Na Seacht Teampaill

24 Nov

During our weekend getaway to County Galway in Western Ireland, we were lucky enough to get to visit Inishmore, the largest of the three Aran Islands. On our bus tour, we stopped at an 8th century church known as The Seven Churches, or it’s Irish name Na Seacht Teampaill. The Church, now a monastic ruin, is only one of many churches in ruins across Ireland that has been turned into a graveyard. The Irish are so distinctly proud of their history and heritage that they have turned these crumbling sites into places of burial. And not just any burial – to be buried at these churches is highly sought-after by the Irish. In the US we have waiting lists to get our children into the best private schools; in Ireland mothers get their children on waiting lists to be buried at a medieval ruins. This is very representative, I believe, of the Irish culture. The most admirable quality of their culture is the pride they carry in preserving and cherishing Ireland’s history. Beauty of their heritage isn’t reflected in how many extravagant skyscrapers and new buildings they have. Rather, the older it is, the more revealing it is of the Irish background. Where many cultures try to renovate and build their cities to be bigger and better as they become more technologically advanced, the Irish would rather show off the most aged architecture that’s been preserved all these years and tell you the story behind it. Age is seen as an accomplishment, and is revered and flaunted rather than modernized or hidden. This inherent quality is very telling of the unprecedented beauty behind the Irish psyche.

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