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  1. #1
    EdinSteve is offline Membership Suspended for repeated rule violations.
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    An interesting article by a Scot at Oxford university

    I read this today and thought it gave a valuable insight into cultural appropriation and attitudes towards kilt-wearing in Scotland today -
    https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2019/0...al-stramashes/ - .
    A good insight and may shed some light on Jock Scott’s (and mine I would add) attitude towards wearing the kilt outwith Scotland. Not a prohibition but a warning to the unwary.
    As for “Caledonian balls” I leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions.

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  3. #2
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    An interesting read I enjoyed that thank you for posting. The author mentions "something quite fiery is provoked from below our hired kilt jackets: a kindling sense of kindred spirit towards those who suffered under the Clearances and saw their cultures and homes obliterated."

    It puzzles me why some Scots feel uncomfortable about the descendants of those cleared from the land maintaining some level of connection with the land they were forced to leave and its culture. We are still your kin.

  4. #3
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    There’s better causes in the world than this. Perhaps the students should start a band.

  5. #4
    EdinSteve is offline Membership Suspended for repeated rule violations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlemalt View Post
    It puzzles me why some Scots feel uncomfortable about the descendants of those cleared from the land maintaining some level of connection with the land they were forced to leave and its culture. We are still your kin.
    I have more in common with this quote from the article -
    “I can’t speak for a country, but I don’t think many Scots believe that English people (or Lowlanders, for that matter) wearing kilts or playing in ceilidh bands are guilty of cultural appropriation. In fact, I think most of us would be outraged at the mere suggestion. Most of us, at heart, realise the tartan-mythdom at the heart of our national traditions. Nobody sees them as a sacred part of our culture, not to be sullied or tampered with. Rather, they’re something that should be welcoming to all, a key component of the gregarious and inclusive national image we so like to project”
    Please don’t confuse the type of cultural appropriation in these “Caledonian balls” described in the article with Scottish attitudes towards the diaspora worldwide and I hope the quote above helps to put that to rest. What really comes through is that a native Scot felt so alienated among this group of non-Scots playing at his culture (badly).

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  7. #5
    EdinSteve is offline Membership Suspended for repeated rule violations.
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    Did I mention that someone has said that Scotland is enjoying record temperatures just now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlemalt View Post
    It puzzles me why some Scots feel uncomfortable about the descendants of those cleared from the land maintaining some level of connection with the land they were forced to leave and its culture. We are still your kin.
    I think "uncomfortable" may not be the right word - we are mystified about why most Scots who move to, say, England lose all interest in the old country after one generation whereas, over the Pond, a need to maintain "roots" persists for so long. "kin" is just not a word that has any real meaning in the UK. It may be in part that those who crossed the Atlantic put it about that they had been evicted even though most were sufficiently well off that they could pay their passage and chose that route rather than walk in poverty to the Glasgow slums where life expectancy was around 30 years. Who had the better deal?

    Alan

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  10. #7
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    It always confounds me how people on two sides of the pond can have such diverse views on the same issue - how people should think of a former life and current heritage. It seems to me that it's largely a matter of a difference in culture.
    Rev'd Father Bill White: Retired Parish Priest & Elementary Headmaster, lover of God, people (most of them!) dogs, joy, humour & clarity. Legion Padre, theologian, teacher, philosopher, linguist, dreamer, traditionalist, bon-vivant, encourager of hearts & souls & a firm believer in dignity, decency, & duty. A proud Sinclair.

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    Lightbulb A very meandering article

    My first impression is that the article wandered around and failed to tie together cohesively.

    My second impression can be summarized by the following quote:
    "Frustration arises from the gap between our expectations and reality."

    My third impression is probably best explained by an example:
    If I hosted a Cinco de Mayo party (celebrating Mexican Independence Day), I would not feel obliged to make my party be as authentic as possible. If one of my Mexican or Mexican-American friends wants my party to be more authentic, they can offer to help organize and set up the part. Any portion of the party they take responsibility for ... it will be exactly as authentic as they want to make it.

    If those particular Scottish students want the ceilidh or Caledonian Ball to be more authentic, they should volunteer to help with planning and putting together those events. If they are barred from getting involved, or if they are discouraged from getting involved, then they have a valid complaint. But it's not reasonable for someone to contribute nothing but complaints.

    ....

    As someone who is a bit older and more experienced than the author of the article, I take responsibility for setting my expectations. When I saw a Tex-Mex restaurant in Reykjavik, Iceland, I lowered my expectations regarding the authenticity of the food.

    I might laugh about the lack of authenticity, but I won't complain about it, feel frustrated by it, or feel offended by it.
    Trying to look good on a budget.

  12. #9
    EdinSteve is offline Membership Suspended for repeated rule violations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl R View Post
    If those particular Scottish students want the ceilidh or Caledonian Ball to be more authentic, they should volunteer to help with planning and putting together those events. If they are barred from getting involved, or if they are discouraged from getting involved, then they have a valid complaint
    Thanks for your impression of the article which I assume is from a fairly young undergraduate.
    I think you may be missing the point, however, in that English institutions, such as Oxford University tend not to welcome participation from the “Celtic fringes” such as Scotland. While it would be wonderful for these scions of the English establishment to turn over their hegemony over such matters to a Celtic fringe, it is unlikely to happen, and, in fact, it never has in the over 300 years since the union of parliaments.

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  14. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by neloon View Post
    I think "uncomfortable" may not be the right word - we are mystified about why most Scots who move to, say, England lose all interest in the old country after one generation whereas, over the Pond, a need to maintain "roots" persists for so long.
    I believe the difference is that those who migrated south to England were immediately integrated into that other culture, and likely forced to minimise their Scottish roots for the sake of getting along. Whereas the shiploads of Scots who arrived in the New World created their own communities that were familiar to them. In other words, they took their Scottish culture with them and built it anew, since there was (at the time) no existing culture that needed to be blended into.

    Most of America was settled in ethnic pockets. We have large areas settled by Germans, or Polish, or Scots, or English, or Irish, or Chinese, and the list goes on. Each of these cultural pockets retained a stong sense of their homeland, and that in itself became part of being an American. We identify not only as Americans, but as where our people came from.


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