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Cultural Etiquette and Money Matters: Understanding Local Financial Norms as a Kenyan in Ireland

Cultural Etiquette and Money Matters: Understanding Local Financial Norms as a Kenyan in Ireland

04 Dec 2023

A report by Macrotrends stated that the number of Kenyan migrants worldwide in 2015 was a little over 1 million. A chunk of these migrants have chosen Ireland for work to earn a living. They send money to Kenya from Ireland to offer financial support to their families.

The Kenyan migrants, spread across the world, have been making significant financial contributions to the country’s economy through inward remittances amounting to $4.06 billion in 2022, according to the World Bank.

Robust and Thriving Economy of Ireland

The robust and thriving economy of Ireland, with a nominal GDP of $529.24 billion in 2022 and a GDP per capita income of $104,038.9 in 2022, data sourced from the Word Bank, pulls many an expatriate to the country.

But do you know that working in a foreign country alone is not enough? There is more than meets the eye. You have to consider many factors to ensure your survival in a foreign country. Have you ever thought about these factors?

Well, one of those factors is the seamless integration into the culture of your host country and understanding the behavior of local people, which is essential to thrive and progress in a different country.

This blog will walk you through the behavior of the Irish people and the cultural etiquette of Ireland so that you can integrate into the Irish culture well once you are there.

Understanding Irish Culture and Cultural Etiquette

As a Kenyan migrant, when you travel to Ireland for a job to earn a living and send money from Ireland to Kenya so that you can support your family financially, you have to ensure that you do not act like strangers there.

It means that you have to gel with the locals so that they open up to you and bridge the distances that are integral to meeting a stranger. Right?

And when the people of your host country are affable, nothing is more pertinent than this.

The Irish are friendly and respect human beings. They are hardworking and witty and make extra efforts to welcome visitors. So, getting along with them is not difficult. 

Below is a look into the cultural etiquette of Ireland.

Greeting and Meeting

When you meet the Irish, they expect you to shake hands with them firmly with strong eye contact. So, you must shake hands with everyone in Ireland: men, women, and children. Do not forget to shake hands again when leaving.

Body Language

The Irish people are not expressive in their body language. They also expect you not to demonstrate your expressions through your body language. They do not feel comfortable with displaying your affection publically. Also, they don’t like loudness, aggression, and arrogance.

Corporate Culture

Irish are not punctual, and you know that for a business to be successful, the punctuality of the staff is one of the keys. But as a Kenyan migrant, you are expected to be highly punctual. Irish are also stoic in crisis. They outwardly accept authority but inwardly hate it; hence, they hate bureaucracy!

Entertainment and Dining

Restaurants are considered the best places for entertainment. Business meetings take place there. Table manners are similar to England’s but a little more relaxed. Remember that refusing a drink in Ireland is perceived as an insult.

Dress Code

You should dress modestly and conservatively. Although the Irish people use bright colors and flashy clothes, as a Kenyan migrant in Ireland, you should dress simply. Never forget to have a raincoat across the year. People wear formal suits for business meetings.

Gift Exchange

The exchange of gifts in Ireland is unusual, particularly in business meetings. You can exchange gifts but avoid expensive gifts. When you are invited by someone, bring a small gift for the host. Flowers, wine, and chocolates are preferable, but remember that Lilies are used for religious occasions, and red and white flowers symbolize grief and death.

Understanding the Financial Behaviour of the Irish People

The financial behavior of the Irish people is something you can learn a lot from in terms of saving money to send more financial support in your every money transfer from Ireland to Kenya. Because primarily, the Irish people’s financial behavior is rooted in savings.

Taking a cue from how the Irish save money, learn here all the essential tips about saving money as an expatriate.

Let’s now see the financial behavior of the Irish people.

Ageing Population

The population of Ireland is aging. Older people save more than the younger people. Therefore, the habit of saving money for the people of Ireland can largely be attributed to the country’s aging population.

Cost of Living and Housing Crisis

The second reason that causes the Irish to save money stems from the rising inflation in recent years. This inflation also made it impossible for the people to buy houses and property. It caused them to live in rented houses, which further added to the cost of living.

Celtic Tiger Legacy

A few years ago, obtaining loans through credit cards and mortgages was a normal practice in Ireland. People could afford houses and property, but things went haywire in the 2008 financial crunch. People got heavily indebted and lost savings along with their assets.

These three primary reasons have shaped the financial behavior of the Irish people.

Enjoying the Rich Irish Culture – A Few Tips

In the context of your tiring expatriate life and hectic routine rooted in earning a living and sending financial support back home through several ways to send money to Kenya from Ireland, it is essential to enjoy the rich and thriving Irish culture. Here’s how to do it.

  • Understand the wit and wisdom of Irish people and use Irish sayings
  • Share little poems in your informal gatherings to express yourself
  • Play Irish music, which includes folk songs, upbeat and joyful tracks, and all in between
  • Serve, eat, and enjoy Irish food full of potatoes, vegetables, and meat
  • Know the ancient Irish symbols and display them. They are deeply meaningful heritage
  • Wear Irish clothes, but be conscious about what you are wearing on which occasion
  • Celebrate the Irish holidays with the locals
  • Play or watch Irish sports, plenty of which you can find in Ireland
  • Watch Irish movies and those based on true Irish events
  • Watch and enjoy the Irish dance which will amaze you
  • Learn facts about Ireland and know the Irish folklore
  • Give your baby an Irish name if the need arises

Following these tips, you can easily enjoy the rich Irish culture.


Wrapping Up the Discussion

After you integrate into the Irish culture and learn etiquette and behavior, you embark upon the journey of earning a living there and offer financial aid back home. Right? So, if you send money online to Kenya from Ireland through ACE Money Transfer, you will get live and market-competitive currency exchange rates, speed, safety, convenience, and much more from just one stop in exchange for a low fee.


Why do Kenyans travel to Ireland?

Kenyans travel to Ireland to find jobs and earn a living. Plenty of jobs are available in Ireland for migrants due to the country’s robust economy, expansive job market, and multiple opportunities in many professional fields.

Why is understanding the culture of my host country essential?

Understanding the culture of your host country is essential because it helps you integrate into the society, know the locals, and gel with them to get along. All of this is essential for your survival and financial prosperity.

What Irish cultural etiquette should I know about?

The Irish cultural etiquette you should know about includes greeting and meeting, body language, dining, dressing, exchange of gifts, corporate culture, entertainment, and so on. 

What is the financial behavior of the Irish people?

The financial behavior of the Irish people is rooted in savings, for which the primary reasons include the aging Irish population, the cost of living and housing crisis, and the Celtic Tiger Legacy.

What are the tips for enjoying the Irish culture?

The essential tips to enjoy the Irish culture include listening to Irish music, learning its folklore, understanding Irish wit and wisdom, using local poems, watching Irish movies and dance, playing Irish games and food, and so on.

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