Another new country! Somebody out there from Isle of Man checked in, probably after a relaxing Sunday spent playing a game of cammag with friends. Thank you reader for giving me a two for one day in terms of geographic discovery. I’m practically Christopher Columbus over here.
Isle of man has an extensive history of inhabitation. Neolithic settlers constructed megaliths, some of which are still visible on the island. The Celts, a major influence on the culture and language on the Isle of Man, settled some time during the Iron age. Later, Vikings established Tynwald, the legislative body on the Island. It is the oldest continuously running parliamentary body in the world– arguably older even than Iceland’s Althing, which was founded in 930 in Thingvellir, a location worth checking out anyway.
The mythology of the area contains several colorful characters. A Fenodyree is a very helpful thing, capable of completing great amounts of work quickly, but is rather unreliable. In one story, he is offered a cap and a coat, but because he prefers to run around naked, he left in a huff. The Moddey Dhoo is a scary black ghost dog who wanders around scaring people. There is also the tradition of recognizing fairies, or “little people,” known as mooinjer veggey in Manx. There is a bridge known as the Fairy Bridge where passers over the bridge are encouraged to call out and greet mooinjer veggey to make sure they have good luck that day.
Notable points about the Isle of Man– the adorable manx cat hails (not tails) from the island. Though the Isle of Man is small, there are distinct dialects within the the Manx language. The name probably comes from a descriptive name for the sight of it coming out of the ocean, and was once spelled “Mann.” Their unofficial national dish is similar to poutine, and their flag is scary!
- Campaigning against tax havens has worked, but we still have a way to go (taxresearch.org.uk)
- Hey there, Jersey!