Irish expats send festive love to family and friends

Published:  23 Dec at 6 PM
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Irish expats all over the world unable to return home for the festive season are sending their love and best wishes to their families and friends by holding traditional Irish celebrations.

Wanderlust, traditionally a part of the Irish psyche, has led many nationals of the Emerald Isle to try their luck in far-off climes, especially after the 2008 financial crash which left the country in a poor economic state. Irish expats are now scattered across the planet, with a good few ending up in Canada or Australia with new jobs and hopes for their futures.

However rewarding the expat experience may have been, Christmas and New Year are times when missing the warmth of celebrations with friends and family in the old country hits hard, along with nostalgia for familiar places and the unique Irish culture. Those who can’t make it back home for the season are making sure they organise traditional Christmas gatherings along with their new friends as well as sending all thier love to those back home.

Cormack McCarthy from Cork has been living in Vancouver for eight months, having moved abroad to find quality graduate work in his field which would give him the chance of a fulfilling career. Travelling, he told Cork Evening Echo reporter Rebecca Maher, is a fascinating learning experience but missing one’s home is always a part. He’s planning to return to Cork within a few years and is hoping to settle down, raise a family, get a mortgage and start his own business.

Christmas in Cork, he said, has a unique atmosphere and buzz and, although he’ll miss his family’s traditional celebrations, he’s excited about his plans for his first Christmas overseas. He and his new Canadian friends will attempt to cook a full Christmas dinner, play board games and just hang out in the warm.

Treasa Power from Rathcormac has lived in Sydney for just four months and admits to missing her native Cork as well as the build up to Christmas with family, friends and food. Like the Aussies, she’s planning to spend the day on the beach, but is determined to attend Mass first. She’s looking forward to a traditional Christmas dinner in the evening, and is definitely not nostalgic for Cork’s chilly winter weather.

Although many expats leave their home countries vowing never to return, wherever Irish expats have settled and however long they’ve been away, there’s an abiding love for the life they left behind. Every Christmas, their thoughts and wishes will be sent from all over the world to their families and friends back home, and most will exchange the exotic for the familiar and return some day to start over.
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