Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Everything you need to know about N. Ireland....

....that is, if you just need to know the very surface-level information because your friends are moving there for a few years and you might want to know what you're talking about.
This is confusing, especially for us Americans that are used to our nice tidy country-state-county-city system that makes up the United States.  But to a foreigner, that could even be a bit confusing.  I mean, I'm from America, but so are Canadians.  Did you ever think about that?  The technicality of it all?

Well, it's similar over there.  We aren't going to Ireland.  We going to Northern Ireland.  And there is a difference.  For all of you that are like me and need it explained.....
(and trust me, I don't know it all....I lived in N. Ireland for a semester in college and still had to look up the following information on the internet.)  (Have I mentioned that I couldn't point out New Hampshire on a map of the US?)

Anyways,  Northern Ireland is separate from Ireland.  It's an entirely different country.  The major city that you may have heard of is Belfast - which is its capital and where the Titanic was built.
Northern Ireland is part of the UK (short for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland), but is not part of Great Britain.  Great Britain is only made up of the countries on the island.  (See images below.)
This is the British Isles.  It includes Wales, Scotland, England, Ireland, and Northern Ireland
This is Northern Ireland (in the red).  It is separate from Ireland.  It has a different government and flag.

Here is the flag of Northern Ireland.  I used to know what everything meant...but I will have to get back to you on that one.  I've had a few other things fill my brain in the last 11 years, so there are things I forget....back off.

Okay, now here is where it gets complicated.....

The orange is Great Britain.  It's made up of England, Scotland, and Wales - the three countries that include all of the land on the island itself. 

Here's a break-down for you......

Now.....what Northern Ireland is actually a part of is the UK, which technically includes everything in the British Isles except for The Republic of Ireland (most commonly known simply as "Ireland")....
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
 So there you go.  We got the basic Geography down.  If anything, I needed this as a refresher course, but I also don't want anyone to get confused about where we're going.  We're going to a country that is still under rule by the monarchy.  According to Wikipedia (I know, I know, not a real source - don't tell my students) it is in and of itself a country made up of countries.  
Hmmmm....I think that's enough Geography for today, wouldn't you say?   
I need to go nurse my coffee while my brain takes a chill pill.


thewonderfulhappens said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

that was actually quite educational for me. I always get confused when England and the UK are involved. I never know if they are the same thing or what, but am usually too embarrassed to ask!

Jme said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

So your cake had the wrong flag on it! Who knew? Thanks for the Ireland lesson.

Celeste and Tom said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I enjoyed the geography lesson and await more details regarding how you found or decided to volunteer for this organization. (I have been to Dublin but not to N. Ireland. Hubby went a few years ago to N. Ireland to commemorate "Bloody Sunday" march.