I picked up a copy of The Irish Times at Trinity College’s student store. We had just been on a guided tour of the campus and had a look at the Book of Kells exhibit. We also visited the Long Room, which is the main chamber of the college’s Old Library. It holds about 200,000 of the oldest books in the library’s collection.
The day at Trinity was filled with words, and it seemed fitting that I’d pick up my newspaper here. It’s a much thicker paper than Athens Views and The Daily Sabah. It offers more sports, business, and politics coverage than the others. I wasn’t interested in any of that, even though there were some articles about U.S. events. Instead, I found myself focusing on a short article on the front page, below the fold, from India:
Street performers are common in cities all over the world. We saw accordion players in Istanbul and Athens. In Dublin, we saw harmonica players, singers with guitars, and even a street-dance troupe of Russian guys. Every one of them is performing for free but hoping for tips. India wants to coach and then pay its street performers - “begging minstrels” - to sing positive songs about Prime Minister Modi’s programs addressing issues from poverty to female empowerment. Unsurprisingly, opinions vary on the worthiness of this plan.
I thought it very interesting that a major Irish paper would put this on its front page. I don’t know what to make of it; I just find it interesting.