An Irish influencer in New York is helping to promote the Irish language and Irish culture among the Irish American community in the United States.
Vivienne Sayers O'Callaghan, who moved to New York last May after spending a year studying in Boston, noticed a growing interest in the Irish language among locals.
The 22-year-old Cork native subsequently launched her TikTok page, @Vivienne_in_NYC, which focuses on promoting the Irish language revival and making Irish culture more accessible to an Irish American audience.
"When I was living in Boston, every second person would tell me that they're Irish and it was a lovely way of engaging with people because you'd always have something to talk about," Sayers O'Callaghan told IrishCentral.
"Weirdly enough, the Irish language always came up. There was a lack of awareness around it. People didn't know its history, its history, if it was still spoken today, or even if it existed.
"I saw this as an opportunity to inform the global Irish community about the Irish language."
Sayers O'Callaghan saw her TikTok account explode overnight, jumping from around 300 followers in July to almost 130,000 followers at the time of writing.
Her videos teach a predominately Irish-American audience about simple Irish phrases and the basic nuances of Irish culture, with a recent video explaining how to order a pumpkin spice latté as Gaeilge.
Another recent video teaches viewers how to say "good morning" in Irish, while another clip provides advice about Irish-language tattoo ideas.
@vivienne_in_nyc HAPPY SATURDAAAYY ☀️ To say "good morning" in Irish, you would say "Maidin mhaith," which is pronounced roughly as "MA-jin wah." The "dh" in "mhaith" is silent. . #Gaeilge • #Éire • #AsGaeilge • #CúplaFocal • #Gaelach • #SeachtainNaGaeilge • #Gaeilgeoir • #BíBródúil • #TeangaGhaeilge • #FoghlaimGaeilge • #LabhairGaeilgeLiom • #CeolGaelach • #LitríochtGhaeilge • #FrásaAnLaE • #PobalGaeilge • #Gaeltacht • #OícheMhaith • #DiaDuit • #Slán • #Fáilte • #Irishin • #IrishinNYC • #Irishinamerica • #Gaelic • #IrishHeritage • #VivinNYC • #irishamerican ♬ Golden Hour (Cover) - Hamishkun
"It's about trying to cater to the older audience but also keeping the younger audience interested," Sayers O'Callaghan said.
The Cork native, who recently graduated from the Cork School of Music at MTU, said she aims to keep her videos "short and snappy" to grab people's attention.
"You need to grab the person within the first two or three seconds. I do have a formula for my videos where it's high energy at the beginning with a one-liner and then I go into the practical stuff.
"At the end of the day, I'm just being myself on the screen and people love the enthusiasm."
Sayers O'Callaghan said the response to her TikTok account has been "overwhelmingly positive" but added that the enthusiasm for the Irish language has not just been confined to social media.
Since moving to New York last May, she has noticed a huge enthusiasm for the Irish language, especially among first-generation Irish immigrants.
"I'm noticing more of an enthusiasm toward the language over here than I am at home and I'm sometimes finding it easier to find Irish speakers here," she told IrishCentral.
"The community is a small bit tighter-knit here, so if you know someone that speaks Irish you're going to find loads more, which is great."
Sayers O'Callaghan believes that Irish people who have recently emigrated to the US are more likely to connect with their native language than those living at home in Ireland because Irishness becomes central to their identity.
"At home, you're just Irish and everyone's the same, but when you move abroad it's just central to your personality.
"There's a comfort and a proudness of being able to speak the cúpla focail in the States."