Hey Explorers! I hope you are out there enjoying your journey around the world no matter how big or small. Personally, I just returned from a trip to Ireland for a quick Labor Day Weekend trip (in which I will highlight all the details in a travel guide later post). On my first day in Ireland, I decided to visit the EPIC - The Irish Emigration Museum.
The museum is quite enlightening and just like The National Museum for Peace and Justice in Alabama, USA, it is something people from all walks of life must see. The museum takes you through Irish history of immigration (sorry I just can’t bare to spell in emigration - not my English lol). It starts by talking about it being an open island to leaving the island to changing the game to celebrating and connecting around the world. Here is an synopsis of each of the 20 rooms (don’t worry I will keep brief) with some pictures taken by me along the way: An Open Island
I arrived in the first room which introduces Ireland as a place that has pulled people towards them either by immigrating to or from the country. It is a great way to open up this exhibit as you walk through your immigration journey with you EPIC passport (see photo on the right) in hand. I was ready for the journey after seeing and hearing the intro! Leaving the Island
Now, it is time for me to start the immigration process. This area displays how people were able to migrate from Ireland over time. I couldn't believe that during the 17th century, individuals were leaving the country by warships which would take up to FIVE MONTHS to get to Boston from Ireland. With the advancement of transportation, it is of no surprise that the time shortened over centuries. I mean it took me six hours to fly from Atlanta to Ireland!! What a difference! Let me stamp my passport and move to a new world!
Arriving in a New World
Yes! I made it into a new world to a gateway of new life! Within this room, I hear stories of the first Irish immigrate to reach New York, why individuals left the country, and about their journey to their new destination. Based on these stories, you never know what you will meet at customs and beyond!
Sometimes Irish people leave their home to help better the lives of others instead of improving their lives! It is one of the reasons individuals continue to leave as of today. People left for purposes and beliefs of Christianity, Education, Medial Relief and Social Work. In this area, I learned of historic Irish people such as Amy Carmichael (missionary who opened an orphanage in India). What a great way to connect to others by providing your belief contributions to the world. Hunger, Work, Community
The land was the main reason people left because they couldn't grow food and couldn't eat. During this time, approximately five million people migrated away from Ireland from 1852 to 1910. My time in this room showed me why people were forced or chose to leave such as the Great Famine. I couldn't imagine going through an experience of hunger as they have. The Irish people have been proven to be strong and able to withstand anything from hunger to hell or to Connaught. Conflict
Ireland encountered a lot of conflict over time particularly with the English. English forces threatened the Irish after conquering them and was told to go to hell or Connaught (the poorest city in Ireland) back in the 1600s. How is that for a threat to state and society! I can't imagine what happened if you didn't take the threat seriously... State and Society
During Ireland's history, a lot of laws were put into place by the ruling English leading to oppression and discrimination within their own land! Some people were even transported because they broke laws. How awful! But despite this gory past, the Irish have still made a great influence onto the world.
Irish immigrants have influenced world culture from politicians such as US presidents, actors/actresses, explorers, etc. In this room, I saw a collage of well known people with Irish descent. At this moment, I saw how the Irish culture has touched me while they explore ours! Changing the Game
Wow!!!! I didn't know sports like American Baseball and Boxing has deep Irish roots! I was able to review how ten different sports have Irish influences! Sports is one of the best things to exchange in culture wherever you go! Playing the World
In this room, I was introduced to Gaelic games, traditional Irish sports. The one that stood out to me was Gaelic football which is a cross between soccer and rugby. What is even better is that I was able to experience a little of the excitement of their Gaelic football games my last day in Ireland. Now, if I could understand the sport! Discovering and Inventing
I walked into this room to learn about Irish people like Robert Fulton who built the first steamboat in 1777 and first submarine for Napoleon. I was also quite intrigued about Dr. James Barry who was a woman posed as a man who performed the first c-section birth! Like how cool is this! The Irish people have been involved in so many great discoveries!
Here I was able to hear speeches which demanded and fought for equal rights and justice!!! Achieving Infamy
Here I was able to learn about some of the sinners who have also shaped Irish history. You get to read their rap sheets and then answer a quiz to see if you can point out people such as Typhoid Mary. I decided not to partake in the quiz because well you know jet lag on top of not sleeping the night before leads to bad results! Music and Dance
Now who has never heard Irish music? Anyone? Irish music has influenced American bluegrass and country music through their folk songs tailored to current American events. I also was able to see dancing performances in which Irish moves merged with African American steps to create tap dance! I had no idea! Oh....and Rihanna...Bad Gal RiRi is part Irish (fun fact).
Eating and Drinking
Irish people always come together for food and drink! I mean you can't go anywhere in the world without seeing an Irish pub! Sit at the pub in this room and learn about drinks within the culture. Also, O'Neill's is apparently the most popular pub name worldwide...another fun fact!
Creating and Designing
Here I was able to see those who have influenced pop culture through fashion design and art. I was most impressed by hearing that the original White House was designed by an Irish person...yes the White House in Washington, DC. And just in case you don't know, his name is James Hoban. Storytelling (Two Rooms)
In this room, I was able to hear famous lines from poets, writers, etc in which their stories are told all over the world. You can also hear details about influences in theatre, comedy, and movie. In the words of a famous Irish playwright, "I can resist everything except temptation" especially when it comes to a celebration! Celebration
The Irish people celebrate their culture and are proud of it wherever they go! St. Patrick's Day and other Irish recognitions are celebrated around the world! Who gets down with Irish on their days of celebration??? Connection
EPIC stands for every person is connected! And I have now connected to the world through Irish eyes. But in all actuality, people around the world are all connected. Every person comes from somewhere and originate from some place that is probably different than where you currently live. If you look back into your ancestry you may be connected to someone you would never imagine! No matter what people do to try and stop the connection, it won't stop. Influences in music, innovation, medicine, movies, etc come from every culture circulating the globe and I truly appreciate it. As should you!
If you are interested in visiting the museum, as of September 2018 the entry fee for an adult was 14 euros. The tour is self guided where you can rent an audio player or just download the museum’s app on your smartphone. You can also explore your Irish roots at the end of the tour for free!
How do you feel connected to ethnicities, cultures or nationalities outside your own? Comment below!
Step inside my adventure by watching the below video!
Thank you for reading!
~ Kita the Explorer
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