Friday, August 1, 2008

Belfast Taboos

It is still pissing down with rain today. Nothing accomplished today but taking a nice, not relaxing bath. As I was in the bath, it dawned on me that Belfast has a lot of religious/political taboos. More so than any other country I have visited:

1) Don't talk about religion or politics.

2) Don't walk around Protestant areas wearing a Celtic shirt, rosary beads, and waving a Republic of Ireland Flag. The colors orange, white, and green are strictly prohbited.

3) As for the Catholics areas, don't wear a rangers shirt, wave the St. George's Cross or the Union Flag.

4) Don't call a Catholic a Fenian or a Taig. Not unless you want a kicking.

5) Don't call a Protestant an Orange Bastard, or your knees will be capped.

6) It is taboo to ask someone the question "Which part of Belfast do you live?" if you are from here. Seems like an innocent enough question but if it happens that the other person is from the Falls and you are from the Shankill, it can be very awkward. If you ask, they give you a very shady answer and not a very specific place.

7) A large majority of Protestants say "Northern Ireland" and Catholics say "the North of Ireland"

8) Catholics call it "Derry" and Protestants say "Londonderry".

9) Do not play Hurling or Gaelic football in a Protestant area. They are 'Catholic Sports'.

10) Do not yell off the top of your lungs that the Pope Sucks in a Catholic Area.

11) As for Protestant area, do not take the Queen's name in vain.

That's it off the top of my head.

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