Friday, January 27, 2006

Happy Birthday, Rabbie Burns

Unfortunately, I was too slow to get an audio clip of the introducing of the haggis and a reading of Burns' poem To the Haggis. This audio clip is of me describing a bit about my night.

this is an audio post - click to play

The night started off with the introduction of the haggis. Very cool and ceremonial. After dinner, there were readings of his poetry and reflections on Burns's life. There was also toast to the lassies and laddies (women and men), which, although filled with cliches and generalisations, were entertaining enough. During the readings and recitations, I saw many people heads nodding -- in sleep. That was the biggest problem.

So, on to the haggis, which, some say, is really the star of the night. I'm not sure if I can equate haggis to another food, but it wasn't unpleasant. The haggis we had was, according to others, unusually spicy. We had it with its traditional sides of neeps and tatties (mashed turnips and mashed potatoes). You're supposed to mix up the haggis, neeps and tatties, but no one did. I think it is because everyone was posh.

Robert Burns is Scotland's most famous poet and definitely a favourite son. However, I can't see the relevance that he has in modern Scottish. This is not to say that I think Burns Night is pointless. On the contrary, I think Scots use Burns Night as a celebration of everything Scottish. Many Scots still feel bitter toward the English for denying them a true independence. They feel their life is dictated by English whims. But Rabbie reminds them to be proud of being Scottish and that their Scottish ways are lovely and poetic.

There are new pictures of the ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee), which we had after the dinner. I love ceilidhs, as it's the only time I can get the Boy to dance. Among some of the dances we did were St Bernard's Waltz, The Cumberland Square (my fave), The Gay Gordons, and The Dashing White Sergant. (what names!) You can click here to learn more about how to do them. I took the pictures with the camera on my phone -- that's why some of them are blurry. Others because we were moving so damn fast. Here's one of me with the Boy, gasping for breath. These dances do take a lot out of you. And I'll be going to another one tonight. How will I make it through?


Blogger Zandra Towns said...

You guys look great! Except for Autumn's shoes, those were not cute at all. When did you learn to do all those dances?

Saturday, 28 January 2006 at 21:50:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

What! My shoes rock, thank you very much. They are fashionable. If you go to a good ceilidh, they have a caller that tells you how to do the dances or shows you how to do the dances.

Sunday, 29 January 2006 at 11:43:00 GMT  
Blogger amah said...

The dancing looks fun. Wish your Dad would get into it.

Wednesday, 1 February 2006 at 23:16:00 GMT  
Blogger Autumn said...

You don't need Dad! There are plenty of lovely Scottish men that will willingly and eagerly dance with a lassie.

Thursday, 2 February 2006 at 19:08:00 GMT  

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