 Jul As American as…

The 4th of July. The birthday of the United States of America, it’s a celebration of summer, sunshine, and all the best homegrown traditions. Which got us to thinking: just what exactly IS as American as apple pie? Below are 5 things that couldn’t be more ‘murica if they tried. 5. Barbeque Ribs [caption id="attachment_875" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Be right back. Salivating.[/caption] http://usbbqsupply.com/home/images/categories/barbecued-ribs.jpg The debate over who makes the best ribs will never be won. The secret sauces, the best cut of meat, cooking time and temperature: all are elements essential in perfecting this most revered cooking technique. What everyone CAN agree on is this: BBQ is an American art form. 4. Blue Jeans [caption id="attachment_876" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Should I wear my formal jeans? Or my informal jeans? Or my jorts?[/caption] http://img1.southernliving.timeinc.net/sites/default/files/image/2011/01/Travel-Awards/1101-travel-awards-best-blue-jeans-x.jpg A fashion developed for the hardworking cowboys and miners of the American Old West, since their debut in the 1870s, jeans have taken the world by storm. Perhaps no other clothing item is so instantly identifiable as being ‘American’. 3. Bruce Springsteen [caption id="attachment_877" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The man. The legend. The Boss.[/caption] http://www.showbiz411.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/springsteen.jpg Known for his hard rocking brand of Americana and patriotism, ‘The Boss’ is one of the most successful American rock stars of all time. Both at home and abroad, his songs are evocative of all the best this country has to offer. 2. Baseball [caption id="attachment_878" align="aligncenter" width="5120"] Nice catch.[/caption] http://www.massbay.edu/uploadedImages/Second_Level_Pages/Student_Life/baseball.jpg Whether you play in a local league, cheer from the ballpark stands, or just wear baseball caps while running errands, baseball...

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19 Jan Passing through Social Faux Pas in London

[caption id="attachment_2343" align="alignnone" width="660"] Tip #1: Don't wear these masks.[/caption] While England and the US share a de facto official language (English, although legally the US has no official language), it’s clear that cultures and customs remain distinct, and occasionally incompatible. Navigating social situations can become tricky, particularly when addressing international politics (Ireland anyone?). Keeping that in mind, I present a few guidelines when speaking with London locals, superiors, or even (if blind chance intercedes) the Queen. First, be aware of small talk. Britons are more reserved than Americans. Idle discussion with a new coworker can prove uncomfortable. Don’t take it personally if they shrug you off and bury their face in a newspaper or computer. Likely, your positive demeanor and openness for discussion took the individual off-guard. Throw in a couple self-deprecating statements about yourself and you might just open them up as well. Recognizing the function of humor, sarcasm and wit in British discourse will be your most important tool. And don’t get unnerved if your statements elicits sarcasm; this is a defense mechanism employed when conversation has struck a tender spot for the individual. Don’t take sarcasm or irony personally; offer a bit of your own (without making a fool of yourself) and this impasse may be crossed. If you’ve struck up a light conversation, it’s best to stick to open questions as opposed to loaded ones (“what do you think about the Queen?”) or personal assertions. Comment on the weather and...

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07 Dec Wandering Through Wales, Part 1

[caption id="attachment_2330" align="alignnone" width="660"] Fancy a hike?[/caption] For a country represented by a red dragon, Wales is decidedly green. With rolling hills dotted with lochs stretching hundreds of acres, you’d think the dragon would be easily seen. Of course, while the myth of the red dragon may be an inspirational allegory for the Britons victory over the Saxons, the symbol may take its origin from the Romans. It may seem unlikely, but evidence of Roman activity is evident in Britain. Travel the land of the red dragon for a weekend, stopping at Caerleon Amphitheater. You’ll see where Romans congregated for entertainment, as well as a few bathhouse ruins (Romans took pride in their skin). The Caerleon ruins are integral to Arthurian legend: it’s allegedly the place of Camelot. Furthermore, the “round table” featured prominently in the myths may have been inspired by the shape of the Amphitheatre. So you’ll get a taste of medieval history in addition to the Romans. Next stop, Caerphilly Castle, the second largest castle in Britain (after Windsor), and the first to both use water as a defense (think enormous moat) and be built using concentric design. While it may seem insignificant, this concentric design made it easier to access all parts of the castle, in addition to rendering siege machinery useless. What’s more impressive is the architecture: the last remodeling took place in 1322-6, and even then, it was only to make the dining halls grander. As a result, Caerphilly...

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12 Jul Don’t Appear “Touristy”

[caption id="attachment_2189" align="alignnone" width="660"] Case in point.[/caption] When spending any amount of time in a new country, you want to feel like you are absorbing the local culture and avoiding "tourist traps" and stereotypes. Unfortunately, being easily identified as a tourist will make you a perfect target for theft and may also prevent you from meeting real locals. But how to combat this is a place you've never been before? In an article on ehow.com, the writer identifies that clothing is the main item that shows you are a tourist. Research your location before you leave and check out what clothing they wear on a regular basis. You can always buy a few outfits when you arrive if need be, nothing expensive though and you can always wash your outfits so you do not have to buy many. Do not be afraid to approach some of the locals and start talking to them about why they love their country so much. Many tourists may shy away on this idea because they feel uncomfortable or are only worried about seeing the main tourist attractions. Being polite, respectful, and willing to talk to the natives will open your world of exploration and teach you more than you'd expect....

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