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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Who am I?

There has been a lot of furore over the last 24 hours regarding Glasgow's winning bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and whilst I am happy that this event is coming to Scotland, it has left me considering the question "What does being Scottish mean to me?"
This isn't an easy one to answer, but I'll try.

To me, being Scottish means being patriotic almost to the point of ridiculousness. When we Scots go on holiday or abroad, we have a deep desire to let people know where we're from. We wear Scotland football tops, or at least the strip of the Scottish league team we support, we quite often wear our kilts, and as soon as we bump into another group of our countrymen loud singing will undoubtedly ensue.

Being Scottish to me means that we are happiest when we poke fun at ourselves. No one takes the piss out of a Scotsman like a fellow Scot. It's something we do to ourselves on a daily basis, and it seems that we're almost unique in that respect. If any of my friends were nice to me all the time, that'd freak me out. From an early age, we are conditioned to mock others around us, not because we wish to drive them away, but because it includes us in the group, because we all share the mockery equally between ourselves making us stronger. Bizarrely, it's a system that seems to work.

Being Scottish means that we, as a nation, consider ourselves to be the underdog in this union that is Great Britain, yet we consider ourselves to be superior to the English, and share a common bond of underdogness (made that word up) with the Welsh and the Irish. I think this is true to a certain extent as there seems to be a bit more common sense in Scotland's legal and healthcare systems.

Me? Well I love this country, and I'm glad I'm Scottish. The landscape we live in is well known for being awesome. The standard of living in Scotland is high too, and sure we all eat shit and die early, but we're happy, right? We are a creative people, we invented pneumatic tyres, the fridge, television, the telephone, we even invented the decimal point for fuck's sake!
We have actors like Robert Carlyle, Tom Conti, Brian Cox, Ian McDiarmid, and Ewan McGregor, and we have musicians like Donovan, Stuart Adamson, The Frattelis, Simple Minds, Mark Knopfler, Annie Lennox, Primal Scream, The Proclaimers, and on and on and on . . .

Independence anyone??

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