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Friday, May 11, 2007

In the case of townie V culchie...

From Day and Night magazine in today's Irish Independent

Ireland may have had its many divisions through the ages, but the great class war was one social conflict that appeared to have bypassed us, even as it swept across other countries such as our closest neighbour across the Irish Sea.

But we can take comfort in the fact that we had our own rather less socialist variant of class war - a conflict that's always been with us and probably always will: that of townie versus culchie.
I guess this divide is not a class struggle per se, but more of a vessel through which Ireland's favourite past-time — slagging — can be channelled.

I should point out that I am indeed a culchie (a ‘riddle inside an enigma inside a country accent’ as I was once described). The way it works, apparently, is that everyone born in Dublin is a townie and everyone born in the 25 other counties of the Republic are culchies, replete with strange, foreign dialects, the likes of which you’d only hear in the far reaches of the Middle East.

However, what Dublin folk often forget is that within the culchie kingdom, the classification system subdivides even more, forging a slew of hyphenated identities. So, for example, in Kilkenny where I am from, I would be considered a culchie-culchie seeing as I was raised in the countryside, whereas my friends who were born in Kilkenny city (and yes, it is a city!) are culchie-townies.

It’s all very complicated and so it can be easy to forget just who you are and where you’re from, which, a lot of the time, is exactly what some people are looking for. Thankfully, the rivalry is largely good-natured – even ironic, as so much is today - and the extremists on both sides who are genuinely vicious to each other are to be pitied more than anything else.

But perhaps the culchie vs townie rivalry persists because we culchies are a threat. We are literally taking over the capital in every walk of life. So with that in mind, all you townies who are so quick to slag should really make the effort to be nice to culchies. Chances are you'll end up working for one someday.

1 comment:

Gav said...

There's no way it's still a city. :P

On the same theme, you'd love this: