By Michaela Vitagliano [Visiting Student Blogger]
“When you go back for Christmas you’ll have to tell people you shook hands with Taoiseach Enda Kenny (Ireland’s Prime Minister),” my host family advises me.
“Ah, but I only saw him at the Gingerman Bar” I try to explain, until I’m cut off with a laugh and a knowing, “but they won’t know. The Irish way is to embellish a story!”
I’ve always been drawn to stories – not just what they say, but how. When traveling to a new country, I am eager to hear stories – legends, folklore, and historical events—that are part of a country’s culture. Indeed, learning a culture or another person’s identity is inextricably tied to narratives. Just think of the question, “So, what’s your story?”, prompting one to forge a coherent narrative in order to ultimately connect and communicate with others.