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scotborn 
Posted: 06-Apr-2008, 08:36 AM
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http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/andrew..._by_tartan.html

There has been discussions on this forum regarding the views of irish/scots in ireland and scotland and I came across this articlethat some people may find interesting.


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Camac
Posted: 06-Apr-2008, 10:03 AM
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I have read the article and in most part I agree with what the gentleman wrote. There is one thing though that I really dislike and that is being called British. I am not British never have been and never will be. I was born in SCOTLAND of Scottish parent who in turn were born of SCOTTISH parents ad infinitum. Would you call and Irishman (not Ulsterman) British. We Scots and Irish are the same people at our roots.I spent two weeks in Scotland last October and every member of my family ( Clan Campbell)I met and there were close to 100 of them do not consider themselves British.


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 06-Apr-2008, 06:12 PM
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Hello scotborn, I thought you might want to read an article from another great website that I enjoy reading now for many years which is electric scotland. Here it is. It talks about Tartan Day and of course the Scots in Canada and what they have brought from their culture.LOA

Canada
Canada's Scots and Tartan Day Celebrations
by Marie Fraser



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It's refreshing to have a Scot like Alastair McIntyre ask how Canadians perceive themselves and how they celebrate their Scots heritage, rather than being lumped in with those other descendants of expatriate Scots who settled on that smaller land mass to the south of us. I believe it was Professor Edward J. Cowan, a friend and former head of the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Guelph, Ontario, now head of the Department of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow, who, during one of his lively lectures, displayed one of those traditional maps of Scotland showing the Shetland Islands in a small box at the top right hand corner. Ted explained that the inhabitants of the latter were so fed up with being identified as that tiny spot at the top right hand corner of the map, they decided to produce their own map of the Shetland Islands showing Mainland Scotland in a small box at the bottom left hand corner of the map. My favourite analogy is Ludovic Kennedy's "In Bed with an Elephant, A Journey through Scotland's Past and Present" (1995), where the Anglo-Scot broadcaster and writer chose the title from a 1969 speech given by Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in Washington, DC to relate with humour his view of Scotland's rather stormy relationship with England over the centuries. Trudeau's mother was an Elliott and his father-in-law was Jimmy Sinclair, Rhodes scholar, RCAF fighter pilot in WW II, a well-known federal politician and businessman in Vancouver, BC who was born in Grange, Banffshire.
Background

Scots have been leaving home for hundreds of years. While the population of Scotland is around five million, it is estimated that there are many more millions of people with some Scottish ancestry, worldwide. Wherever they went, Scots adapted to their new country but seldom forgot their heritage. If anything, these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland.

The impact of Scots on North America has been considerable. They have integrated into the culture of their adopted countries and contributed to many facets of society, but seldom have they been vocal about their efforts. One might suggest that Scots tend to be "clannish", celebrating their music and customs with one another, but they are often overlooked as an ethnic group in the increasingly multicultural mix of Canada and the United States. To add to this confusion, Scots are usually lumped in with the "English" population when census time comes around, and it has been difficult to estimate what a large group Scots really represent in the population of Canada and the United States.

The impact of Scots on the development of Canada is remarkable. If we accept the claim that Prince Henry Sinclair sailed from the Orkney Islands and landed in what is now Nova Scotia and the coast of New England in 1398, or that Scottish sailors accompanied the early Vikings who landed in Newfoundland in 1010, the influence of Scots may be greater than previously imagined. It is a matter of record that the Fraser Highlanders represented the largest contingent of troops in the British Army under General James Wolfe (1727-59). The role of the 78th Fraser Highlanders, raised in Scotland in 1757 to fight for the British against France during the Seven Years War (1757-63), has been well documented. Many Scottish soldiers stayed on after the regiment was disbanded in 1763, married French women, and settled in the new country, leaving numerous descendants, many of whom are totally Francophone, who are proud of their Scottish ancestry.

Worsening economic conditions in the Highlands following the disaster of Culloden in 1746 caused many Highland Scots to emigrate to countries around the world in search of a better life. Scots came in vast numbers to Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec and Eastern Ontario in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While conditions were harsh in the new country, the hardy Scots adapted well and soon prospered. Highland Scots were the prime movers in the North West Company of fur traders, based in Montreal. They helped to establish trade routes and explore the vast country where only native peoples had been before. Scots built Montreal, helped to establish banks, insurance companies and merchant trading companies. They established educational institutions, were prominent in medicine, law and the clergy. They included politicians, educators and skilled tradesmen, manufacturers and farmers. Scots excelled in all facets of life in their adopted country which, in 1867, became Canada.

The idea of setting aside one day each year to honour the role of Scots in the early history of Canada was put forward in the late 1980s by Mrs. Jean Watson of Nova Scotia. Mrs. Watson worked tirelessly to solicit support from politicians and Scottish groups in Nova Scotia to establish Tartan Day, eventually gaining enough support for the idea to have it accepted. She did not stop there, and continued to write letters to federal and provincial politicians and Scottish groups across Canada, urging them to adopt Tartan Day. Her persistence paid off, when the Clans & Scottish Societies of Canada endorsed her idea and convinced Ontario MPP Bill Murray to put forward a Private Member's Bill in the Ontario Legislature, to adopt Tartan Day in Ontario, which was passed on December 19, 1991, with unanimous support of all three parties. Other provinces and the Yukon Territories followed with similar resolutions, and by 2000 all, except Quebec and Newfoundland, recognized April 6th as Tartan Day.

Efforts have been made to recognize the contribution of Scots by establishing similar events to Tartan Day in other countries, but these events have usually been held on July 1st. Since July 1st is celebrated as Canada Day, the date of April 6th was chosen to celebrate Tartan Day in Canada.

On 6th April 1320, at Arbroath Abbey on the east coast of Scotland, the nobles, barons and freeholders, together with the "whole community of the realm of Scotland," subscribed a letter to Pope John XXII, asking him to recognise the country's political independence under the kingship of Robert Bruce, declaring the independence of Scotland from English domination following the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Sir Alexander Fraser, who in 1316 married Robert the Bruce's widowed sister, Lady Mary, was appointed Chamberlain of Scotland in 1319, and his seal appears on this inspirational document which became known as The Declaration of Arbroath.

"But if our King were to abandon the cause by being ready to make us, or our kingdom, subject to the King of England or to the English, we should at once do our utmost to expel him as our enemy and the betrayer of his own rights and ours, and should choose some other man to be our king, who would be ready to defend us. For so long as a hundred of us shall remain alive, we are resolved not to submit to the domination of the English. It is not for glory, wealth or honour that we are fighting, but for freedom and freedom only, which no true man ever surrenders except with his life."

Since that time, Scotland has been a sovereign nation, now part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

As Past Chairman of Clans & Scottish Societies of Canada, my husband, W. Neil Fraser, represented CASSOC at a conference of the principal organizations in the United States, convened by the Caledonian Foundation, USA Inc., in Sarasota, Florida in March 1996. During that conference he explained why it would have been inappropriate for us to choose July 1st (Canada Day), in the same way that it would be inappropriate for them to choose July 4th (Independence Day). He also reported on the efforts of CASSOC to establish Tartan Day as a national day to celebrate our Scottish heritage in Canada and explained the concept of the event celebrated in Canada since 1987. The idea was met with great interest by the participants and was subsequently adopted by the Coalition of U.S. Scottish Organizations established as a result of the Sarasota conference.

The first observance of Tartan Day on a national basis in the United States was on April 6th 1997, and a resolution proclaiming April 6th as Tartan Day was entered into the U.S. Congressional Record on the following day.

In February 2000, Neil and I were invited to attend the Sarasota conference of the Scottish Coalition, representing six of the leading U.S. Scottish organizations, where he chaired a workshop on Tartan Day (April 6th).

Alan L. Bain, President of The American-Scottish Foundation, Inc., based in New York, telephoned Neil and sent a transcript of his remarks about National Tartan Day, on the occasion of the Wallace Award Presentation to Sir Sean Connery in Washington, DC on April 5, 2001, in the presence of Vice President Dick Cheney; Sir Sean and Lady Connery; Senator Trent Lott, Her Majesty's Ambassador to the United States, Sir Christopher Meyer; First Minister McLeish, Dr. Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Senate Chaplain and President of the St. Andrew's Society of Washington, DC, and other distinguished guests.

"And finally to two individuals who are not present today but for whose efforts Tartan Day may have never come into being, Neil Fraser, Chairman, Clan Fraser Society of Canada, who introduced the concept of Tartan Day to the Scottish Coalition, and Duncan MacDonald, defacto Head of the Scottish Coalition, a lady of indomitable spirit who, by sheer force of her will, drove Coalition members to make Tartan Day a reality. Thank you one and all."

Proof, once again, that Scots can work together to accomplish almost anything - especially when they are steered in the right direction by such dynamic ladies as Duncan MacDonald and Joanne Phipps!

Celebrating Tartan Day in Canada

The date of April 6th was chosen to celebrate the role of the independent Scots who helped to discover, conquer, explore, settle and build the country now called Canada.

The Scottish Studies Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to actively supporting the Scottish Studies Program at the University of Guelph, established in 1966, and the eventual establishment of a Chair of Scottish Studies. The Foundation also plans to work with other universities across Canada to create and develop similar programs for the preservation of Canada's Scottish heritage. The Scottish Studies Society hosts an annual Tartan Day Celebration Dinner in April, with the proceeds being donated to the Scottish Studies Foundation. During this major fund-raising event, which has been held in Toronto since 1993, a prominent man or woman is honoured as Scot of the Year.


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gwenlee 
Posted: 10-Apr-2008, 09:43 AM
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scotborn-I read the article along with all of the comments. Although I am one who claims a Scottish/Irish heritage I in no way would ever try to pass off being Scottish or Irish, that would be saying I am a citizen of Scotland or Ireland. However I am an American whos family culture has been greatly influenced by those two countries. I look at Tartan Day as a way to celebrate those whos ideas help found this country and to honor those who for what ever reason ended up on foreign soil. If you know the history many died on their way here and then the hardships suffered after they got here was many.

It is wrong to say I am Scottish when I am not. It is right to celebrate your heritage. Besides what is wrong with celebrating the values and culture? I am a card carry member of the Royal Scottish Country Dancers. The society has branches all over the world the men wear kilts and women wear a tartan. and a lot of dancers have absolutely no Scottish ancestry. Do you find offense to someone from Japan, South America, or Africa enjoying SCD? I guess part of my point is, we should never forget where we come from or the sacrifices made by all those who came here. All which makes me what I am, an American, and I am thankful for those who came here and I am a result of their hard work and dreams.
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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 11-Apr-2008, 01:21 PM
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QUOTE (scotborn @ 06-Apr-2008, 08:36 AM)
http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/andrew..._by_tartan.html

There has been discussions on this forum regarding the views of irish/scots in ireland and scotland and I came across this articlethat some people may find interesting.

"you start seriously questioning what may be missing from national identities elsewhere that they feel the need to nick other people's."

"people try so brazenly to misappropriate your identity"

"Caricaturing and stealing someone else's national heritage doesn't just make a mockery of their culture; it unnecessarily disregards your own."

And I wonder what it is in this individuals' character that would make him so insecure, selfish and condescending to accuse others of nickery, brazenness, malfeasance, theft and such self importance to assume the knowing of anothers needs and regards.

I am not impressed with his argument. This argument is just as wrong as those who may claim to BE Irish or Scottish because of gggggggggrandpa.

Now lets define "BE".

We may all feel a need to teach others, I know I do, and I think the discussion of Irish and Scottish, what it means, to self and others , is important. Others, scotborn in particular, in this forum have done a better job of expressing the views that I think the author was trying to impress.


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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 11-Apr-2008, 01:42 PM
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Oh , and while I'm on a tear, The Irish and Scottish or any other peoples should actually take great pride in those that would, nick, misappropriate, steal, etc their identity, culture, heritage. It was their ancestors compatriots that left their land, brought themselves, their culture, heritage, identity, set up shop in the US,CA, AU, fill in the blank, and proceeded to instill this in their new environment and their scions . This understanding of what it means to be the offspring of these people is locked in time at that moment of the ancestors leaving and then evolved in its new environment. For those offended by this reality, I say you need to get a broader understanding of what and where it is coming from and for those scions to understand the auld country did not stand still in time.
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 11-Apr-2008, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (UlsterScotNutt @ 11-Apr-2008, 02:42 PM)

It was their ancestors compatriots that left their land, brought themselves, their culture, heritage, identity, set up shop in the US,CA, AU, fill in the blank, and proceeded to instill this in their new environment and their scions .

So very true Ulster I agree and this is what Miss Fraser stated here below and if you read the last phrase it says it all and I quote:" If anything,these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland." thumbs_up.gif LOA



(Scots have been leaving home for hundreds of years. While the population of Scotland is around five million, it is estimated that there are many more millions of people with some Scottish ancestry, worldwide. Wherever they went, Scots adapted to their new country but seldom forgot their heritage. If anything, these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland.)
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scotborn 
Posted: 13-Apr-2008, 10:17 AM
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QUOTE (Lady of Avalon @ 11-Apr-2008, 01:54 PM)
QUOTE (UlsterScotNutt @ 11-Apr-2008, 02:42 PM)

It was their ancestors compatriots that left their land, brought themselves, their culture, heritage, identity, set up shop in the US,CA, AU, fill in the blank, and proceeded to instill this in their new environment and their scions .

So very true Ulster I agree and this is what Miss Fraser stated here below and if you read the last phrase it says it all and I quote:" If anything,these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland." thumbsup.gif LOA



(Scots have been leaving home for hundreds of years. While the population of Scotland is around five million, it is estimated that there are many more millions of people with some Scottish ancestry, worldwide. Wherever they went, Scots adapted to their new country but seldom forgot their heritage. If anything, these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland.)

lady of avalon could you explain how 2 - 5th generation immigrants have held on to their 'scottishness' more so than the scots. ?

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scotborn 
Posted: 13-Apr-2008, 10:21 AM
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the vast majority of americans who claim scottish ancestry (along with the many other lines of foreign ancestry they have) had ancestors that very likely did not wear kilts, attend highland games or were part of a clan.

The desendants of scots in america have not retained their scottishness better than the scots in scotland, they have created an american culture of emphasizing their perception of what scottish culture is. While I dont view this is a bad or good thing. You cannot say that values of scottishness they cherish are the values of scots today, or the values of scots living in scotland 100, 200 etc years ago.
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oldraven 
Posted: 13-Apr-2008, 11:06 AM
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QUOTE (UlsterScotNutt @ 11-Apr-2008, 11:42 AM)
The Irish and Scottish, or any other peoples, should take great pride in those that would nick, misappropriate, steal, etc their identity, culture, heritage. It was their ancestors compatriots that left their land, brought themselves, their culture, heritage, identity, set up shop in the US,CA, AU, fill in the blank, and proceeded to instill this in their new environment and their scions. This understanding of what it means to be the offspring of these people is locked in time at that moment of the ancestors leaving and then evolved in its new environment. For those offended by this reality, I say you need to get a broader understanding of what and where it is coming from and for those scions to understand the auld country did not stand still in time.

-Fred McNutt

That sounds like a new Mantra. I really don't think anyone could improve upon that statement.


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-Alexander Maclean Sinclair of Goshen (protector of Gaelic Culture)

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oldraven 
Posted: 13-Apr-2008, 11:21 AM
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QUOTE (Lady of Avalon @ 11-Apr-2008, 11:54 AM)
(Scots have been leaving home for hundreds of years. While the population of Scotland is around five million, it is estimated that there are many more millions of people with some Scottish ancestry, worldwide. Wherever they went, Scots adapted to their new country but seldom forgot their heritage. If anything, these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland.)

An odd new dimension of this is the way history is repeating itself here in America. Since Nova Scotia really became established, it has seen its people leave for other places in the US and Canada for a similar sense of opportunity the First immigrants from Europe felt when they set out. The population of Nova Scotia remains sparse, despite its location and relation to history. There are always children being born into large (though not as large as before) families, and lots of students in the Universities. But once the call of success hits their ears, they pack up and follow the buck. I did it. My family has done it. My preceding generations all did it.

But I was a kid from Nova Scotia when I left. When I got back, I was a long lost Nova Scotian, and my feet are anchored from here on. Something changes you when you're cut off from everything you took for granted. These pieces of our culture go from being invisible to being desperately absent.
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 13-Apr-2008, 04:42 PM
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QUOTE (scotborn @ 13-Apr-2008, 11:17 AM)
QUOTE (Lady of Avalon @ 11-Apr-2008, 01:54 PM)
QUOTE (UlsterScotNutt @ 11-Apr-2008, 02:42 PM)

It was their ancestors compatriots that left their land, brought themselves, their culture, heritage, identity, set up shop in the US,CA, AU, fill in the blank, and proceeded to instill this in their new environment and their scions .

So very true Ulster I agree and this is what Miss Fraser stated here below and if you read the last phrase it says it all and I quote:" If anything,these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland." thumbs_up.gif LOA



(Scots have been leaving home for hundreds of years. While the population of Scotland is around five million, it is estimated that there are many more millions of people with some Scottish ancestry, worldwide. Wherever they went, Scots adapted to their new country but seldom forgot their heritage. If anything, these expatriates have held onto their Scottishness more enthusiastically than Scots living in Scotland.)

lady of avalon could you explain how 2 - 5th generation immigrants have held on to their 'scottishness' more so than the scots. ?

scotborn,
I cannot explain a comment made by somebody else but you may write to Miss Fraser if you like. However I agree in what she is stating in the article which I think you probably did not read all the way through otherwise you woudn't ask the question. Because in the article it explains her comment.

I have been all over Nova Scotia many times and talk with many people from different places. A lot of Nova Scotian people from Cape Breton actually speak Gaelic and kids are being taught the language in schools as well. They are teaching their ancestors's culture in schools which unfortunately in Scotland,gaelic is just starting now.
Although i was only "a tourist" in your beautiful country while there i did not just pass through and come back saying that I've seen Scotland,no.
I've stayed with your countrymen and ate and drank and talk with them. Of course,as you move your way up the Highlands one could very clearly see that they have kept a certain Scottishness about them.

One of our host while there wrote something very comprehensive about your country and culture.It goes like this.

My Dear Guests,
From all over the world you come to look at our countryside, to visit our cities, towns & villages and to see how we Scots live.
How much of you enjoy your stay in Scotland depends partially on the attitude you bring with you, partly of luck-(for instance the weather!) and of course, to a large extent it rests with ourselves as a Host Nation.
To our visitors we say:"Welcome to our Country." Scotland is small, but of infinite variety.She cannot be "done" in a week. The faster & farther you travel, the less you will see. If you come looking for a land of tartan, clans & bagpipes, you will be disappointed. That image of Scotland is false and irrelevant. There is much,much more to our country than that.
We want to make our visitors feel at home.Personal contacts,however brief, often make or mar a holiday.
Finally,I do hope that all visitors to our shores this summer will feel welcome, not for their money, but for themselves. Take back happy memories of your stay here!!


That little underline part says it all.And she was right because yes there is much much more but also what has been the strongest part of the Scottish pride is practically non existant anymore.

This is in part what it means when one like Miss Fraser states that Scottishness is more celebrated here than in Scotland,I think.
And I think that's what Tartan Day is all about a celebration of one's heritage.LOA
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scotborn 
  Posted: 14-Apr-2008, 10:56 AM
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lady of avalon I think we will have to agree to disagree.
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UlsterScotNutt 
Posted: 14-Apr-2008, 11:30 AM
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QUOTE (scotborn @ 13-Apr-2008, 10:21 AM)
the vast majority of americans who claim scottish ancestry (along with the many other lines of foreign ancestry they have) had ancestors that very likely did not wear kilts, attend highland games or were part of a clan.

The desendants of scots in america have not retained their scottishness better than the scots in scotland, they have created an american culture of emphasizing their perception of what scottish culture is. While I dont view this is a bad or good thing. You cannot say that values of scottishness they cherish are the values of scots today, or the values of scots living in scotland 100, 200 etc years ago.

I would agree with this.

I think we are approaching this from quite a variety of different disciplines. Sentimental, cultural, fantastical, socielogical, political, etc, you get the idea.
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oldraven 
Posted: 14-Apr-2008, 11:43 AM
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QUOTE (scotborn @ 14-Apr-2008, 08:56 AM)
lady of avalon I think we will have to agree to disagree.

I think the main difference lies with past tense vs. present tense. And to say we who concentrate on Scotland of the past are more Scottish than the Scottish is beyond ridiculous. We celebrate the Scotland our ancestors brought with them (which was quite a while ago). Those ways of life may be next to dead in modern Scotland, just as fur trading is in Canada, but the old country will always be the most Scottish place on earth, just as I will live in the most Canadian place on earth.

Now, who clings to the Scotland of old more is a discussion worth having. Tartan day isn't about celebrating modern Scotland, there is no doubt. But Tartans and pipes and kilts are very much a rich part of Scotland's history. Not to say they invented any one of those things, but you cannot deny that the people embraced them all, these modern symbols of Auld Scotland. The idea of the 'clan' tartan was a commercial exercise, but it was also a very successful one. When our ancestors came here, these symbols were very much a part of the culture. History in my book is the same as history in yours.
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