Irish Culture

Have you already completed Dublin sightseeing? Did you go to the temple bar area, Trinity College and Guiness store? They are really unique, original and worth visiting, but you cannot say you could know fully about Dublin by visiting such famous places. As you know, to get more familiar with the country, you should not only see aspects for tourists of the countries but also have a look at another aspect which only local people know. Today, you can know one of local people’s customs which are known to those in the know.

 The custom is a kind of daily exercises for their health. However, it may be different from what you think of usually associated with daily exercises. It’s not just walking or running. Some people might get surprised about this. Then, how can you see the custom?

Firstly, you have to wake up so early since the local people do this in early morning. Secondly, you need to go to the sea area, especially Dun Laoghaire, the south part of Dublin. You can find people swimming in the sea there, even though the water is cold badly. Furthermore, they do it every morning regardless of seasons. Even in winter they don’t stop it. One lady of them said “We come here every morning, I started this when my husband retired from his job with him. Thanks to this, I’ve never caught a cold for more than 20 years. In addition to physical merits, we can get mental ones. You can refresh and feel a sense of accomplishment. Furthermore for elderly people like us, this is a good opportunity to communicate with others.” This custom has been succeeded for more than ten years by the local people. But, there is a problem with this. The number of people who take part in this has been decreasing recently, in other word, the average of age of participants has been rising because young people don’t do this. A man told that though this habit might sound strange for some people, in his personal opinion, since it is a rare one which only the local people do, he wanted it not to stop. However, to keep their health, the youth always don’t have to go outside and exercise there. Off course it doesn’t mean that they are lazy, but rather healthy inclinations among the youth has becoming stronger. Now that you can see many young people use gyms and they can do almost all kind of exercises there actually.

That’s why they don’t find worthiness in swimming in the cold water early morning. Someone perhaps think the situation would be better if they spread this using social media, but this is not so easy. Although the local people are desiring the more people come to do that, they want to keep it as a vital local people’s treasure at the same time. Being filled with newcomers who don’t know the manner and just came there for a kind of interest is not their goal. They want to leave this custom as a local culture and keep it as an opportunity for their breathing space.

 A number of people have an image that you should go to the west part of Ireland if you want to feel some nature. Speaking of Dublin, many people associate it with the drinking culture.

However, Dublin has enough places filled with nature. If you have free time, why don’t you experince it?

– Shunsuke

Picture: Shunsuke



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