A taste of Ireland
When Irish Eyes Are SmilingSONIA BEAL
From shamrocks to leprechauns, Irish ditties to gaelic tongue - school children at Rapaura School near Blenheim are getting a wee taste of Ireland's biggest annual national festival, St Patrick's Day.
Rapaura School new entrant/year 1 teacher Aoife O'Shaughnessy, originally from Dublin, Ireland, has been living in New Zealand for 4 years. Today marks the fifth year she has held a green day for her class to introduce them to Irish culture.
"They love it," Miss O'Shaughnessy said.
"It's their first introduction, really, to Ireland when they start school."
Children in both the new entrant and year 2 classes are spending the day doing leprechaun poems, watching clips of gaelic football or hurling matches and learning Irish songs such as Ireland's Call, sung by Irish rugby players at the start of a match, and When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.
The classroom was to be decked out in green decorations and pupils in both classes were asked to wear green to tie in with the Irish theme.
Teacher aide Nikki Martella had also baked shamrock-shaped cookies for the children.
While New Zealanders got right into the festivities of the day, St Patrick's in Ireland was "huge", especially as it was a public holiday, Miss O'Shaughnessy said.
Besides the invariable promise of a big sports final to watch, it was a great day for enjoying with friends, which she planned to do for this St Patrick's Day on Sunday.
- © Fairfax NZ News