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|Celtic Radio Community > The Celts > What Defines The Term "celtic"|
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 27-Jan-2006, 10:02 AM|
| While doing some research, I came across a thought-provoking letter:
One of the main points coming out of modern genetic projects is that the majority of those living in some of the modern "Celtic Nations" (particularly the insular peoples) are not genetically Celts, rather they are the descendants of the stone age people who populated Erin and Great Britain immediately after the last Ice Age, and at some subsequent adopted Celtic language and culture.
I tend to describe myself as having Celtic ancestors, but do not generally identify myself as a Celt, largely because I live in the USA, which while heavily influenced by Celtic traditions brought to this country by immigrants from Celtic countries, particularly those of Ulster Scot descent, cannot truly be called a Celtic country.
|Posted by: AyaLove 27-Jan-2006, 11:27 AM|
| I have celtic ancestors, I live in the US, I am of Ulster Scot descent and I still consider myself a celt. A celtic person is not just genetics, it's a deep calling from your heart and soul.
|Posted by: oldraven 26-Mar-2007, 06:51 AM|
|I subscribe to the theory of Celtic Languages, as the cultures were quite varied, and the tribal leaders never really had a unified sense of Celt, or Gaul. They often fought with their mutual enemies against one another because only those outside the Celtic regions (Romans, Greeks, Germanics) saw them as one people, or at least a related people.|
|Posted by: rpeirson 28-Feb-2008, 03:01 PM|
|I too live in the USA but the celtic blood flows in my veins just as if i was born in scotland. I was rasied on the music and dance. Learned to play the bag pipes. Its not where you live but where your heart is at.|
|Posted by: scotborn 01-Mar-2008, 01:49 PM|
I have to disagree, I am scottish born and bred and I certainly do nt consider myself celtic. The fact is that the celts are not a racial group, it is a cultural and linguistic group. I really do not think that playing fiddle music/bagpipes and drinking guinness constitutes celtic culture.
The celtsic term spreads over many ethnicities so it is NOT genetic, although obviously celtic groups will share genetic similarities. Saying being celtic is what you feel at heart is simply over romantacised nonsense. The celtic term itself is a victorian conjured one and never existed throught history.
|Posted by: Camac 01-Mar-2008, 04:41 PM|
| I to am Scot born and I do not play the fiddle or the pipes nor speak the old language but I'm as Celtic as can be. You are a MacGregor (of the Royal Line) and I say shame on you. The celts are an ethic people who migrated to what is now the U.K. and Ireland. Their origins are somewhat shaded in the past but the best historical and archeological evidence shows a Caucasian or southern Russia point of origin. The language is of the Indo-European group.
|Posted by: scotborn 01-Mar-2008, 04:50 PM|
the scots ethnically mixed of scandanvian, germanic, anglo saxon, iberian etc etc. it is ridiculous to claim to be celtic due to ethnicity. And exactly what do you mean shame on me. just because I do not subscribe to the foolish notions of celticism that has ceased to exist for centuries. exactly what makes you celtic, please tel me.?
its certainly not ethnicity that makes someone celtic OR scottish.
|Posted by: Brendan 01-Mar-2008, 05:07 PM|
This is exactly why bonafide research in this direction is what
I'm going to take. I know my ancestors where "celtic" however
I do not know what Celtic is exactly. Ancient History is often factually incorrect.
It would be nice to know some of these things for sure...
Can anyone offer good reading on this or are the opinions all we have to go by?
Health n Laughter,
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 02-Mar-2008, 07:52 PM|
| It seems to me that identification of Modern Celts is largely a matter of self-identification. One useful starting point is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Celts. As with any wiki, it is always wise to use this as a starting point only, and use the sources cited for further research.
I would also like to remind everyone to be respectful of the opinions of others, especially on an issue of self-identification as a Celt.
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 05-Mar-2008, 12:31 AM|
I totally agree with this. I live in the states but dress in kilt regularly and use Scots in my normal speech, beats Hillbilly any day! I also follow Celtic beliefs as a Druid. And celebrate Scottish Holidays not the 4th of July.
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 05-Mar-2008, 12:55 PM|
| History is very long. Nations have come and gone. Peoples have come and gone. Species of hominids have come and gone.
I identify with my Scots Irish roots for historical perspective in my life. My sister identifies herself from our hispanic roots and immerse herself in that culture. I straddle with definite leanings to my fathers lineage.
Just as there is no longer an Aztec/Pict/Incan/fill in blank,societies functioning as in the past , does not mean descendents of those societies do not exist nor identify themselves with those bygone ancestors, their cultures, ways and self identity.
Clans of Scotland pretty much ceased to exist in their historical context centuries past, yet they still exist, evolved and different, but peoples still identify with clans, just as new clans are evolving in other parts of the world in different societies and context.
Celtic exists, past and present.
Whom/what you choose to identify with is your personage. In what point of the historical timeline you choose may very well define your perspective of what constitutes Celtic.
Heck, I'm an American but its only 200 years old and I like history and feel a need to connect with my ancestors, my roots. It gives me a sense of being.
We are human and have a need to be connected.
|Posted by: oldraven 05-Mar-2008, 01:25 PM|
Ask the Celtoi what they thought of the Victorian Era. Or the Greeks and Romans who called them by that name, for that matter. I think you've got a little more digging to do. It shouldn't be hard, since you are surrounded by the people's history (though only one part of that broad European history).
I understand denouncing the Brigadoons, but denouncing the existence of Celts, past and present, is ignoring history. Celts aren't what they were in their Hay Day, but then, neither is Scotland like it was when it was Sovereign.
Druid of Ark, the association of Celt and Druid is much like that of Square and Rectangle. One can be the other, but the other isn't always the one. Pagan would have made more sense than Druid, when broadly defining their beliefs. And that would be before the Christian Celts, obviously.
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 05-Mar-2008, 03:36 PM|
|Having consulted with Mrs. MacGump I am forced to state without fear of contradiction that, "Celtic is as Celtic does."|
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 05-Mar-2008, 04:02 PM|
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 05-Mar-2008, 04:52 PM|
|Sorry I posted that on a Dare from my room mate. Never Dare a Scotsman!|
|Posted by: Leyland 11-Mar-2008, 04:05 PM|
| I tend to think of the ancient Celts as groups with likely genetic links sharing a similar language base and cultural preferences for artwork and worship practices in the animism belief who happened to spread thoughout western Europe from central European roots. Eventually separate tribes settled, and a more modern identity evolved into the Seven Nations.
The Seven Nations seem to be what many Americans identify with when mentioning bagpipes, kilts, fiddles and step dancing in the above posts. The La Tene and Hallstatt sites just seem to be the tip of an iceberg concerning who Celts really were. Lots of mystery there.
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 11-Mar-2008, 07:48 PM|
Hmmm ye say "who te Celts were". As if the Celts nae langer be, but I for one am Celtic to the kilt. And yes I wear mine and nae not just on "Special Days". When I hear people speak of Celts in the Past tense that gets on the fighting side of me. I mean the Americans are no longer the Poeple they once were but they are still American (though I wonder if that term really applies to the Europeans that came here or should be reserved for the Native Inhabitants) I mean lets be realistic, we gather on this site not to pay homage to a DEAD Race but to unite with others of our own kind, in whom the Cletic Heart beats strong and true. At least that is why I come here, and for the record if the US ever declared war on the Celtic Peoples I would be the first to join the Celtic Resistance Forces and stand against the Invaders!
|Posted by: oldraven 12-Mar-2008, 06:05 AM|
| DoA, using America as an example of a people would probably be a mistake, since it stretches from the Arctic to the Ant-Arctic and includes many nations and incredibly diverse peoples. But you make a good point about us all being here to celebrate the living culture of the Celts, as well as those bits long dead but not forgotten.
Leyland, I see the Celts much like you do. Though, I see no end date.
|Posted by: FamhairCloiche 12-Mar-2008, 08:20 AM|
| History has produced five basic versions of what civilization should look like. There are a myriad of differentiations within each, but there seem to be five basic frameworks. The Sino-Indian, Mesopotamian/Egyptian, Mesoamerican, Romano-Hellenic, and the Celto-Germanic (East, Middle, Isolated, West, North). These different groups developed different core value systems. For instance, independence is extremely strong amongst the Celts, but nearly non-existent in the Chinese.
What I think we're trying to reinforce is what we each perceive to be elements of that 'Celtic' worldview. Some say that such a thing has been lost to history, and we're only trying now to resurrect it. But as I look out across the Brittanic-Irish-Canadian-American-Australian world, each system seems to be moving into the Romano-Hellenic ideal that much of continental Europe already embraces. The fact that these societies don't currently embrace this worldview leads me to believe that we are surrounded by a latter-day Celto-Germanic civilization.
|Posted by: Leyland 12-Mar-2008, 08:53 AM|
| Fair enough. Let me re-phrase: The La Tene and Hallstatt sites just seem to be the tip of an iceberg concerning [what the origins of the ancient] Celts' [culture] really were.
Also, I tend to think of modern Celtic culture as 'Gaelic', such as in the name of the language. But that's just me as a history geek differentiating for myself between the ancient Keltoi who sacked Rome and the 'modern' ones I currently love to watch at Highlands games or see perform the greatest music on stage, etc. Every culture moves through stages of change of course.
Also, I personally don't know many fellow Americans who live a daily Celtic-centric life, but I do agree that Americans with Scots/Welsh/Irish origins certainly have historically similar attitudes about freedom, independence and the importance of close family bonds.
|Posted by: scotborn 12-Mar-2008, 02:08 PM|
| There is not a country in the world that does not value freedom, independance and close family bonds.
I have american friends and I have been to america. I personally believe that the psyche of scots is completely at odds with the american psyche. I believe that americans and the scots are two completely differant kind of people.
And my american friends who live in scotland agree.
|Posted by: FamhairCloiche 12-Mar-2008, 02:54 PM|
True, but there are many cultures for whom those values are not on the top of the list.
I can't speak to the modern Scots' frame of mind, but there is a distinct segment of American society for whom self-reliance and the defense of their way of life at the expense of compromise are core ideals for which there are no higher. Historically "Celtic" ideals.
Many of these people claim Scots-Irish ancestry, have sterotypically northern features, and more than a few of their last names start with "Mc" or "Mac". Though they're more commonly refered to as rednecks.
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 12-Mar-2008, 02:59 PM|
scotborn, Hi..... Could you speak to this alittle more, I'm curious.
|Posted by: FamhairCloiche 12-Mar-2008, 03:30 PM|
|BTW...please don't imagine any vitriol into my last post. There was none intended. I agree with UlsterScotNutt, please share your insights.|
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 12-Mar-2008, 03:36 PM|
Hillbilly is straight from Scotland!!!
|Posted by: scotborn 12-Mar-2008, 04:39 PM|
No problem, fist of all I would like to say that I am an admirer of americans. I have been to america and americans are a proud tenacious people. As a result I have several american friends here in scotland.
the scots and the americans are very differant from each other in various disciplines.
1. religion, americans are the most religious people in the western world with high church attendance rates and many branches of christianity running through their society, wether this be catholic, protestant or through to evangelist or pentacostal. Religion plays a huge part in americans lives and has great influence in the beliefs of americans, in terms of morality, science and politics.
in scotland the church attendance rate was previously 6 %, typically made up of the elderly , though this is increasing due to polish immigrants. The scots are not religious in anyway, in the last census over 55% of scots described themselves as atheists while the scots that did hold a belief in god where spiritual and not attend any church. It should be noted that asking someones religious convictions in scotland is seen as a political question with very little ties to actual religion. Church and christianity do not play a part in the majority of scots lives. I myself have never known any christians or befriended any christians. going to church once a week would be considered odd to most young people in scotland.
2. americans are highly patriotic and self praising, on the other hand scots are proud to be scottish but are not patriotic like americans and tend to be self depracating. I believe scots are more down to earth in terms of inward and outward perspective. Oscar wilde himself said "patriotism is an act of the vicious" and I tend to believe that
3. I believe americans are far more sentimental than the scots and I have experianced this through american literature, music and culture.
4. Our dialect is completely differant and I belief that scots culture can only be experianced properly through scots dialect. it is hard to explain but my american friends understand it, now that they understand our language.
it is hard for me to right down our differances because I believe americans and scots are so differant that it is hard to pinpoint and construct a sufficiant answer for you. I would advise visiting scotland to see for yourselves.
|Posted by: scotborn 12-Mar-2008, 04:48 PM|
| "I can't speak to the modern Scots' frame of mind, but there is a distinct segment of American society for whom self-reliance and the defense of their way of life at the expense of compromise are core ideals for which there are no higher. Historically "Celtic" ideals."
I understand , and it is what I admire americans for, however they are not celtic ideals. we dont know what celtic ideals are because that culture died off years ago, the celtic term as we know it today comprises of various countries you know of. However the celtic term itself is a romantacised victorian invention that regarded a culture that doesnt exit anymore
|Posted by: oldraven 13-Mar-2008, 06:00 AM|
I'm sure the culture of the ancient Celt in its entirety has gone. But does that mean the culture hasn't evolved? As you trace history, you can see how outside influences have altered the culture time and time again, but has never really erased it (other than the Picts). Elements of the people live on from event to event. New ways are adopted (Bagpipes, Kilts, Christianity) and some new creations come about (Clan Tartans). One perfect example of how the old culture of the Celts survived is in Celtic Christianity itself. So many Deities morphed into Saints. The ways of the old shining through as the Culture evolves.
I'll put it this way. The concept of Rome and Roman Culture brings to most people on this earth an image of Ceasar. Ancient Rome. But Rome and the Roman Culture still exist today, although seemingly completely different. The Empire is politically gone, there is no doubt, but the history of Ancient Rome still shows through. The Vatican itself shows how the Empirical ideal still lives. So are there two Roman Cultures, or one that has evolved and adapted to the ever changing world?
When you refer to America, I assume you are talking of the United States of America. The ideal of the Vicious Patriot isn't true for all of the Americas, so keep that in mind when blanketing two continents.
Talking of wearing a Kilt to show your ties to the Celts is a bit fantastic. Scots, sure. Modern Scots, not really. The term was coined after a great amount of debate about who these ancestral people were. There was never any doubt that they existed, and that their cultural commonalities shone like a beacon (which is why to the rest of the civilised world, the Celts were so easily seen as one people). When you discover a star that no one has seen before, or has simply been forgotten, does that mean it didn't exist before you noticed it? (I bet trees are falling in a forest somewhere)
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 13-Mar-2008, 08:08 AM|
| Your point is well made. And another example is found in the "Native Americans", do they still exist? YES, do they daily wear their native outfits, and speak their ancient languages? No. The reason for that is largely that the Europeans that came here largely forced the assimilation of the people that were here first into their foreign culture. That assimilation has relegated the traditions, values, beliefs, and languages of the Natives of this continent to being a thing of curousity. But the fact remains that on Reservations across the US there are those that do hold to the old ways, or at least the best of their ability to hold them, they speak the old languages and follow the old customs. The same is true in Scotland, and abroad where Scots gather, they hold to varied degree. In Scotland there are to this day those that wear kilts daily, and speak the Gaelic tongue, and yes they follow the old religion. However unlike the "Native Americans" the Scots have traveled beyond their former boundaries and taken their with them. For example the "Constitution of the United States" Is largely modeled after the "Declaration of Arbroath".
Like the Native Americans, the Scots were invaded and efforts made to force their assimilation, this was done by the Anglo_Saxons, who created the Mythological "United Kingdom." And like the Native Americans there were among the Scots those that capitulated with the Invaders, but also like the Native Americans the Scots have those that refuse to give up or give in! In the word of William Wallace.....SAORSA (FREEDOM)
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 13-Mar-2008, 01:03 PM|
scotborn, 1) true, big reason USA exists today is because of religion and much of what is USA has a religious foundation.
2) True, patriotism does run deep in the States, I hope people don't abuse it as in nationalism. I would hope and trust more good has come of her patriots then bad. Patriotism demands an understanding of one's past and a vision for the future.
3) I would agree to the sentimentality. We are a short time in history as a nation and peoples. This may creat a longing effect.
4) I can understand that. Just look at dialects within this country alone. Your speech tells alot of your culture and those outside of it have no clue.
5) I was in Scotland in 1974 and would love to go back. Maybe next year
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 13-Mar-2008, 01:38 PM|
|Okay I missed something. The topic must have shifted from Celtic to American. Well on that point I can say this, In the words of Woodrow Wilson..."Every stain of greatness in America is colored with Scottish Blood." So perhaps the natural evolution from the oppressive environment of the land dominated by the English to the free land of America was a natural part of the Celtic Evolution. But leaving that point aside let me state that the heart cry of every Scotsman in the world is an echo of the cry of our Forefathers...FREEDOM. "It is in truth not for glory nor riches nor honours that we are fighting but for Freedom. These words from the Declaration of Arbroath are echoed through all history. There are those that are more learned than I who say that the Celts came out of the land of Gaul, which later was known as Galatia. Well if that be so, it is well and good that the next migration was to America. Do I therefore contend that all Americans are Celts...NO! For being Celts was the heritage of most of the founding fathers (75% of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Celtic Blood). But being Celts they opened a land where Celtic Hospitality could be expressed and allowed all who wanted freedom to come to this land. This concludes this word from the Sponsors off the American Way of life...the Celtic People of the World United!|
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 13-Mar-2008, 02:41 PM|
|No, you are still on track. Just a scotborns view of Celtic and responses to different points as the conversation weaves its way about.|
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 14-Mar-2008, 01:30 AM|
|Well again let me state that just as there are Native Americans that hold to their old ways and keep it alive the same can be said of Celtic People. There will always be Celts as long as even a few keep the ways alive. The history of the Celts goes back before the time they landed in the lands of the 7 nations, and it continues to this day. No amount of persecution, bondage, deprivation, ridicule, or torture can stop the Celtic Heart. So I guess what I am saying is that the Christians could not stop the Celtic Heart, the English could not stop us, the Vikings could not stop it. We are Celts so what defines the Celts is pride in who we are. I am a Celt first, an American second, and anything else I may be after that.|
|Posted by: oldraven 14-Mar-2008, 05:57 AM|
| Wow! You're really 'fighting the fight' aren't you? I've got to argue with some of it, though.
Galatia is a very small region. The lands of the Gaul were vast. Christians didn't try to 'stop the Celtic heart', nor did the Vikings. Christians only brought their religion in, and there was essentially a merger of the two. St. Patrick didn't walk around with a sword, he walked with a shamrock. They adapted their polydeity beliefs and associations to keep their traditions pertinent to a One God faith.
And the Vikings, they didn't try to uproot the ways of the Celts. They sailed down and plundered, returned home, plundered again, settled the Orkneys, plundered again, settled Dublin, plundered... etc. They had little interest in controlling the people, but much in robbing them. About the same as the exploits of the Gaul in the Mediterranean. Sacking Rome and settling northern Italy (Cisalpine Gaul) and even in Greece (lesser so an expansion into eastern Europe).
Honestly, some of the worst travesties committed on the Celt were committed by the Celt. You can't judge the English for the Jacobite Rebellion without laying blame on the numerous Scot Clans that joined the slaughter.
|Posted by: Druid_of_Ark 14-Mar-2008, 09:06 AM|
|I am of the mindset that the main downfall of the Celts is passed on to America, they had so much infighting that they were easy prey to outsiders. I see America going down that same path. Since America has openly allowed invaders to enter the Country then acts surprised when they attack from within.|
|Posted by: subhuman 16-Jun-2008, 10:11 PM|
| I believe the original question posed was:
What defines the term "celtic"
Which I find myself forced to answer with other questions: Are you referring to people, or to cultures?
As has been pointed out, the Celtic Peoples have been very hard to definitively describe for at least several hundred, if not a thousand, years.
Elements of the culture however have survived.
Making the claim "I'm a Celt" is indeed somewhat absurd in this age. Which is why I prefer to reply with "I have Celtic blood." Just as I also have German blood- but I don't try to claim to be German either.
I feel safe making the claim "I have Celtic blood." As was pointed out, the Celts once covered much of Europe. Instead of risking someone asking me to try to prove it, I instead challenge you to disprove it.
|Posted by: Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 18-Jun-2008, 08:31 PM|
| Senator James Webb (D.-VA) has writen an interesting book "Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America." The book has been described as a:
I would recommend this for anyone interested in Scots-Irish influence on the US.
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 19-Jun-2008, 07:36 AM|
| I hope Senator Webb is chosen for VP.
I will add this book to my reading list.
|Posted by: subhuman 22-Jun-2008, 09:37 PM|
Republican Presidents don't often pick Democratic VPs...
And... that's as far OT as I'm gonna go. Hopefully people see that for the humor intended. If we want to make this a political debate, there's plenty of more appropriate areas for it.
Ulster Scots shaping America has little to do with the actual topic here... political commentary, even less.
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 23-Jun-2008, 09:50 AM|
USN Vote for me, I am the meaning of Celtic
|Posted by: oldraven 24-Jun-2008, 12:01 PM|
What Defines The Term "celtic"
USN..... 'nuff said.
|Posted by: Camac 24-Jun-2008, 03:00 PM|
You want my vote pay up. (I believe in the Rotten Borough System) cost you a case of
|Posted by: UlsterScotNutt 07-Jul-2008, 10:54 AM|
Camac, Will ya take me IOU til another day??!!
|Posted by: Camac 07-Jul-2008, 12:12 PM|
Of course I'll accept your I.O.U. along with a blood and tissue sample and the indentureship of seven years for one of your children. If I think of anything else I'll let you know.
|Posted by: MacNaBracha 11-Jul-2008, 10:55 AM|
|Personally i think you can look at what defines a Celt on different levels. Firstly you could say a Celt is someone with no connection whatsoever to a Celtic country at all, but yet feels a deep affinity with that culture in their mind & heart. You could also argue that a Celt is someone with genetic roots in a Celtic land although they themselves where born in another country outside of the heritage. Closer still you could say that a Celt is a person born & brought up in a Celtic country, but i think ultimately i have to think that a Celt is someone born & brought up in Celtic country, surrounded by Celtic culture & who speaks a Celtic language. Although maybe we are all a little Celtic in our hearts.|
|Posted by: oldraven 15-Jul-2008, 12:25 PM|
|I agree with all but your first type of Celt. If you have no Celtic ancestry, I can't see how you can be a Celt in any way. For those people you could say they have the Heart of a Celt. Either is welcome here.|
|Posted by: Patch 15-Jul-2008, 03:41 PM|
| There are branches of the Scot side of my family that fought in every American war. We were not of such importance as to have signed any "great" document. We came as "Indentured Servants."
The Irish ancestors can be traced back to the potato famine with the latest arriving in 1893. They were poorer than the Scots who came as indentured servants. Many settled in the "Black Swamp" of North West Ohio. The land was worthless and many died from mosquito borne illness. Eventually they drained the swamp and the land produced excellent crops. Otherwise we would have remained "dirt" poor. (Not that we are a lot better now)
It was the Fierce Celt spirit that made it ALL possible.
|Posted by: Camac 20-Jul-2008, 06:40 PM|
The Irish famine could have been avoided but it seems when you dig into the history of the U.K that there was a unspoken genocide in progress. The English had a system of getting rid of trouble makers. Not just their own but the Scots, Irish or Welsh who rebeled against their rule. That of course was to ship them all off somewhere in the hopes that where ever they ended up it would kill them. The one thing they did not take into account was the stubborn streak bread into every Celt and the drive to survive.
|Posted by: Aenirin 29-Apr-2011, 01:04 AM|
| I found this site, though about three years too late by the looks of things, while searching for the answer to the very question posed at the beginning of this post: What defines a Celt? How is a Celt distinguishable from any other person?
I know about the linguistic demarcation, as well as the subdivisions; P-Celts, Q-Celts. Apart from that, it seems to me there are various factors. Polytheism seems common. General ferocity in battle has been historically noted, as has a demonstrable unwillingness to be ruled by others. The last thing I've noticed is the lack of desire to form an empire. I could be wrong on this but the pattern of the varied Celtic lifestyles seems to point this way, as does the general retreat of Celtic culture to a proportionally smaller area and safe haven. I think most clan-based societies prefer to live and be left alone, fighting when the need arises in defense as well as for gain, but seemingly not to dominate. Now, having said that, I would like to throw in my two cents on other matters...
Whether people want to admit this or not, blood plays a large part in our lives; affecting our personalities, physical traits, and personal skills/abilities. These are basic building blocks upon which we must construct our own souls. Knowing what lies in the past of one's blood, is something of an oracular experience, only in reverse. It will show pitfalls and shining lights; the best and worst of personal proclivities. At the risk of sounding pompous and grandiose (and intentionally redundant ) - the glowing embers of evil in all hearts must be searched out and consciously extinguished, while at the same time the spark of good must be fanned to life. We may choose to add what fuel we wish. That fuel is what we control in our own make-up.
I suppose this could be looked at as a combination of nature and nurture. I have been thinking about this subject a lot lately. I'm planning a trip to Ireland and Scotland in August of this year. A trip to confirm my roots, but also a spiritual sojourn. I think people are drawn to certain things by both blood and consciousness. It comes down to association for the consciousness. Due to the histories and landscapes of both regions, I, and presumably many others, associate Ireland and Scotland in particular with tenacity of life, freedom of thought, and freedom of the heart. These are things which I prize because I find myself lacking in such areas. I think that sentiment, the desire to embody those ideals, which is what Celtic peoples seem to do, is what draws people to Celts. Romanticism is, after all, just like a cliché, it becomes so through common use due to a certain aptness to the situation, or in this case people, with which it is associated.