After a lengthy phone call with one of my closest friends, whose ancestry hails from Ireland, we finally agree to stop our argument – Ireland against Scotland. Our two ancestral chains are often confused with each other, but because of one day, March 17, my friend believes she has the upper hand when it comes to which is better.
Why celebrate Ireland and give Scotland the shaft? Scotland is a country that at almost any time of year offers a partying festival, yet because some guy once drove out a bunch of snakes Ireland gets a holiday. Snakes aren’t even scary.
Moreover, Paddy’s Day serves for little more than drinking and unkindly pinching people who happened to forget to wear green.
Scotland has an incredible wealth of items it has added to the world.
Literary talent like J.K. Rowling, Sir Walter Scott, A.L. Kennedy, Ian Rankin, Irvine welsh and J.M. Berrie, who wrote the children’s classic “Peter Pan” all hail from the country.
Musically the bagpipes, accordion and fiddle have all came from the often overlooked and under appreciated country of Scotland. Meanwhile, all the good that’s came from the leprechaun riddled terrain of Ireland has since been undone by the country releasing Enya on our unsuspecting ears.
Scientifically and medically, Ireland’s nemesis has offered some of the most incredible and useful technologies. Morphine found itself first in Scotland. As did Dolly, the cloned sheep, insulin, anesthesia, the theory of combustion and artificial ice.
And how could we underestimate the place where golf originated? Scotland likes to keep it’s teeth in it’s sports. Curly, Shinty, tennis courts and the bowling green are only a few other things the Scottish imagination dreamed up.
Even everyday items have made their way from the Scottish people to our lives. Traffic cones, raincoats, street lighting, buses, telephones, telegraphs, the gas mask, color photography, finger printing, documentaries, postcards, the lawnmower, photocopier, fax machine, bicycle, the thermometer and much more were all originally inventions of the Scots.
Still, after confronted with all this information about the glory of Scotland, my friend refuses to change her opinion. Instead, she adamantly insists that a holiday gives Ireland an edge. “If it has a holiday, it must be better. I don’t know the specifics, but they’re somewhere,” she inisists.
Next argument: Catholics against Protestants.