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Dublin: 7 °C Thursday 20 November, 2014

Column: There’s something about Ireland … this is the country I now call home

Brazilian-born Sury Fiorini came to Ireland without knowing what to expect; what she found was an affinity with a country, a people and “the definition of the word patriotism”.

Sury Fiorini

I’VE BEEN CALLING Ireland home for the past six years and 11 months. I still remember when I decided to come to Dublin at the age of 23. I was a young girl with crushed dreams but filled with hope.

I always wanted to live abroad. I’ve never had a specific country in mind but I knew I wanted to leave Brazil. People always ask me why I’ve chosen Ireland and the truth is, I do not have an answer for that. I didn’t know anything about Ireland. The only thing I knew was that it’s an English-speaking country and the home of U2. It was pretty much an instant decision as Ireland ticked all my boxes.

Funnily enough, I only did research about the country after I decided that Ireland would be my destination. I remember reading about the weather, the average temperatures, the apartment rent prices, the public transport system and the landscape. I was so happy about my decision that I never gave attention to the weather aspect. Even though everybody complains about this, I have to say that the Irish weather still doesn’t bother me that much!

I arrived in Ireland in April (the 26th to be more specific) and I remember it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the sky was blue and temperatures were around 14 degrees, which at that time was way too cold for me. The weather kept like that for a few consecutive days so maybe that’s why I wasn’t caught up on the “Irish weather is horrible” thing. I was too busy enjoying the nice things Dublin had to offer while the sun was shining.

I feel Irish every day

They say that “Everybody is Irish on March 17th” but I feel Irish every day. Ireland really accepted me and I fell in love with this country pretty much immediately after my arrival. Things just worked out for me and, yes, I believe that was written in the stars that I was supposed to come here. It was fate. It was destiny!

Ireland gave me everything I have and for this, I will be forever thankful. Ireland gave me freedom, independence, a career, hopes, love and happiness. My connection with Ireland is so strong that, in a way, I feel the right to claim myself Irish. I feel the pride and the struggles of this country, every day.

Yes, it’s true that there is no perfect place and I could point out thousands of things that annoy me about Ireland, but this is not important. What is important is to be looked in the eye and receive a “good morning” and a smile by a stranger. It’s to be offered a joke and a laugh without asking for it. It’s celebrating life with friends for no specific reason. It’s not stressing out for small things and moving on with a smile rather than with anger. It’s contemplating the beautiful green grass and the double rainbows in the sky. It’s being proud of your origin, your history and your country!

Learning the definition of patriotism

In Ireland, I definitely learned the definition of the word patriotism. Not that I don’t love my country, because I do, very much, but I’m talking about the real meaning of the word. I’m not talking about being ignorant and thinking that your country is the best country in the world and all the others are below yours. I’m also not talking about “burning” the flag once the country’s football team plays bad. I’m talking about loving your nation, despite all the bad stuff and the crises, believing that good times will come, being proud of the input your people have in the world, knowing that there are so many great countries out there but that Ireland will always be home.

I strongly believe that we are a reflection of the society we live. Ireland made me happier because people here are nothing but smiles and warmth. It’s easy to be a nicer person to others when you live around generous people. It’s simple to live light when people around you are not in a rush. It’s easy to be happy when people around you are happy too.

There is something about Ireland. What that is? Hard to tell. It’s not just about the green grass, the sheep, the rainbows, the people, the Guinness, the “craic”. Ireland is an experience, Ireland is a lifestyle. Well, maybe I didn’t know why I chose to come to Ireland in the first place, but I definitely know why I’ve decided to stay and call Ireland home sweet home.

Sury Fiorini is originally from Brazil but has been living in Ireland for the past seven years. She works for a tech company in Dublin and blogs at: www.surysthoughts.wordpress.com.

Read: Hidden Ireland: From the Boyne flows the story of Ireland

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