In Ireland, the Irish know how to receive! Irish hospitality is known to be very warm and surprising! Indeed, the Irish are of an extraordinary kindness, which immediately calls for simplicity and conviviality. Also, don’t be surprised if an Irish person greets you friendly with his head or his hand if you pass on a deserted road, or in a pedestrian street: it’s common here!
In Ireland, people live in human-sized towns and villages, which greatly facilitate contact between Irish people. Tourists will not escape the rule, and may quickly be rewarded with a kind hello, a friendly smile, or some other gesture of welcome.
For let there be no mistake: the Irish love tourists, and their interest in their Irish country. They see it as a real cultural enrichment to get in touch with them, and do not hesitate to assist them with any questions or help. The Irish also don’t hesitate to give a hand to travellers, for example by hitch-hiking, or by offering them a pint at the Pub, after having linked up a conversation.
Strange as it may be, the Irish like to talk all the time, but refuse physical contact, which is rather rare. Irish people will usually shake your hand when you first meet them, or greet you with a simple wave of the hand or head. Kissing is almost non-existent in Ireland, except among young people, who try this new practice rather timidly.
If however, you are rather close to your Irish friend, he may be able to give you a friendly pat on the shoulder, as a sign of good camaraderie… This depends mainly on the type of relationship you have with the person in question.
You should know that most of the Irish welcome can be found at the Pub, where the Irish meet up occasionally to enjoy a pint of Irish beer, with friends, or in front of a Gaelic sports match.
In Ireland, people express themselves with certain Irish expressions and proverbs that you will need to know to perceive all the subtleties of a conversation. Also, you should know first of all that the Irish like to approach topics of conversation with a certain fatalism.
So, when someone asks “How are you”, don’t hesitate to answer with : “It could be worse” or “Not so bad, not so bad”.
You can also discover the panoply of Irish proverbs by consulting our article dedicated to their best quotes… These are imbued with inimitable wisdom and humour!