Pub Culture

17 Nov

Over reading week, I had a chance to escape the rain in Ireland for 7 days and travel to Munich, Germany. Traveling to different places really opened my eyes to how different—and yet how similar—Dublin is too many other European cities especially in terms of culture and nightlife. One of the major cultural identities that is associated with Ireland is a strong pub presence. In fact, Dubliners have even dedicated an entire area of the city to pub life which is known as Temple Bar. In other places in Europe, things are quite different. For example, in Munich, the bar scene was nearly nonexistent as large beer halls took the place of quaint little pubs. In Ireland—as in Munich—gathering with a group of friends for a pint is intended to be a social experience. The Irish people—being so friendly and welcoming—enjoy the pub scene because it allows them to socialize not only with close friends and family but with others new and old. However, pubs offer a more intimate setting for gathering and for socializing than beer halls. It is much easier to strike up a conversation with someone at a pub than at a beer hall simply because of logistic reasoning. At a beer hall, the seats are in the form of picnic-like tables set up in rows throughout a massive building with no bar. In Irish pubs, not only is there seating at tables, but at the bar as well. The bar draws everyone in the pub to the same area, hence promoting social activity. In my experience, it is common for the Irish to joke amongst one another or discuss sporting matches while they wait for the bartender to make their way around to serve them. These acquaintances that are made at the bar while waiting for a pint can easily turn into conversations that last through the night and possibly even friendships to last a lifetime.  

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