One of the best things about working in Diplomacy (however, tangentially) is that delegates get to wear their national dress for formal dinners. We had one such dinner (actually, a simulated dinner in honour of a departing ambassador) as part of the workshop on Modern Diplomacy for Small States this week in Malta and it was simply amazing to see how people turned out.
It was a far cry from the usual Black Tie events that see slinky spangled numbers and pant suits. This was a blaze of colour and femininity and made me truly envious of those who take such pride in their countries and their heritage. I couldn’t help but wonder what Irish diplomats turn up in when they have the opportunity to wear their national dress – or is this a phenomenon restricting to the African, Caribbean and Pacific region? Surely not. But then, I did say I was only involved tangentially in Diplomacy, so I can’t say for sure. Is there a practicing diplomat out there who could answer the question for me?
This week, I am grateful for my work and for the fact that it exposes me to people I would otherwise never meet; to cultures I would otherwise never experience; and to perspectives that I would otherwise never share. It was a pleasure to spend ten days at this workshop and to meet such fascinating, fun-loving, fine people, each of whom shares a pride in their country and a willingness to share this with the rest of the world. Who would have thought that good humour and smiles could be so infectious.