Irish KC : A Blog

Kansas City's Irish Festivals, Music, Pubs & Events

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Happy St George's Day

So not to confuse people I left it off the list, but living in Kansas City, one of the things I miss most about Ireland, is England.

To understand why, you should read Declan Kiberd's astonishingly wonderful book on Ireland and Irish identity, Inventing Ireland. You might find a copy at Bloomsday Books, which today is celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday.

Like Ireland's St Patrick, England's patron saint was not born in the country that adopted him as its national figure. St George's stomping ground was in the Middle East - in Cappadocia, and Palestine mostly. Today, April 23, is the anniversary of St George's death and the National Day of England (and for good measure celebrated in Catalonia, Portugal, Bulgaria and Georgia where he is also patron saint).

Killer of a dragon the size of a Shetland Pony, George's chivalrous behavior of protecting women, fighting evil, dependence on faith and might of arms, and largesse to the poor, made devotion to him popular in Europe particularly after the 12th century.

You might find if England win this year's World Cup, that St George will be replaced as the saviour of Albion, by somebody called Wayne Rooney.

You can get a perspective of being English in Kansas City by reading Light & Bitter in Kansas City. It is authored by Roldy, a documentary film maker with his wife, who had a film in the recent Kansas City Film Jubilee


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