What springs to mind when you hear the word culture?
Does it conjure up images of the arts and theatre, dahling?
Or does your mind turn to those things that help to define a shared national identity?
Or do you think, instead, of buttermilk? (in which case your view of culture would appear to be rather more bacterial than regional)
It doesn’t matter what day it is, Father, there’s always time for a nice cup of tea!
...so says the iconic Mrs Doyle, of Father Ted fame
ready to foist tea upon all and sundry at any hour of the day or night
image from www.channel4.com
At heart, we Irish are still a nation of tea-drinkers. Notwithstanding the number of coffee shops that now proliferate, we still punch well above our weight in the worldwide tea-drinking stakes and we go mad for the stuff betimes. In fact, a headline from the New York Times, dated June 29th, 1894, reads thus:
"TEA DRINKING IN IRELAND.; Report Discussed in House of Commons that It Has Caused Insanity."