Ireland, Brittany, and Alcohol: An Anatomy of a Complicated Story
[Irlandiia, Bretan’ i alkogol’: anatomiia neprostoi istorii]
Brittany, Ireland, alcoholism, colonialism, racialization, cultural trauma, identity markers, holiday traditions
The commonly held notions about alcoholism among the Irish and the Bretons may be traced back to the racist nineteenth-century outlooks that arose from the view of these people as representatives of “lower races”, for alcohol addiction was regarded as one of the inherent traits of those. These notions do not help us understand the part that alcoholic drinks play in the everyday life of today’s Irish and Bretons. Ireland and Brittany have much in common; cultural ties and exchange between them have significantly widened within the last two decades, and the bond is further strengthened by the shared — similar in many ways yet unalike — Celtic heritage. Brittany borrowed Ireland’s pub culture which readily took root in its milieu of local taverns and bars. The racist stereotypes of the colonial past are long gone, while weaknesses such as immoderate alcohol consumption are turned to an advantage and serve the promotion of local cultural identity. The article discusses both the historical traumas experienced by these societies and accounting for the persistence of certain cultural practices, and the factors conducive to the symbolic transformation of drinking and alcohol into identity markers of the globalization era.
Bévant, Y. 2019. Ireland, Brittany, and Alcohol: An Anatomy of a Complicated Story [Irlandiia, Bretan’ i alkogol’: anatomiia neprostoi istorii]. Etnograficheskoe obozrenie 4: 89–102. https://doi.org/10.31857/S086954150006194-3
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