Burns Night

Today is the 25th of January so that means it’s Burns Night, which is one of many, many reasons for we Scots to eat, drink, jump around like loons, and generally proclaim whatever cultural identity we want to claim at that minute at the top of our lungs at the world while stuffing haggis into our mouths.

For Scots living outside of Scotland this often means the pitiful, teary trip around whatever city they live in to hopelessly find something resembling a haggis, and even more pitifully try to find people who’ll appreciate the ancient Scottish traditions of drinking while shoving haggis, neeps and tatties into whatever facial orifice isn’t drinking at that moment.

In the last few years for Scots like myself in England, there’s been an adoption of Burns Night and it’s trappings by Hipsters, and middle class Guardian reading types who see Scottish culture as something else to appropriate and ultimately patronise. See, Burns Night was one of those things many years ago that was quietly celebrated by ex-pats, and a few genuinely appreciate people who understood the customs of Burns Night, which includes (as a lot of Scottish customs) a fair amount of self depreciation and celebration at exactly the same time.When you toast a haggis you’re not being exactly serious…

There’s a difference between enjoying and appreciating a culture, and looking down at a culture and patronising it by showing a condescending insensitivity about it, though after appropriating every other culture and patronising them, it seemed only a matter of time before Scottish culture went the same way.

Anyhow, I’ll be tucking into some haggis, neeps and tatties and washing it all down with a cold bottle of Irn Bru…

St. Andrew’s Day

Today is St. Andrew’s Day, the national day of Scotland.

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For someone like myself who lives in Bristol, this means the endless search for haggis so I can imagine I’m somehow still living in Scotland rather than in Bristol far away from Scotland. So like many other ex-pats I’m stocked up on Irn Bru, Tunnock’s teacakes and Buckfast for the day ahead.

So all us Scots should wallow in a meaningless national day which is an excuse for yet another day of self-indulgence and drunkenness. This is how every day should be…

Happy St. Andrew’s Day!