Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

what does it mean to be Scottish?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Hi, Menuez, and welcome to a great website.
    It's difficult to suggest what life would have been like for your great great grandmother in Scotland before she went to America.
    What area did she live in? What were her family connections? How many of her family travelled with her to America, and in what year?
    What was the family name?
    These are just some of the questions that need answers to give us a clue as to where to begin our thinking to help answer your main question.
    Then - as to what it is to be Scottish. I expect there will be many different answers to that one, just as there would be as to what it is to be American, Australian, Canadian, etc.
    However, my own individual answer is that you haveto be born and spend some of your time in Scotland to really appreciate what it is. (Others will disagree with me, and say that if you have Scottish ancestors and you have feelings for Scotland, then you are Scottish. I don't think so, but I respect the right of anyone who wants to be Scottish). There is an old saying that there are 2 kinds of people - those who are Scots, and those who would be.
    I like to think that Scots are very warm-hearted, honest and forthright people - but, of course, I've met a few who are otherwise. It used to be that we believed that our educational system was second to none, but from what I read on the internet I have my doubts about that applying nowadays. We are certainly a proud people, but can take a laugh at ourselves. Heaven help you, though, if you slight one of us. [Does this sound like what most people would say of their own race, anyway?].
    I'll wait for comments from others before I risk saying anymore, for I think I might be in for a bit of a thumping if I've offended anyone so far!
    I'd suggest another book for you to read to appreciate some of the conditions in some parts of Scotland at the turn of the nineteenth century - "The Highland Clearances" by John Prebble, 1963, reprinted many times. I have the Penguin Books edition of 1988 ISBN 0 14 00.2837 4.
    Again, Welcome, and best wishes on your research on your Scottish ancestry.
    Maggies Boy

    Comment


    • #17
      To me, Scotland's biggest export is its educated young people. Most go back to retire, however, ... or to be buried. At least it is that way in the Islands off the West Coast. To my mind, the Scottishness in me seems to be stronger when I see scenes like Glen Coe on a winter's day or hear the sound of a lone bagpipe player. Better still, the massed bands at the Edinburgh Festival. Or, talking to a fellow Scot. You can always recognise the Scot when hearing fiddle/accordion music - he or she is the one wearing out the carpet with foot tapping!

      Comment


      • #18
        Hello to maggiesboy and ptarmigan,
        Thanks to both of you for your insightful replies. I am probably like most Americans in the sense that I have an interest in knowing what it is that made my people come here to the states; we as Americans are made up of a million different things and ideas that all come together (sort of) to make us Americans. My family came from Aberdeen, as well as I can tell. My grandmother came to the US when she was 17-21 years old. Her name was Mary Cooper and first came to Norfolk, Virginia before moving to Ohio. That is really all I know about her, and for years I have tried to imagine what would make a person be so bold or whatever to make a move like that. I have never been to Scotland and certainly don't claim to be Scottish, but I would like to get a feel for what makes you uniquely Scottish. I really appreciate all the input. Your country and people sound wonderful and interesting and most of all, fun. That I can admire! As I have said before on this site, I am trying to pay some homage to my distant Scottish roots by giving a new baby a Scottish name, but I think I have come to the conclusion that I can't really figure out what it means to be Scottish, cause let's face it, I am not Scottish. All I will ever really know about is being an American cause this is my time, my place. I do greatly enjoy hearing about your lives, though. Thanks again for all you have given me.

        Comment


        • #19
          I was born in the north-east of scotland and emigrated with my parents in 1966.
          Since then, I have taken up playing the bagpipes, become a teacher of scottish country dancing and wear the kilt on a regular basis.
          It appears to me that one tends to accentuate their heritage upon leaving the home country.
          Does anyone else care to comment?

          Comment


          • #20
            I agree. I've been living in the States for 4 years and came back over with my wife for a short vacation. Would you believe it was my first time in Edinburgh Castle, and I'm from Galashiels!

            Nowadays I really appreciate the scenery and history more than ever.

            Comment


            • #21
              Covie, I tend to agree.
              When I was leaving Scotland in 1973, my close mate who had been an engineer in Africa advised me not to join Caledonian societies and be a Scot in A Scottish community. He suggested that my wife and I should fit in to our new country as immigrants and be as close to being New Zealanders as possible. We tried that, but thank heavens that we could not avoid being obviouusly Scottish.
              My big regret is that I am not the expert on Scottish history and such that my N. Z. friends think I should be. My accent, the soft Edinburgh burr, has never deserted me, and I'm not exactly introvert or quietly spoken. So, when I speak, it's usually picked up that I'm Scottish.
              Friendly people approach me, as I'm sure they do other Scots people throughout the world on hearing the accent, and tell me of their Scottish connections. Sometimes I feel like saying "Yeah, I know him (her)" just to be different. But when they question me on Scottish details I often don't know the answer. So, I use the websites to learn what I can, to be better prepared to be a good ambassador for Scotland.

              Comment


              • #22
                MaggiesBoy,

                As an American, I feel that, generally, people here tend to have somewhat of a romantic notion about Europe. We like to think of it being this quaint place with a long history and fabulous culture, which of course, is true to a certain extent, but not as much as the common notion in the US. It I were you, I would play up your Scottishness to the hilt, man. People love to hear Scottish and Irish people talk and hear these romantic stories from the old country. In America, a land of endless possibilities, the thought of a place that has limits in resources, and land and population, is somehow appealing. We are a great country but sometimes we all wish for something a little smaller, a little less loud and messy, something a little more cozy. I would just make up some history with some more lurid details if I were you! LOL

                Comment


                • #23
                  I do find that Americans have less of a sense of time. I remember almost bursting out laughing when a workmate was talking about his fathers house, and it was nearly a hundred years old. He said it with such awe.

                  Having said that, when I lived in Scotland, I thought a hundred miles was a vast distance. Now I would drive that just to get a pizza.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Reiverix,
                    Thanks for you reply.
                    I remember a Sunday night in DK with some humor. We were sitting around watching movies and I was a little hungry for some American food after having been in DK for about 2 weeks. I suggested that maybe we could go to a store for some potato chips and soda; well, our hosts were taken aback. They had never imagined driving somewhere on a Sunday night like that just for potato chips. To them it seemed wacky and unique cause Danes: 1. Like to eat candy, candy, candy for snacks 2.Most stores are closed early on Sunday (we are used to 24/7 everything!)3. Gas costs sooo much there. We ended up driving to the store like it was a big party and they still talk about that "weird" Sunday trip to the store. The experience made me think that I am in a foreign country for sure!

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X