Monday, May 18, 2009

If it's nae Scottish, it's CRRRAP!

So for those of you who don't know, I have some pretty strong heritage that dates back to Scotland! I've been thinking of posting about my own culture, so I thought you might be interested in hearing about one of the most historical countries of the world: Scotland!

The first real known history of the country dates back about 13,000 years ago after the last glaciation when settlers arrived. It wasn't 'til about 3500 years afterwards, however, that the first permanent houses were established.

Around the time of Christ, the Roman empire started to pull some
real influence over the little country, and two thousand years later, it is now part of the United Kingdom and it's capital, Edinburgh, is one of the largest financial cities in all of Europe!

For those of you who are Scottish, but haven't taken much time to learn about your heritage, the easiest and probably the most fun way of getting into it, is by going to any of the Scottish Highland Games! These are incredible events that take place all over the world and are a treat for anyone from any background! Events like the Strongman Competition are always great to see, with events like Toss the Caber, the Hammer Throw, Sheep Toss, among other such things. There are also events like Pipe Band Competitions, where bagpipe bands come from all over to win the affection of the judges by mixing the sounds of bagpipes, snare drums, tenor drums and base drums to create an incredibly harmonious sound (if they're good) that can be heard from miles around. There is also almost always Highland Dance Competitions, where dancers from toddlers to seasoned adults compete for medals and the crowd's attention. Each of these types of competitions create their own worlds of culture and diversion, and are just as good as joining a football team for team spirit, self improvement and physical fitness!

Besides the skilled events at these games, there are also MANY fun things to do, most importantly the Beer Garden, usually a large portion of the field that is sectioned off with cheesy plastic fencing where the older people go for a cool beer or two to enjoy the banter of the games and escape what is usually 30 degrees celcius heat! For the people who don't drink, there are usually tons of vendors lined down the fields in tents, children events (for toddlers to teens), and of course: the concession! Massive cauldrons of Kettle Corn, curry and fries, biscuits, candies, all sorts of pastries and savory sweets, and of course, no Highland Games can officially be called Scottish without what is probably the most interesting tasting soft drink you'll ever have: IRN BRU. Even for those who don't care for it's unique flavour recognise it as a symbol of these great, Scottish events.
Even if you're not Scottish, there's always room for fans and admirers to come and enjoy the festivities as well! You don't have to be Scottish to party like one!
So if you ever get the chance to visit a Highland Games, or if you hear about one nearby (they're usually all over the place in the summer), take a day or two out of your busy schedule to wander on down for some good old-fashioned Scottish fun! I promise, you won't regret it! And while you're at it, take the chance to visit your Clan tent. Almost every last name can be found under some form of Scottish Clan - mine, for example, is Sinclair, which derrives from the Sinclair Clan, although it's not always so obvious.
And with that, hopefully, you've gleaned a little bit of insight from this wonderful country! For such a little country, it has gained much approval from all over the world as a fun-loving, rich both economically and culturally country!
Until next time readers - this is Kristian Sinclair, signing off.