Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Irish And Italians Hog All The Glory

One of the drawbacks of being a WASP is we get no ethnic holidays. It's akin to being an atheist who in good conscious cannot celebrate Christmas.

I was reminded today is St. Patrick's Day when I clicked for a search. Google sprang up green. In grade school, I quickly learned not to wear green on March 17 because it was my only come-on for the girls to pinch me.

I remember watching the news video of the Irish turning some river in Detroit green on this day. Heck, I thought that river was always green from pollution, etc. The best thing about the  Irish is that they know how to throw a wake. And, those who know me, understand it is the only exception I make for attending a funeral, parents and brothers not withstanding.

The Italians have their Columbus Day. As a kid growing up in a predominately Mexican village of San Juan Capistrano,  there were no Italians. My only frame of reference, again, was the RKO news shorts at the movies. I had the impression all the Italians were New York City street cops marching in a parade.

But these are the only two ethnic groups gaining some sort of national recognition. 

A tad older, I loved the Mexican celebrations of Cinco de Mayo and Septembre Quince. Though a national holiday in Mexico, in the states it's usually the best party of the year and make a Texas barbecue seem stingy.

I suppose the blacks have their day celebrating Martin Luther King's birthday. The occasion is so new I'm uncertain a tradition has been established exactly how to whoop it up.

Most of these special days are noting religious or national celebrations. The calendar is pocked with Yom Kipper, Hanukkah and Passover for the Jews and Easter and Christmas for us gentiles but nothing for the other religious melting pots.

I think Native Americans should have a special day that hits us squarely between the eyeballs as St. Patrick's Day. Certainly nothing demeaning as a tribal war dance. More like a celebration from out of the pages of "Dances With Wolves."

My favorite is Thanksgiving for it allows us to express our love and gratitude to our family and country.

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