Yesterday, I did an introduction to Ireland event at Toyota International Association. I’ve been doing this kind of event for over 20 years now and it is still fun to share some information and some music about Ireland. Over the years, I’ve probably presented this kind of material to a few thousand people, and hopefully at least some of them have made it to the shores of the Emerald Isle.
I remember well the first time that I did one of these events in Japanese. It was probably back in about the year 1998 or so. I did a huge amount of preparation for it – learning lots of Japanese words to describe Irish history like massacre, emigration, and famine. I must have been a barrel of laughs at that particular presentation 🙂 Over the years, I’ve discovered that songs like Danny Boy and Carrickfergus get the message across much more powerfully in a subtle and moving way.
There were about 65 people at the Toyota International Association event yesterday which was known as “National Day.” It was exactly a month after Saint Patricks Day, so there was a logic going on somewhere.
Afterwards, I taught a group of kids the old Irish song, “The Ratlin Bog”. I hadn’t realized before what a great teaching song it actually is (I chose it because it is a fun little tune that gets everyone moving!). Within a few minutes, the kids had learned a whole list of new English words including bog, valley, hole, tree, branch, leaf, nest, and eggs. And they had fun.
There was a camerawoman there from a local television station in Toyota, so people in the area might catch a glimpse of me at some point.