Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Twelfth

I am happy to report that I had VIP access to the Orange Marches . I was in the thick of the excitement....in front of the tv. Thanks to BBC, I didn't miss out on the festivities. But after 5 minutes, I got bored seeing flute band after flute band and lodge after lodge. It's just as well I wasn't there in the thick of things. Otherwise, I would have been confused. The BBC commentary helped answer all the questions that Craig couldn't bother answering because he too is bored of the subject. The Orange Marches commemorate their victory over the Battle of the Boyne where William of Orange (a Protestant) reclaimed the throne of England, Scotland, and Ireland from the reigning Roman Catholic King of England, James II. In essence, the war was a sectarian and ethnic conflict between Catholics and Protestants. For decades Orange Marches symbolized marching into battle and victory over preserving the Protestant reign. It was at the height of the Troubles, where Catholics retaliated against the Protestant imperialistic attitude. For the Catholics, Orange Marches symbolize their defeat. I realize that my explanation is an oversimplification. It is such a web of complexity. But these days, there is still tension in the air. The Twelfth has become a farce to most people here. And The Twelfth is the main reason why they leave Belfast on holiday to Tenerife, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria....far, far, far away! And those who are still here, stay at home and cross their fingers that trouble doesn't ensue.

Almost every person, they interviewed in the crowd were tourists, none were locals. BBC knew that they wouldn't get response fit for daytime television from a Chav. I guess they wanted to portray an outside point of view to convey the march as a fun "family affair" to spread the hype how Belfast has changed for the better and is now a tourist attraction. Although, what these tourist don't know is that almost every person they saw in the parade today were paramilitary, ex-convicts, and have at least capped someone in the knees, or worse yet, killed someone in their life time. Yes, this is a family affair! Below are some of the outsiders' responses:

BBC: What do you think of The Twelfth?

Woman from New Zealand: I feel uncomfortable about the whole thing since I was raised in an Irish Catholic family.

Woman from Japan: It's rearry rearry ROUD!

Nigerian Woman from London: I had no idea about this. I was just here to go shopping and everything is closed!

Hmmmmm...and what was Craig doing? Sleeping!!! It was the first time ever where he was able to sleep in peace and not be awoken at 7am by the sounds of clashing cymbals and the thunderous vibration of the bass drum.

I am curious what the Catholics do. Feile an Phobail is in the first week of August. It looks really fun and interesting! A week of entertainment in West Belfast! If only I can convince Craig to go. Even though there will be no burning of the Union Jack and it is a non-sectarian festival, Craig refuses to participate by the fact that it is held in West Belfast. If there is one thing about Belfast I hate is this territorial assinine crap. It prevents you from exploring outside your postcode just because it is Catholic or just because it is Protestant. You miss out on a whole lot of the great things that Belfast has to offer. But they refuse to move forward and let go of the past. They say they want to move forward but then again..."Never believe anything Irish people say."

Living in a sectarian society sucks!!!

3 comments:

Alan in Belfast said...

I knew a couple of those interviewed ... it felt like their answers were kind of unexpected by the presenter!?

Flippin' Yank said...

I thought their responses were hilarious! LMAO!

Jennifer said...

OK, I cannot BELIEVE they show that shit on TV? On the BBC? I nearly fell off my chair....