By Hunter7Taylor (Inger Eberhart)
As discovered in our country profile papers, the Republic of Ireland is an individualistic nation. To be individualistic means there is a “me,” “myself,” and “I” frame of reference. Those in an individualistic society are to look after themselves and direct family. This aspect of Ireland’s culture translates into the smallest of actions in Dublin. To take a leisurely stroll is almost impossible. There is a hustle-and-bustle of the pace of the city. People walk fast, talk fast and rarely make eye contact with others. When eye contact is made, no words are spoken. When you’re served in a restaurant, the waiter/waitress takes the order and returns only to bring the order to the table. And then there’s Brighton.
Others make eye contact with you. They greet you with a “hello” or “hi” and smile back at you. The waiter/waitress returns to the table to ask if you need a refill, condiments or any other items for your meal. If they bump into you, they say “excuse me.” The pace is slower and the people warmer. The aura is similar to that of a southern US town.
As a side note, we shared a train from London to Brighton with a lovely grandmother from Glasgow, Scotland (also in the UK) who was more than happy to share with us. She was on her way to visit her grandchildren, two of seven. She will stay with the grandkids while the parents attend a music festival. Her family meets in Las Vegas every year or so for a family reunion of sorts. She stated if someone from Glasgow bumps into you, they’ll say “excuse me” then invite you over for dinner and tea.
With that, a slower pace or more polite demeanor does not signify that the people of Brighton (or even Glasgow) are less individualistic or desire to place group needs before their own. It just seems that they are happy to acknowledge you along the way.