Friday, May 19, 2006


Corsicans and Irish have a lot in common: discuss

I've always had the feeling that the Corsicans and the Irish have a lot in common, but I'm not at all sure why.

A friend of mine, having visited both Corsica and Ireland recently, agreed, suggesting that the reason might be because both nations feel a bit downtrodden. However, I think this is grossly unfair to both of them. I think the proximity of a large and relatively powerful neighbour is a common element, and the difficulty these neighbours have had in ruling them is another bit of history they share. But there's a kind of endearing bloody-mindedness that I find attractive in both of these ancient peoples, and I expect it's one of the reasons why this Irishman has decided to write a blog about Corsica.

The Irish and the Corsicans both have measureable diasporas. The Irish have taken the USA by storm; The Corsicans have emigrated in droves to Puerto Rico to the extent that there are now more people in Puerto Rico with Corsican Ancestry than there are Corsicans living in Corsica. Check out Corsica Lista (see left hand column for link) to check out the posts from all the Puerto Ricans looking here for their ancestors!

It would make an intriguing study for a social anthropologist. If you are one and you're reading this, do drop me a line with the outline of your thesis.

Yes I think there are common themes as you suggest, DTR, but also the melancholy music maybe is another bond. Irish musicians are increasingly popular here. There is a movement to revive the Corsican Quadrille and the music is very akin to Irish fiddling. No language other than the fiddle and linked arms are necessary for gaels and corses to communicate. If anyone is interested, they can find out more by visiting the English language version of the site of Tutti in Piazza - the quadrille association that has had several Irish musicians over (
Another thing is that in Corsica, there is a feeling of affiny with Northern Ireland - for reasons of politics. Nationalist politicians of all persuasions feel that way and the democratic ones had John Hume over as an honored guest. Another feeling of brotherhood comes from the minority language side of things. That links, perhaps with your suggestion about the diaspora. It would indeed be interesting to hear from others.
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