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Catriona 
Posted: 31-Oct-2002, 04:23 AM
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Hi Welsh Guy
Thought I'd add this one so you can elaborate on my very scanty knowledge.

The symbols of Wales are the Daffodil and the Leek.

When I used to attend international rugby matches at Murrayfield (many years ago, when I was young!;) it was wonderful when the Welsh were visiting.  All the pubs were thronged with women in Welsh national costume, and the men had Welsh flags and giant papier mache leeks and daffs...  nowadays, I notice that the leeks and daffs are plastic, blowup types....  technology is a wonderful thing  :D

I don't know WHY the daffodil and the leek are your national symbols....  I'd be interested in learning why.
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Welsh Guy 
Posted: 01-Nov-2002, 02:12 AM
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Hello Catriona

The leek's association with Wales has been traced back to the battle of Heathfield in 633 AD, when St. David persuaded his countrymen to distinguish themselves from the Saxons  in the muddy conditions by wearing a leek in their caps. It was also the staple diet of the Welsh and makes great soup!

The daffodil is a more recent symbol (100 yrs or so), possibly one of the reasons why the daffodil is used as an emblem is that the word for daffodil and for leek are similar in Welsh (Cenhinen = Leek, Cenhinen Pedr = Daffodil).

W :)


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Catriona 
Posted: 01-Nov-2002, 03:44 AM
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Thanks for that info, WG...

I have friends who live in St Davids - they are Welsh speakers.
Another friend comes from near Prestatyn and all her family are Welsh speakers, too.  English is definitely their second language  biggrin.gif

I think it's great how the Welsh held onto their language - whilst the Scots seemed quite content for English to become the dominant language in our country.

I am a member of a number of Lallans sites - we try to keep the old Scots language alive - although it is a dynamic 'language' which absorbs 'new' words and expressions all the time  wink.gif .  There is quite a lot of debate about whether it (and Doric) is a 'language' or merely a dialect....  I, of course, favour the first view!

My Dad was a Gaelic speaker, and my Granny's generation all considered the Gaelic as their first language....   I know a few phrases - and that's about it!

Yakki dah, WG   biggrin.gif
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Cabbagehome 
Posted: 01-Nov-2002, 02:05 PM
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::viking  In your welcome, you say you'll just have to have tea and soggy tomatoe sandwiches.  What is welch about those?   ::confused
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Catriona 
Posted: 01-Nov-2002, 05:12 PM
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Welsh Wales is an expression we use, WG.....    which area is especially Welsh ? :D

I love the area round St David's.....  but I absolutely love the Gower Peninsula...  Don't some call that the English Wales?
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Welsh Guy 
Posted: 01-Nov-2002, 07:40 PM
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In reply to cabbagehome's question, Cups of Tea and Soggy Tomato sandwiches represent the 20th century symbolism of what the Welsh created as a 19th century response to the French Revolution.

This was the time when the Welsh sold out to tourism "big time". Gone were the purely Celtic traditions of our heritage, the pipes and drums ands hairy legs gave way to a 19th century romanticism ( If you like, an early Disneyfication) because if you went to France for your holidays, likely you'd be held up as a representative of the ruling classes and have your head chopped off.

This is why Wales is now represented by Harp Music (Itailan Invention) and Male Voice Choirs (By the way the Mormon Tabernacle Choir was started by a Welshman.

Soggy tomato sandwiches and Big Macs are all we have left of a 2000 year culture. God help the native Americans.

And yes, I am angry by the naivetiy of so called cultural descendants of Native Celts who have no idea that being Scottish, Welsh or Irish means exactly the same as being from Queens, Brooklyn or Greenwich.
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Cabbagehome 
  Posted: 02-Nov-2002, 07:00 PM
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::viking  Well it is hard for us in US not to have naivetiy of so called cultural descendants of Native Celts who have no idea that being Scottish, Welsh or Irish means exactly the same as being from Queens, Brooklyn or Greenwich. We are so mixed up, if you didn't come over on the boat, and your parents met in the States, you are at least 2 nationalities. If one member, of a couple is native born, then add an other nation.  Heck we may have a German name, but my kids are so far from being German.  I'm Irish on my birthmother's side, but I'm Apachie there too. I'm an other tribe from my father, but I was raised with a Swedish last name, but with English traditions, from my mom. I was raised in a predomantly Spainish speaking culture town, but most of that is Mexico Indian, which were brought to New Mexico, as slaves, because the Peublo Indians were too hard for the Spanish to enslave.  So If you find us confused, it is not our fault.
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 07-Nov-2002, 11:48 PM
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Quote (Welsh Guy @ Nov. 01 2002,7:40)
Soggy tomato sandwiches and Big Macs are all we have left of a 2000 year culture. God help the native Americans.

And yes, I am angry by the naivetiy of so called cultural descendants of Native Celts who have no idea that being Scottish, Welsh or Irish means exactly the same as being from Queens, Brooklyn or Greenwich.

You'll probably shiver at this statement, but I was out a Celtic music concert and heard the musicians state that America is the largest Celtic nation!

One question I have been pondering is what is the opinions of the native Welsh, Scottish and Irish of their mixed up (genetically speaking) American counter-parts? Examining the many cultural activites that happen in American that have roots in the Celtic lands. Do you feel there is any benefit of these activities (in America) to your identity as a nation/land? Do you scorn, admire or encourage the type of interest in American/Celtic behaviours.


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Catriona 
Posted: 08-Nov-2002, 07:29 AM
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I can't answer for Welsh Guy, but here's my two pennorth...

I have no problem with anyone with Scottish ancestry enjoying the culture of their ancestors.  What I DO have problems with is when they insist they know more than the natives!  

Granted, all cultures are evolving. But....   wearing great kilts etc is just 'dress up' - it has nothing to do with our culture....  and I am amazed that so many so-called 'Scottish' groups, particularly in the USA, choose to 'cherry-pick' things that they find interesting, but leave out other bits that the natives find more important!  

For instance, if all the Americans on the net who insist their  ancestor fought at Culloden had REALLY been involved in the Battle - there is NO WAY that BPC could have lost that battle  :D   Then there are the others who state they are Jacobites - most Scots today have no empathy with BPC and the Jacobites....  after all, the 45 rebellion sounded the death knell for the end of the clan system - which was completed by the Clearances.

Certainly I think things like your Kirking of the Tartans (pardon me if I've got the name wrong) are nothing to do with Scotland.  It was a ceremony started in Washington by a Presbyterian minister in order to try to whip up support for the War in Europe (I think it was started the year before you joined us in that little stooshie, but don't quote me  :)D ). I have NEVER seen the ceremony, as it is a purely American ceremony.  

Another thing is the people who say they are going to have 'Scottish weddings'...  Well, we have Scottish weddings, too.....  but some of the stuff I read is absolutely news to this married Scot  :D   Things about the woman being accepted into the husband's clan and accepting his tartan... Excuse Me?  Naaaah, not in this Scot's lifetime!  

Another one is your Tartan Day, which people like Sean Connery and others attend.   I believe last year a couple of MSPs attended, in order to try to encourage Americans to travel to Scotland (our tourism has been badly hit by the many Americans who were not confident about flying, after 11 September).  Personally, I think that was a cynical marketing ploy!   Some people are even talking of trying to introduce it to Scotland, god help us....  We have St Andrew's Day as our national day, we don't need another imported ceremony that has nothing to do with us.


Hower, when people overseas get it right, ie wear the kilt correctly - play the pipes, learn our dancing etc....  mair po'er tae yer elbow.... :D

America is a wonderful country - you are a melting pot and as such absorb much from many cultures...  and that's great.  And through the medium of the internet I have met many wonderful Scottish-Americans.... mind you I have also found some truly weird ones, too!  What it is difficult for many  Scots to accept is when you take our culture, and then add 'twiddly bits' - just because they appeal....  :) And then turn round and say 'well it's our culture and we're evolving it'.....  Naaaah, that's not how it works!  You are evolving an American culture - you cannot evolve ours - we do enough of that on our own behalf.....  :D

Maybe the fact that many of us live only a handful of miles from our ancestors, and can trace back many generations means we do not feel the strong need that many Americans feel.. And for that reason, it may be impossible for either side of the pond to comprehend the emotions of the other..?

I mean, names like Britney, Wayne etc were never heard of in Scotland - but now, what with MacDonalds, Starbucks etc - and kids with names like Britney....   well, you could be anywhere in the world!
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CelticRadio 
Posted: 12-Nov-2002, 01:01 AM
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Yes, I have heard of many people claiming certain things which in the end are "rubbish to the bone" I believe there was even a person in the US, and I won't mention names, claiming to be the head of a certain clan. He develop a self proclaimed website that had pictures, etc. and information about his royal line!!

Not to play the devil's advocate, but while you have raised many good points, I can not help but think that something might be lost in your certainly honest intentions to defend the proper cultures of Scotland and for that matter Wales. While we should be correct in the information we present, could it be that Scotland's National treasure is the export of her Heritage to the millions of people across the world that claim to have a relative or link to its past.

Perhaps if Scotland promoted more of itself they would have greater say in the customs and culture that is being thrown around and changed in other countries. I for one am interested in doing it the right way, not some hollywood thought up scene.

Catriona, sometimes I wonder if today's Scotland/Wales actually understands the important role that their ancestors played in the development of the modern world.

Like children, the biggest compliment someone can give you is when they want to be like you - yes, like children we may make some things up to try and look and act like you, but our intentions - in most cases - our sincere......
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Catriona 
Posted: 12-Nov-2002, 04:56 AM
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Quote (Macfive @ Nov. 12 2002,01:01)
Yes, I have heard of many people claiming certain things which in the end are "rubbish to the bone" I believe there was even a person in the US, and I won't mention names, claiming to be the head of a certain clan. He develop a self proclaimed website that had pictures, etc. and information about his royal line!!

Not to play the devil's advocate, but while you have raised many good points, I can not help but think that something might be lost in your certainly honest intentions to defend the proper cultures of Scotland and for that matter Wales. While we should be correct in the information we present, could it be that Scotland's National treasure is the export of her Heritage to the millions of people across the world that claim to have a relative or link to its past.

Perhaps if Scotland promoted more of itself they would have greater say in the customs and culture that is being thrown around and changed in other countries. I for one am interested in doing it the right way, not some hollywood thought up scene.

Catriona, sometimes I wonder if today's Scotland/Wales actually understands the important role that their ancestors played in the development of the modern world.

Like children, the biggest compliment someone can give you is when they want to be like you - yes, like children we may make some things up to try and look and act like you, but our intentions - in most cases - our sincere......

If you are talking about Steven Akins, it was Scots in Scotland who eventually exposed his hoax....  he even tried to get a Scot to place a gravestone in a Scottish graveyard and claim to 'find' it as proof of Mr Akins of that Ilk's claims...  

The Akins of that Ilk (I have to put his name in full as he changed it by law in the USA!;)  saga illustrates precisely WHY many  Scots find it difficult to accept the view that having Scots ancestry(sometimes in very little amounts!;) makes a Scot....  they believe that what makes a Scot is living in the country, absorbing its history etc.  

It has long puzzled me that in a nation of diverse ancestry - I mean - most USA citizens can claim at least 3 or 4 different European nations as ancestry - not counting the many thousands who have Native American bloodlines - WHY should it be particularly the Scottish ancestor (often the 'weakest' bloodline) that so many choose to honour?  Why not the Latvian?  Or the Polish?  or the German? Or the Italian....  the list is endless!  Personally, I blame Mel Gibson and Braveheart - oh and whilst I'm on my soapbox - the Rob Roy film, too!  I hear that the latest film to be under consideration is a life of BPC.  Yes, that's right - a life of the little Italian who, when the going got tough..... left!  Hmmmmm, well, I hope they don't intend to rely on Scots sale of tickets for that little extravaganza!  And yes, I am 'black affrontit' to have to admit it - but it is a Scottish company that are touting this proposal around!

For instance, I have no problems in accepting, as Scottish, some of the friends I grew up with.  Their surnames were Italian and Polish.  During the war, the Free Polish forces had a base in Edinburgh and they met and married local girls.  Edinburgh was a POW camps for Italians as well.  They, too, met local girls and stayed on after the war.  It was the offspring of those Scotswomen and Italians or Poles that I went to school with.  Those people are Scots.....  They live in Scotland, owe loyalty to no other country.  Their families are now third and fourth generation Scots - with one grandparent or gt-grandparent of Italian or Polish origins.  

I am fully aware of the role that the Scot has played in world development. We have a saying 'Like the Jews, the Scots roam the face of the earth'.  In Canada and Australia particularly, there is barely a mountain, river or desert that does not have a Scottish name!  I have family in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and, dare I say it, one aunt and uncle in the USA.  However, I have to be honest, they only ended up in the USA rather than Australia because my uncle persuaded my Aunt to go where HIS family had settled, rather than where her family had settled, ie Australia etc!   ;)

I would point out that if you asked a native Scot where most Scots have emigrated to - the first answer would probably be Canada or Australia, with South Africa next...  the USA would come next.  

We DO promote ourselves!  :)   But let's not kid ourselves, HOW could any native Scot stop citizens of another country from playing 'dress up'?  :D  ::confused  
And, yes, you are right, imitation IS the sincerest form of flattery.....  but all I am asking is - get the imitation correct!
I mean, all these people with great kils and huge 'bunnets' on their heads - carrying claymores and targes.....  as we would say 'Whitsatawaboot'?   ::lol

I have travelled to many countries - including the USA and Australia. I am not an 'insular' Scot.  I welcome genuine interest in my country's history etc.  But, if your (not you, personally, Paul!;) ancestor left in 1802 - then what can you possibly know about 'real' Scotland, unless you visit and get to know us 'natives'?   :D

I do hope that no-one perceives this as a spot of 'American' bashing..... it is sincerely not meant as such.  It is interesting that Welsh Guy feels the same about the 'touristy, toot n tat' marketplace that Wales has turned into....  I know when I look at Princes Street and the Royal Mile, I often shudder....   there are more shops selling truly crappy souvenirs almost every time you walk down them!

I notice that no-one but you has replied here - so I can only hope that I have not offended anyone by expressing my sincerely held beliefs.
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Falachaidh 
Posted: 30-Nov-2002, 04:26 PM
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wow Catriona. You have definately made a true point. Honestly, I believe you have closed the debate  ;)
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Another one is your Tartan Day, which people like Sean Connery and others attend.   I believe last year a couple of MSPs attended, in order to try to encourage Americans to travel to Scotland (our tourism has been badly hit by the many Americans who were not confident about flying, after 11 September).  Personally, I think that was a cynical marketing ploy!   Some people are even talking of trying to introduce it to Scotland, god help us....  We have St Andrew's Day as our national day, we don't need another imported ceremony that has nothing to do with us.
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I think it's nice that our government finally recognizes everything the Scots did to help establish nd settle our country. I don't know why they couldn't have just merged it with St. Andrew's Day.. maybe they didn't want it to become another St. Patrick's Day. As someone with a smidge of Irish decent, I never celebrate it. It exploits the country and the myths. Pokes fun at them. A true insult. I honestly hope Tartan Day does not become that. I know in being a part of the first couple celebrations, we tried to educate the press and onlookers. They all asked questions and were enthusiastic in learning; and we did our very best in keeping with the true history and culture and pointing out websites directly based in Scotland to more educate. I think Sean Connery attends Tartan Day parades and celebrations because he is a proud Scot. This, of course, is assumption as I don't know the man personally or follow People magazine. I did watch the Kennedy Center Awards 2? years ago when he was honored. Out came the Washington DC pipes and drums and a handful of national championship highland dancers. He was bent over the railing grinning from ear to ear with tears streaming down his face. I bet he was the proudest man alive that moment.

Tartan Day has a lot to do with Scotland. Not necessarily IN Scotland. It is ultimately an American holiday. It's about your people coming to our land. I don't think Scotland should have it as well. It wouldn't make sense!

After Sept 11th, everyone was afraid to fly. Scotland wasnt the only country hit hard with lack of tourism AND exploitation. Australia, Canada, France, Japan to name just a few. The commericials to try to bring the tourists back were just funny. Stupidly funny. I mean, do you honestly think you would go to Japan and get dressed up as a Geisha girl? Or go to Australia and live with Aborigionees? (okay, maybe, but very rare anymore.) All the boomerangs I saw were made specifically for tourism, or were in a museum behind glass.

maybe we all just need to relax a bit. Identify with ourselves.. and not everyone else and just have some fun!

This all coming from a 2nd generation American. (Dad was first. The rest were from South America and Italy ultimately. And I knew them during their lives.)


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Catriona 
Posted: 30-Nov-2002, 06:13 PM
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I don't know about closing the debate - that was certainly not my intention ;)

All I can say is that, in my opinion, and in the opinion of many of my friends and family, Sean Connery is becoming a caricature of a Scot....  Wears the kilt, but prefers not to live and pay the taxes due in Scotland.  He DOES give money to the Scots Nats... AND also gives money to Scottish arts and education charities...  and good for him  :)  However, someone who lives in Bermuda or Barbados or wherever, and has never lived in Scotland for 35 plus years, except for short visits to play golf and attend dinners can hardly hope to know about Scotland of today....  We've all met maudlin Scotsmen who find the tears flowing when they hear the music of the pipes or see a kilt... :rolleyes  :D  ::confused  :D
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Jack
Posted: 18-Jan-2004, 04:57 AM
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I have only just found this subject in 2004.. I live in Cardiff the Capital of Wales and am Welsh by birth. My mothers first language was Welsh but when she was put in a childrens home during the second world war, she was made to speak English. This resulted in her being illiterate till she was ten. At ten she taught herself to read. Her school had given up on her and the childrens home were not interested.

Because of this I do not speak Welsh but have strong pride in being Welsh. When work took me to London for a number of years,I took great pains to point out that I was Welsh. On St Davids day I would throw a party for all my friends serving Welsh food and making sure the home was decorated with flags, leeks and daffodils. I paid my taxes in England but was still proud to be Welsh.

I deliberately kept a bi-lingual Driving Licence when in London until it had to be changed. everything that is Welsh about me came from stories told me, while sitting on my mothers lap.

If an American child sits on its mothers lap and is told Welsh or Scots stories that go back three generations to the time of their Ancestors getting off the ship that took them to America, does that make them less a Celt?

The real question that has to be asked is - what drove them to leave their homelands in the first place? In many cases it was the fact that they had lost everything they possessed and all they had left was their pride and their heritage.

As a Welsh man, I am Happy for anyone with Celtic roots to try and cling on to them by what ever means possible. It does not mater if purists think its wrong. don't stifle an interest in peoples celtic past. the stronger the interest the more research they will do, resulting in the Celtic way of life from dieing out.
               
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Catriona 
Posted: 18-Jan-2004, 09:08 AM
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'Stop the Celtic way of life dying out'?

I'm not a Celt. I'm a lowlander Scot cool.gif I don't speak Gaelic - and have no wish to learn it. That doesn't make me any less a Scot. I speak and promote the use of Lallans..... that's the 'real' language of the Scottish lowlands.
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