Being Australian, on the 26th of January, I’m usually engaged in such patriotic activities as gambling, not working, and drinking litres of beer in the sun. However, this year I happened to be in Colombia. And, as we know, the best thing to do for Australia Day in Colombia is go to a Colombian Irish Music Concert.
Colombian. Irish. Music. Concert. These are all words I know. However, just like the phrase, “Yahoo Serious Festival,” they shouldn’t really work together.
Colombia just keeps on surprising me.
As we know, Colombia has music coursing through its veins. But it’s generally Latin music. Salsa. Vallenato. Cumbia. Hell, even reggaeton. But the last thing I thought I’d see over here is two Colombians dancing a jig to some fiddle music. But it happens, and I have proof.
Celtic Hearts is a group promoting all things to do with Irish music here in Colombia, and has thriving branches in the two largest centres, Bogotá and Medellín. They put on regular events where you’ll see genuine Colombians kicking up their feet in the best Lord of the Dance style, and not sashaying away to salsa nor even getting low and dirty to reggaeton. Not knowing particularly much about Ireland other than Dylan Moran, beer and whiskey; it was a slightly surreal experience learning the ins and outs from a bunch of Colombians. And they’re a knowledgeable lot, too.
What I particularly enjoyed was the zeal which this group displayed towards the Irish culture. I guess that, as it’s quite a niche market here, it’s necessary for those that follow it to have a grand passion for it. It’s almost scary, but in a nice way, I assure you. And, if you happen to find yourself in either of the two biggest cities for St Patrick’s Day (it’s not that far away, now), and feel a little stranded, there’s probably no better way to remedy this than to go join a bunch of rolos or paisas getting all Irish on you. There’s a good chance there will be more Jameson’s than aguardiente, too…
To be sure, to be sure.
The next Irish Music events are on the 9th of March at the Rock House Kafebar in Bogotá, and then, to be sure, on Friday the 15th (early St. Patrick’s day) at Aula-i International in Medellín, and on Saturday the 16th at the appropriately named Irish Pub (obviously the 16th turns into St Patty’s day pretty quickly) in Bogotá.