February 2017 (Vol. 40, Number 8)
The Banner Says…
Scotland: A lifelong love affair
This month many around the world will celebrate love. Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd Century. Valentine was jailed for planning the banned marriages of soldiers and was sentenced to death for doing so. There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14th February he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”.
Love can take on so many forms and have many meanings, a love for your partner, kids, family, friends, pets, music, travel, your work and so much more. Many will be honouring their special loved ones this month, both those who are here and those who have left us. But when you think of love it goes beyond those who are so important around us and in the Scottish community we have that in spades.
Love for Scotland
Regardless of how you celebrate Valentine’s Day if you are reading the Scottish Banner you no doubt have a great love for Scotland. One has to simply look around the vibrant international Scottish community to see the love held for Scottish heritage and Scotland itself.
Pipe bands are a great example of how thousands of talented musicians around the world whose passion for music is helping keeping Scottish culture alive and well. Their love for performance is evident each time they play, whether it be at a highland games, street parade or concert. Pipe bands are also always one of the most loved aspects of these public events. The pipe band movement is a lifelong fraternity and we encourage anyone interested in taking part to reach out your local band and take part.
The hours of practice and more practice is what gives those in the Scottish dance community the grace and skill of both Highland and Country dance. The love of dance is often nurtured from a young age (however you are never too old to start!) and is a passion that runs throughout a dancer’s life.
Another great love in the Scottish community is the Highland Games. Year round somewhere in the world Scotland is being celebrated and it is a love affair that has not diminished. These tremendous family friendly cultural events bring in so many aspects of Scotland for attendees to celebrate. From music, language, dance, genealogy, athletics and more-the pride and passion of Scotland is on display for all to fall in love with. The countless hours of planning these events require (often by committee volunteers) shows such great commitment and professionalism. For the wider Scottish community this is great platform to connect with each other and enjoy the love they have for their heritage.
Fall in love with Scotland
Many people outside the Scottish community can often be surprised just how much is going on and may wonder how they too can “fall in love with Scotland”. Each month our events page lists a great range of events and activities for Scots and those who want to get involved in Scottish culture. For those wanting to plan ahead you can always check our website which has events added weekly and is one of the most comprehensive international Scottish events listings available. So get out and attend one of these great events and connect with your community, you will love yourself for doing so!
Scotland a country anyone can easily fall in love with
We know many readers have been to Scotland or are planning their next visit to the land of their ancestors. Scotland itself has some incredibly romantic places to visit year round, and in this issue we look at some of those fantastic locations. The sheer beauty of the nation and rich history makes Scotland a country anyone can easily fall in love with. From wildlife to whisky, castles to golf, or the nations historic cities with a new modern heartbeat- this is one country that you can fall in love with time and time again.
For those with a love for history you will be spoilt (and quite possibly shocked!) by the story of Scotland. Whether it be looking at your own family story or the wider journey Scotland has taken, this small country has such a dynamic and dramatic past which you will more exciting than any modern day soap opera. For example did you know the Gorbals area of Glasgow still today holds some of the relics of St Valentine’s?
Regardless if you celebrate the 14th of the month, the love you have for Scotland is a not only a year round celebration, but a lifelong one. I have no doubt St Valentine himself would not only approve of this love but he too would fall in love with the land and the heritage we are all so lucky to hold so dear.
What is it about Scotland or how Scottish culture is celebrated around the world do you love so much? Share with us your views by email, post or at www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us