街が虹色に染まる日/ A day coloured rainbows

619日~28日はThe Dublin LGBT Pride Festivalが開催され、

During The Dublin LGBT Pride Festival from 19th to 28th June, the biggest event which took place was the Pride Parade on the major roads in Dublin city centre.



After the March Referendum on same sex marriage conducted last month, Ireland became the very first nation in the world where same sex marriage was regarded as legal.



Due to such background, this annual Pride Festival especially the parade this year was the biggest in Irish history.  In total, around 50,000 people participated in this colourful day.




パレード、と言えばこちらで有名なのが本家アイルランドの毎年3月に行われるSt. Patrick’s Parade。これをはるかに上回るにぎわいと感じた。

The cheers both along the route and from the participants themselves were mixed and the route looked like a rainbow!  When it comes to a parade in Ireland, one of the most famous happenings is the St. Patrick’s day parade, which is held in every March 17th. I felt, however, the Pride Parade had been far more cheerful than the St. Paddy’s one.


St. Patrick’s parade is now an internationally recognised event and it is easier to find hundreds of foreign performers and music players in the home of St. Patrick.  The local people rather look at it out of the corner of their eyes, or it’s just another day for an excuse to have some more pints. 




What surprised me was that this pride parade had more enthusiasm from local people.  Considering the multiculturalism in the capital of Dublin, I guess there were many participants from abroad, but a lot of Ireland based companies participated in the parade flying bunches of baloons.  Otherwise, the crowd wore handmade rainbow coloured dresses and carried banners.



Moreover, I felt that gay/lesbian couples did have strong solidarity with each other, and also, they had strong support from those who were around them.   

Actually, I also have some gay friends and colleagues here in Ireland.  Likewise, more and more Irish people tend to have deeper understanding and generosity towards the diversity of people including LGBT, because they know at least a few LGBTs in their community, workplaces, or family. 




It is, however, still amazing to see such a rapid social change in one country within only two decades.  The key is, I believe, the flexibility and generosity of Irish people.



Out of the whole population, around 4.3million, Christians account for approximately 85%.  Up untill 1993, homosexuality had been regarded as a crime and it had been subject for punishment.  Furthermore, divorce had been illegal until 1996.  When the Civil Partnership Law was approved, legal rights, which were similar to the marriage between different sexes, had been approved.  After five years, same sex marriage has been legalised this year at last.


Ireland today has been formed by citizens’participation in referendums and by the amendments to the constitution which has been carried out more than 30 times since 1937, when the constitution was assembled. 




Ireland has sent millions of people to other countries as immigrants after the Great Famine in the 19th century.  People who once emigrated to other continents, or ancestors of them came back to their home bringing a new sense of value.  It seems to me that a potential and motivation for changing the home is the generosity towards new things that Irish people encountered outside the country.  




Even though Ireland is an island country like Japan, its economic scale, population and area size are different from Japan.

These big social changes could have been made due to the small country, but I guess it’s the same in Japan, that it is the citizens who can change their society.

Then, how is the weather like in Ireland tomorrow.  Who knows…?

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