Burn the witch

Nationality gives the individual a sense of something greater than themselves, be it for good or ill.
Friday night I met an man wized by many years and was spun many a tale. This man identified as an irish nationalist, very proud of his country and certain that the North would soon rejoin the South. When I got him talking about his country he light up with a passion absent in the cautionary tales and life stories. His sense of a united Ireland gave him more purpose. In a sense power.
On the same thread today I was taking pictures around Dublin, mostly of architecture and the like. While I was setting up a shot off away from the sidewalk a boy of about 15 yelled out to me “oh no no no. No pictures of me. Picture of me five dollar.” Confused as my camera was pointing in the opposite direction from him I just smiled and let his group of friends pass. After about 20 steps one of them turned and thew a pebble at me with remarkable acuracy, nicking me in the back of the neck. They took my apparent nationality (American) as something they could hold over me and reinforce their sense of power.
Cultural identity can be a very weird thing. It holds great power to inspire and to put down. When combined with the idea that all people within one area are the same, one nation, it can become a great force of inspiring change or a destuctive force based in discrimination, however small or large.

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