Cape Town is my home and I’ll forever be loyal to my South African birthright. But I feel one should always pay homage to one’s ancestors by tracing their journey and learning about their origin and culture. Believers of traditional African religion trust that ancestors maintain a spiritual connection with their living relatives. As a South African this is something I fully relate too. Ancestor worship is an extension of a belief and respect for elders. When ever I am confronted with a challenge or want to succeed in something great I call on my Irish ancestors to bless me with their ever so powerful ‘Luck ‘O the Irish’! How do you think I made it this far in the Biggest Baddest Bucket List competition? Not from that awful little video I made? Surely not.. (KIDDING)
I’m about to tell you my best-kept secret (don’t tell anyone!) I carry this little magic shamrock around with me and keep it especially close in times when I need it most. I had it stuffed in my Docs during this morning’s Expresso Show interview. Most ancestral spirits are good, especially the ones I’ve made contact with, but there are a few that African cultures believe can cause minor illness to warn people that have taken the wrong path in life. To please the unhappy ancestors, offerings of beer and meat are made.
Just like the Jewish who embark on their Birthright journey to Israel. I would like to invent and take part in my own Birthright week in Ireland. Learn about the ancient Celtic culture, find out where my forefathers came from, and perhaps instead of giving them Beer as an offering, enjoy a pint or 10 of Guiness on their behalf. Besides isn’t beer drinking part of my Irish Culture?
So I did some research and found this very exciting movement called The Gathering, a year-long celebration of all things Irish. Apparently over 70 million people around the world claim Irish ancestry- so perhaps even you could be calling on the Irish ancestors for some easy access luck yourself.. The Gathering Ireland “provides the perfect excuse to reach out to those who have moved away from their relatives, friends and descendents, and invite them home”. It invites anyone who has a link to Ireland or anyone who just simply loves the country to come to Ireland and join in for a series of events throughout 2013. What better way to pay homage and immerse myself in my roots than getting involved in The Gathering? Click here to visit the website and find out more.
Other activities I’d love to do in Ireland :
Learn an Irish Jig
Find out how Guniness is made at the Guiness Storehouse
(kenbenoit.net , tropicalisland.de,(earlychildhoodireland.ie))
Spend a Night in an Ancient Irish Castle
And of Course Kiss the Blarney Stone
Thousands of Lips from around the world have kissed the stone: Madonna, Zach Braff, Colin Farrell and even this guy….
For more Info on Ireland and what to get up to in Dublin or County Clare