4 Stereotypes about Scotsmen

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

Most people, when you ask them what do they know about Scotsmen, would answer that they imagine a tall, strong man with fiery red hair, dressed in kilt, standing on a cliff on a misty morning, playing his bagpipes, possibly with some sheep in the background. To be honest, the truth is not as romantic and in many cases completely different from what the world thinks of them. Here are some myths and stereotypes about Scottish people that are not entirely true:

Scotsmen are miserly and reserved because of the hardship their nation went through.

Nothing less true. What many consider avarice  is actually being practical. Even though it is often said that expenses are being cut in various fields, in all actuality the nation is developing at least as well as the rest of Great Britain, in some areas even better. Aside from that, on a more personal level, Scotsmen are very open and don’t hesitate to help others in need. Many immigrants praise the way they were welcomed by the natives when they arrived to Scotland.

[credit: amandabhslater]

Scottish dishes are inedible.

This is probably a myth that origins from the famous haggis, which, for many can be a bit overwhelming. But many well known, delicious dishes come from Scotland. Tattie scones, Dundee cake – which is known for its rich flavour – they all come from Scottish cuisine.

[credit: sicamp]

Scottish economy stands on… sheep.

Yes, Scotland is known for its sheep. But in recent years sheep breeding business is shrinking rapidly – it is seven hundred thousand pieces smaller than it was seven years ago. Aside from that Scotland has a good coal mining base, oil extraction on the North Sea shelf, well developed metallurgical, mechanical, chemical and electrical industries.

[credit: foxypar4]

Men that wear kilts are always cold.

It is actually really difficult to feel cold in a kilt. For one, it is almost 23 feet of thick wool covering the area from waist to knees – that in itself is plenty to keep one warm. Aside from that, there are the woollen socks covering the lower legs – if anything, it can only be too warm. And that actually ties with another stereotype – that Scottish men don’t wear anything under their kilts. It probably depends on a person but sometimes, adding another layer could really be a bit much.

[credit: rfduck]

Scottish Clothing – Traditional Dress

Monday, April 26th, 2010

Traditional Scottish clothing is characterised by the appearance of tartan or ‘plaid’ patterns in some form. Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Originally it was made from woven cloth, but now additional materials are also used.

Until the middle of the 19th century, highland tartans were associated with regions or districts, rather than by any specific clan or family. This was due to the fact that the designs were produced by local weavers, with a limited range of local dyes and for local tastes.

[photo by: Lee Carson]

Male Scottish dress includes a kilt or ‘trews’, sporrans and gillie brogues.

The kilt is a knee-length ‘skirt’ with pleats at the rear. It was first worn in the 16th century, by men and boys in the Scottish Highlands. It is typically made from one piece of fabric that is wrapped around and fastened at the side. (more…)

Celtic Jewellery – Buying Guide

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Celtic jewellery is indeed still highly desired. Despite being age old designs, these patterns are still magnetic and highly alluring. The majestic beauty that the Celtic era signifies flows through these ornaments and it comes as no surprise then that many jewellery stores have flooded several other counters over and above the bridal jewellery section with these patterns. Jewellery UK designers have realised the potential of these designs and have begin to use silver, gold and platinum when creating these pieces. Right from corals and semi precious stones to even precious stones such as emerald and rubies, Celtic designs are making place for them all.

However, despite the high attraction of these jewellery pieces, not many of us know how to go about buying them. Keeping the advice listed below will go a long way in ensuring that one is able to pick the right kind of Celtic jewellery.

Everyday wear- Not all of us go to jewellery stores looking to buy grand and expensive stuff. Most of us are hoping to buy jewellery that we can wear casually too. Celtic designs can easily be incorporated into your daily wear jewellery, despite their grand designs. Most jewellery UK designers have understood this fact and designed, rings, pendants and even ear wear in materials like silver and other similar cheaper metals that can be worn almost everyday. Try and pick Celtic patterns that look complete even though they have been incorporated in smaller ornaments. (more…)

Most Famous Customs in Scotland

Monday, January 18th, 2010
Firework Display - Hogmanay Street Party
Image by foxypar4 via Flickr

The Scots are a proud people with a rich heritage steeped in culture, custom and tradition. And many of the Scottish traditions have been carried on for centuries in Celtic cultures and by immigrants around the world.

Robert Burns
The Burns Night Supper is a dinner event commemorating Robert Burns, celebrated on the poet’s birthday on January 25. Friends and family will assemble for a traditional haggis meal, accompanied by a reading of his poems and speeches, followed by a group sing-a-long to the Robert Burns’ songs. (more…)

The power of kilts

Saturday, November 7th, 2009
Clan McKenzie tent at the 2005 Tacoma Highland...
Image via Wikipedia

Kilts, as we know them, were adapted from 16th century Highland garments that are believed to have been heavily influenced by the clothing worn by the Vikings and Normans that conquered the British Isles in the 8th Century. The word kilt is thought to come from the Danish word “kilte,” meaning “to tuck up” which is believed to have been derived from “kjalta,” meaning “to tuck up a garment or to secure hanging fabric with a belt” in Old Scandinavian and/or the Old Norse word “kjilt,” meaning “pleated or folded fabric layers.”

Whatever the case, kilts came to be a symbol of rebels and warriors and are still worn by Scottish Regiments of the British Army. The wearing of kilts among the Celtic/Gaelic people spread as their tribes migrated in all directions throughout Europe and around the world. Over the past 200 years, the kilt has become a potent symbol of Scottish pride taking hold in the traditions of the many cultures that experienced Celtic influence from the Dark Ages through present, particularly those wishing to demonstrate kinship and solidarity with the Highlanders of Scotland, whether or not they themselves were of Scottish ancestry. (more…)

Scottish Celtic Symbols

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
Celtic Cross, Milltown Cemetery, Belfast
Image by PPCC Antifa via Flickr

The Scottish Celtic people are also known as Pict’s, the word Pict having its roots in Latin. They lived in Northern Britain at that time and the Romans described them as being covered in pictures of animals and other figures. The Pictish people were so notoriously difficult to conquer that Hadrian, a Roman Emperor of the time, built a stone wall across Britain to keep them out of the South, effectively ceding them the North which we know today as Scotland.

Scottish Picts symbols are known for their intricate Knot Work, animals and Spirals just as Irish, British and Welsh Celtic symbols are, but they have a vast array of symbols not seen in other Celtic traditions and which are often found on Pictish Stones. There are approximately 35 different symbols depicted on these ancient stones, some are abstract while others depict animals, there also exist representations of everyday items. These stones may have served as memorials or as a way to depict clans and lineage. (more…)

Scottish Sport: Golf and Unbelievable Hole in One

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Traditional Scottish sport and amazing golf tricks people can do!

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Glasgow – So Much To See & Do!

Thursday, January 29th, 2009
Hampden Park, Scotland v Norway
Image by kevinmcc via Flickr

Travelling to Scotland in 2009? Why not take a trip to Glasgow? The largest city in Scotland, the greater Glasgow conurbation has a population of over 2 million people, with 620,000 living in the city area.

When it comes to top attractions, Glasgow certainly isn’t lacking. From museums and culture to famous landmarks, the city has it all.

Tourist Attractions

The Tall Ship – take a trip to Glasgow Harbour and visit the Glenlee Ship, a true testament to Glasgow’s rich shipbuilding heritage.

The Lighthouse – The Lighthouse is a stunning centre of six floors where you can learn about the architecture and design of Glasgow through fantastic exhibitions. Entry is free on Saturdays! (more…)