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Scottish Traditions And Cultures

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Keywords: politics in scotland, sport in scotland, scottish history and culture

This is my English assignment on Scotland. I am going to talk about the history of Scotland, the culture and traditions of Scotland and about the Sports in Scotland. The Culture and Sports are very close but I think they have to be explained a part. I hope you and myself learn from this assignment and have fun with reading. (As long you can have fun)The history of Scotland.

The land that now forms Scotland was in the prehistory part of the continent that now forms North-America, so Scotland isn't really part of Europe but a part from Laurentia. During the last interglacial, around 130,000 and 70,000 BC, Europe was warmer than now and the Neanderthals found that there was a mild spell in Scotland around 40,000 BC so they settled in Scotland, but no traces of early humans have been found. After 40,000 BC Britain was torn apart by glaciers and Scotland wasn't inhabitable any more. After 9600 BC the ice retreated and Scotland could be inhabited again. In 8500 BC there were hunter-gatherers in Scotland and several settlements have been found and the first permanent settlements were found in around 3600 BC. In 2500 BC the Bronze Age entered Scotland and there has been found some hill forts from probably 900 BC which shows us that the people in Scotland were quite good in building settlements and monuments. Around 800 BC the Iron Age entered Scotland and till the invasion of Roman Empire Scotland was a peaceful inhabited by Celtic tribes. This was a short summary of the prehistoric history of Scotland but no written records were found till the invasion of Scotland buy the Romans, now I'm going to talk about the Roman Invasion of Scotland and what happened after that. England was invaded by Julius Caesar in 54 BC but Scotland fought more than 100 years later because Caesar couldn't get to Scotland. In AD 43 Britain was invaded again and they lost a few battles giving ground to the Romans. Agricola was the first one who attacked the people in Scotland itself and he got quite far but even though he had to let Scotland go after he didn't got re-elected for being the governor of Scotland. In 122 AD the Romans tried to protect themselves from the attacks of the Caledonians by the famous Hadrian wall. The Hadrian wall was started by governor Hadrian and ended six years later to protect them for the raiding tribes. The Romans tried to build a second wall to conquer more land called the Antonine wall but broke it off because it was unnecessary. When the Romans retreated from Britain in 407 AD Scotland of now was set in 4 parts with each part its own king and people. They were the Picts, the Scots, the Angolans and the Britons. In 563 AD Saint Columbanus, a monk, came to northern Scotland and Christianity spread rapidly. In 843 the Picts and the Scots united under king Kenneth MacAlpine's reign in Alba (later Scotia). The weird thing was that the Picts just threw their culture away to take the Scots culture. The Angolans went south to England and the Britons lived in the lowlands and since 890 the Vikings lived in the western Isles and operated from there their attacks on Scotland. The next kings and queens were crowned on the "stone of scone" (stone of destiny) in scone. In 1034 under Duncan I his reign Scotland was united except the parts of the Vikings. In 1040 Duncan I was killed by Macbeth, who got beaten by Duncan I his son Malcolm III. In 1066 England was defeated by William the Conqueror and in the years after that, Malcolm's son David I Scotland conquered a part of north England. After that till 1268 Scotland started to grow economically and culturally. In 1268 Alexander III died and with no follower than 3 year old Margaret, forced Scotland to crown Margaret as queen. In 1290 Margaret died and not less than 13 men said they had right at the throne. But Edward I of England called David I as king of Scotland. David I and France started an alliance against England. As response on this Scotland lost parts of the lowlands to England . In 1290 Robert I tried to recapture them and In 1320 Scotland was announced as independent country by Robert I but England didn't recognized this declaration till 1328. From 1371 till 1603 there were some conflicts with England and Scotland tried to increase their relation with France and it all happened under the reign of the Stuart family. The last Stuart king was Henry V who got the throne in 1603 but he made so much trouble with his lust for power that he had to flee to northern England, and caused a civil war in 1642. The civil war was won by Oliver Cromwell with his New Model Army. He called England, Ireland and Scotland as one republic without a monarchy. But in 1660 Cromwell was dead already and Charles II came on the throne. James VII followed him when he died but was set off by the parliament and Willem of Orange was called to be king of Britain with his wife Mary. James V fled to France but some of the Scottish were still faithful to James VII (the Jacobites). The Jacobites on 27 juli1968 Willem's army lost a battle from the Jacobites. In 1702 Anne followed Willem as queen of Britain but the parliament was determined to keep the Stuarts of the queen. So they parliament went to Sophie of Hannover the granddaughter of James VII and they told Scotland if they accepted her they would get trading privileges. But England and Scotland had to reunite in one parliament. In Scotland there were some riots but in 1707 the offer was accepted and Scotland wasn't a state anymore and had no parliament. Economically it was a good case for Scotland but there were still people especially highlanders who wanted the Stuarts as kings and queens. Charles Edward Stuart was a grandson of James VII and he started a war with his Jacobites against England in 1745. But in 1746 he got defeated after the battle of Culloden and had to flee to Italia. After this battle it was forbidden to wear any skirts, play bagpipes and the clans were not allowed to exist anymore. They switched from livestock-farming to sheep cultivation and potatoes were the most important food in the highlands. When the potato harvest went wrong loads of people went to America (not the VS) and the big cities for work and food. This was a period of grow in economics, literature and culture so Scotland changed in the 18th century from one of the poorest countries in Europe to a normal economically growing land. In 1999 many years later Scotland got its own parliament again. It counted 127 seats in the parliament these are the party's who got seats: 47 Scottish National Party,

46 Scottish Labour Party, 17 Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party,

16 Scottish Liberal Democrats, 2 Scottish Green Party, 1 independent

The culture and traditions of Scotland

Now I'm going to talk about the culture and traditions of Scotland, of course there is the famous kilt but there are more interesting things. Let's start with the language, in Scotland there are 4 languages which are spoken. At first you have (Scottish-) Gaelic, Gaelic is actually a northern-Ireland's language (in history North-Ireland was called Scotia). It is still spoken by 80 thousand Scots and many youngsters choose to learn Gaelic. Then you have Scottish, Scottish was till 1600 the standard language but now is more called as a poet-language. It looks like standard English but has changed a little bit. Scottish has many dialects like Lallans or Broad Scots. Norn is a extinct language but on some island they still speak a mixture of Norn, English, Scottish and some German and Dutch Terms. And last but not least English, even though Scottish English slightly changed normal English and in Scottish English there are some Gaelic words trough the language. Now let's talk about their clan system. In Scotland you have various Scottish clans, and they are like families. Every clan has its own Tartan. With this word I mean the pattern of the clan, every clan had a pattern and its own territory. The pattern existed out of 7 colours for the king 6 colours for the druids and 6 for the nobles. In the 16th century the Highlanders started to use the kilts as skirt. The kilt is held on his place by a belt and the upper part is held in place by a broche on the left shoulder. The kilt looked like the Tartan's pattern and was a normal dress in those days. A clan war wasn't very unlikely and very bloody. Even though the clans were banned after the battle of Culloden most Scottish still live in their clan territory and are very proud about their "clan". But what about the traditions of the Scottish? Like the festivals and commemoration days. Well Scotland has quite some feasting days. In the summer it is usual the time for a clan meeting with traditional clothing, the kilt, and uses. Bagpipes, square-dancing and games are usual in a meeting. In many places in Scotland there are festivals in the summer as a tradition. In Scotland they don't celebrate Boxing day but instead they have a second new year's day: Hogmanay. This descends from Norway. On 21 December in Norway it is the shortest day with 6 hours of light, they usually spend those days to help each other through the dark periods. Because Scotland lies on the same length degree and also has 6 hours of light on 21 December. On new year's day in Glasgow and Edinburgh the people get out on the street to sing the "auld lang syne" a famous bagpipe melody. And on 25 January it is burns night to honour the poet Robert Burns. And of course heroes, a famous Scottish hero is a William Wallace, he fought against the English and made some victories but he got captured and beheaded. He has been honoured by many poets and the movie Braveheart, which I think is a great movie, and is very known in the world now. Now I am going to talk about the sports of Scotland. On the next page you can read a lot of the famous Scotland Highland games.

The sports of Scotland

Well, the famous Scotland Highland games are probably started after Malcolm III organised a race to find the fastest runner in the country. He wanted the fastest runner to be his royal messenger so he could contact someone really fast. Some people see this as a early highland game. But what is for sure is that the after the battle of Culloden, the Highlanders were not allowed to bear or train with weapons. So they just trained with the highland games. The Scottish highland games exist of athletic and sport competitions and are always mixed with music productions and other entertainment. The competitions are different every year but these sports are always part of them: the Caber toss, "A long tapered pine pole or log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands, Then the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper (larger) end striking the ground first" so like this:

This is how it should end

And we have the Stone put: "This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used". So you have to throw a stone from your neck as far as you can.

The Scottish hammer throw: just like the normal hammer throw you have to throw a hammer. "The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown using one hand only, but otherwise using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins." Weight over the bar: "The athletes attempt to toss a 56 pound (4 stone) weight with an attached handle over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. "On the Scottish highland games there is also a competition of country dancing and one for highland dancing. A little explanation of highland dancing:"Highland dancing, in all its competitive forms, is a very technical dance form, requiring many hours of practice and training over a period of several years in order to perfect. It has more in common with ballet than with the social dancing of the Scottish Country Dance. In addition, the Highland dances are performed solo, unlike country dancing. Even the Reel, which is performed with other dancers, is judged on an individual basis" in the beginning of highland dancing only men performed because they made their own dances but now women also participate in the competitions.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Boyd_tartan%2C_drawing_of.png The tartan of the Boyd's


http://www.bootsandpaws.co.uk/pics/scot1/hg4b.jpg Some Bagpipe players

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/09/BenNevis2005.jpg The highest mountain in Scotland: Ben Nevis

http://www.lucistrust.org/var/storage/images/service_activities/the_great_invocation__1/translations_of_the_great_invocation/gaelic_irish/7015-12-eng-GB/gaelic_irish_full_width.gif A letter written in Gaelic

(I don't know the translation but maybe you can read this)

http://www.scottishwedding.netfirms.com/images/DarleneCollin.jpg Scottish wedding clothes

The conclusion

This was my English assignment and I got to say that I really had some difficulties with the history and didn't understand it properly so I can understand if you don't get it to. But I enjoyed this assignment because I learned a lot of new things and finally know more about the kilt's and stuff. I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you don't, I'm sorry it's your job.

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