Dueling decolonizations

Himself went over to Ireland to visit his Dad several months ago. My father-in-law moved to Ireland shortly after his wife died…around 12 years ago. He’s got a nice little setup there and, aside from the odd cultural blunder that only a cashed up English person can commit in Ireland, he’s been well sorted.
Last year Himself had a DNA test and discovered–to everyone’s surprise–that’s he’s mostly of Irish stock. Suffice to say my family are thrilled (“We KNEW there was a reason we liked him!”). Himself has been researching his ancestry and now knows most of his Irish genes are from Donegal. So in addition to visiting his Dad in Wexford, this most recent trip inlcluded a motorcycle hire and a trip down the west coast of Ireland.
Max came home with some Irish language learning materials and was well into Duolingo’s Irish modules before coming home.
We hadn’t really discussed us both learning Irish. I’ve tried twice before: once using Plimseur’s (pretty good; pretty basic) and once in an adult ed course at Sydney Uni (charming fella from Connemara, but an eejit of a teacher). Why not, you say?
Except…I’d already committed to start a course in te rēo Māori in March of this year. This is offered through Wānanga o Aotearoa, our national Māori tertiary institution. All NZ residents and citizens can study there for FREE. And we’re doing it as a cohort through work. I collaborate with a number of Māori colleagues so it only seems right that I try to decolonize myself by learning the reo. Though after Himself arrived with a bevy of as gaelige booty, it occurred to me that as a member of the Irish diaspora I could do with some decolonization myself.
But I couldn’t possible do both…or could I?
So I will soon be officially doing what many European 8 years do: studying two languages concurrently. And as an educational researcher I am going to research myself through the process…here, in this blog.
*deep breath*


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