Auld Lang Syne

It’s Burn’s Day… the day Scots and lovers of all things Scottish toast  the birth of their beloved poet with traditional feasts of haggis and many toasts of Scotch.

Here is Auld Lang Syne performed by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Canada is a country of newcomers, and most people are aware of and fiercely loyal to their earlier “homelands”, going back generations… the cultural mosaic is the Canadian experience, not the melting pot of the Americans.

The beautiful scenery of this video explains the nostalgic yearning for Scotland. The starkly rugged terrain also explains why so many left to make their fortunes elsewhere, and were well-prepared, mentally and physically, to meet the hardships they encountered.

The Scots were instrumental in early Canadian history and settlement… especially through the Hudson Bay Company, and then early economics and politics.   This interesting website begins:

In the 2006 Canadian Census an incredible 4.7 million Canadians said that they were of Scottish origin. At the time, the entire population of Scotland was just under 5.2 million.

So, why are there so many people descended from Scots living in Canada today?

Why was there a mass emigration of Scots to the wild and unexplored shores of Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries, and why did the number of emigrants continue to rise until the middle of the 20th century?

The story of the Scots in Canada is a tale of adventure and heroism, of explorers, traders and settlers who carved a life in the inhospitable wilderness. It is a story of dangerous journeys and terrible loss, of triumph against the odds, and of hope as the Scots fought to hold on to their native culture and language.

They will be “saying grace” at the Burn’s night dinners this evening. Like this, straight to the point:

”Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thanket.”

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