Sunday, 30 November 2008
I thought as it's Saint Andrew's Day today, I would do a little reflecting on what it means to me to be Scottish. It means a lot to me to be able to say that I come from such a beautiful little country. I often wish (due to the fact that I am, and remain, fiercely Scottish, and never feel especially 'British') that I could put 'Scottish' as my nationality, however, I was dismayed to discover that my passport says I am from 'Great Britain.' I also sometimes feel that because of having to put 'UK' as the 'country' I live in (though strictly speaking - if I'm going to be pedantic - I suppose it is, in actuality, a group of countries), that I have been stripped of being able to say that I'm in, or from, Scotland.
[edit: I would also like to add that Scotland is often classed as a 'region' in the UK or 'Great Britain' and that frankly, this is a bit of an insult!]
Still, today is about celebrating my heritage, not negativity. The things I love about Scotland are far too numerous to list completely, but here are a few: wonderful scenery, nessie, lochs, skiing, bens, celtic art, the history, knitwear, tartan, the wildlife, heiland coos, haggis, red cheddar, shortbread, tunnocks teacakes, raspberries, crannachan, the beano, the broons, oor wullie, wonderful soft Scottish water, tattie scones, fudge, tablet, toffee, hogmanay, burns night, smoked salmon, Aberdeen angus beef, men in kilts, Gaelic, the Scots language - and the people too, with their cheeky banter :) oh, yes: last but certainly never least: the magic hangover-curing rocket fuel that is irn-bru! And lucky us, we have two flags to choose from - the Lion Rampant and the Saltire, or St. Andrew's Cross. I love both, because of the decorative quality of the lion, and the fact that nobody can ever quite agree on the exact shade of 'sky blue' your Saltire should be!
As a child, I lived abroad for a while, and in some ways, it made me feel more Scottish than ever... When not in our home country, we hold onto what makes us Scots. It was things like celebrating Hogmanay in our usual style complete with fireworks, lovely shortbread and (if we were really lucky, and had actually managed to track some down!) maybe some irn-bru, which were important traditions that reminded us of home.