Culture refers to the norms, values and standards that a certain group of people is associated with. Culture acts as an identity and a source of guidelines in the way of life. In many parts of the world, culture has been compromised and no longer remains pure as it was. People are no longer appreciative of their culture but instead perceive it as slavery. Therefore, they are not ready to be slaves of culture and practice whatever they feel comfortable with. However, this is not the case in Scotland. It appears in the list of the few countries that have been able to maintain their culture.
Scotland is located in the United Kingdom and is really recognized for its interest in its cultures as well as the heritage. Its history dates so many years back though it has evolved. Despite the many evolutions that have been undergone by the country, she has been able to maintain and uphold her culture. This enables her to have many tourists who visit the country with the need to witness the famous culture. The paper will discuss some of the features of their culture that make it unique among all the other countries in the region. As a result, tourism has been in the frontline in Scotland. There are eight regions in Scotland but the paper will pay attention more on the West Coast region. Though the landmass in Scotland is not large, there are many riches in its culture. Some of the riches are reflected in their dishes, festivals, poultry and practices.
Scotland protects its culture and the government has gone the extent of passing laws that are meant to preserve it. It is interesting that the people there have continued to retain the Law of Scot, which has been recognized as unique because it is a combination of both the civil law as well as common law. The law is based on the Roman rule. Unlike other regions, where culture has been neglected and is compromised, the people of Scotland are believed to hold norms and standards, values and customs that they use as their identity. It is interesting to note that many people think that some of the cultural practices in some communities are old school and are perceived to bear illiteracy, but it is not the case in Scotland. Their culture portrays high intellect that attracts people from all corners of the world.
As mentioned earlier, there are eight regions in Scotland. However, these regions can be classified into three broad regions. They include the northern highlands, south uplands and central lowlands. The paper specifically will deal with one of the region, which is the West Coast, which is situated in the central lowlands. Some of the physical features in West Coast include the inlets that floe towards the sea. Some are small and others are large. The latter are known as firths. It is important to note that the West Coast has sea lochs, which are inclined together with cliffs that look like fjords. Due to these lochs, many tourists get to the Coast to have their leisure time enjoying the climbing the cliffs. There are also some caves with some rivers. These rivers are not large but there are also big rivers in other regions such as Rivers Spey, Tweed and Forth. The highest mountain is known as Ben Nevis, which is 1344 m high. The mountain acts as the source of the rivers mentioned above and they flow all the way to the West Coast. The soils in the West Coast are fertile thus farming is done.
The weather in the region earns most of the talks from the people throughout the year. People say that the region receives rains and is inhabited with deep snow. However, it does not rain in all the regions at the same time. Whenever some places are receiving the rains and the snow, other regions could be receiving their summer weather. The region is usually winter from December to February and spring between March and April. It is amazing that summer comes in June to July, which are the best periods to visit the country and enjoy the rich culture (Robbers, 2006). To be specific, the weather in September is cool, warm, and ample to visit the beaches. In June, there are few dark hours, which are only two. Dark comes for only two hours, form 1 am to 3 am. This means that during these two hours, it is insecure to be in the mountains.
The whole population in Scotland is estimated to be 5.3 million. There are several ethnic groups with the majority being the White Scottish people whose population is about 4.4 million. Other British who are white are estimated to be about 0.4 M while the Irish are about 54 090. The White Polish are about 61201 and the rest of the whites, who have not been mentioned as part of these ethnic groups are estimated to be about 102, 117. In total the white ethnic group population is about 5.1 M. The Asian ethnic group is estimated to be about 140, 678 while the Caribbeans are about 6540. Africans who inhabit Scotland are about 29, 638. Mixed ethnic groups, who are mostly Arabs, are estimated to be 9, 366 in total (Withers, 2001).
The three most influential holidays in Scotland include the Hogmanay, which is the New Year, Halloween and St. Andrews Day. Hogmanay is the one of the most influential holidays in the region because; most of the people never want to miss the party that is held immediately after Christmas. Most of the people celebrate Christmas at their homes and later attend the party, which is full of music, dances and making merry to welcome the New Year. Many people from all the regions in Scotland travel to attend the party, which they attach so much value to. They take it as a way of bringing change to their lives in various ways through the resolutions that they make during the party. They make a list of resolutions that they would like to have throughout the year. St. Andrews Day is a day that is for celebrations to mark the memory of St. Andrew, who was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ.
However, the holiday is voluntary for those that want to celebrate the good works of the saint. He was one of the followers of Christ and was involved in calling people to the Kingdom. Celebrations that accompany the holiday include festivals, services that take place in churches, concerts as well as suppers. Lastly, Halloween is the celebration that is done to mark the end of summer. Another festival that is related to the Halloween is the Beltane, which is celebrated to mark the start of dark. While Halloween marked the beginning of light, Beltane marks the beginning of dark nights that only come for two hours. Halloween is doe in churches as a symbol that as the lights comes in the sunrise; the Bible provides light to the people during dark hours. The celebration is done for three days and it may even proceed depending on the need to extend it. Most of the traditional dishes are prepared and bonfires lit.
In the recent past, there has been witnessed a change of the diets that people take. In addition to this, clothing had also been adversely affected by the changing generation. The new generation has come into existence and has its own lifestyle that has led to changes in the different cultures in the world today. The generation has ignored the traditional foods that their ancestors consumed, which are nutritious and healthy. However, Scotland has been able to maintain her nutritious foods. In this case, all foods of all types have continued to be taken. Two of the common fruits that are associated with the Scottish people include the brambles, which are often referred to as the blackberries and the raspberries, which grow in deserts. Tourists have enjoyed participating in picking of these fruits while they are enjoying their time in the deserts touring the region. They are ready to eat and some can even be used to make dishes such as tatties (Levinson, 1998).
To add on this, apples and strawberries are used to make both pies as well as crumbles. They are also common though most people prefer the first two. Most of the people in today’s generation prefer to take fruit juices that are made from chemicals and some from fruits though, they are of poor quality. The Scottish people have not ignored taking fruits and this adds fibre to their bodies making them have the capability of living longer, as their bodies become strong enough to fight with small infections that could attack them. Unlike some of the places in the world, such as Africa, people who live in these places have not been appreciative of their cultural foods and have ended up copying western foods such as chips, hot dogs and budgies. These foods have had negative impacts on their health, making their bodies weak to fight diseases and thus short life span.
The Scottish people like vegetables. Two of the most common vegetables that are consumed in the region are the potatoes and carrots. Vegetables are healthy for giving vitamins to the human body. This has helped the Scottish people in preserving their health and when close investigations are made on the people, they are not badly hit by today’s diseases that have been related with loose diets. Turnips are also common in almost all the dishes that are prepared, both at homes and during festivals and celebrations. Starch foods that are common among the people in the region include oats as well as barley. However, it is important to note that these starches are different from the starches consumed by the Generation Z and Generation Y of today. These are grown in the region because they are supported by the rich soils that are there. They are used to make several dishes that are rich in nutritions required to build their bodies. This is another source of a tourist attraction because people will get to know the methods that are used to prepare dishes using the vegetables and starches. Some of the dishes that are common include the neeps and the haggis, which are the main dishes that are prepared whenever there are celebrations to be made.
The most common type of meat that is consumed in the region is beef as well as mutton. To be specific, the most type of beef that is consumed is from the Aberdeen Angus type of cows(Munro, 2007). This is because early Scottish people were raiders and they raided, they brought the breed into their region. It is important to note that the Scottish do not allow eating of pork. However, these days they have started consuming it little by little in distinct occasions and the main type that is consumed is the wild boar. The two types of poultry that are kept by the Scottish people are the fowls and chickens. However, these chickens and fowls are unique in their own way because they are dumpy, unlike in other areas. The two are believed to have originated from the dorking hens that early Scottish people reared (Bell, 2004).
As mentioned earlier in the paper, Scotland maintains some laws that are meant to preserve its culture. In this case the two types of poultry that are reared are scarce and are therefore there has been an organization that has been created to protect them. The Rare Breeds Survival organization sees that any rare breeds of animals in the region are protected to ensure that they do not become extinct. Two of the most common seafood that is consumed in Scotland include salmon and lobsters. They not only consume but also sell them out of their region. These are made available in and out of the region because of the coastline that has shallow waters that allow the survival of the species. It is easy to fish along the coastline too. The species are used in many restaurants worldwide and this creates a good image about Scotland.
It is amazing to note that the modern world has changed in the way of dieting. Many of the cultures that are heard today from other corners of the world have not been able to remain pure in their foods. However, in as much as foods continue to be grown and hunted, the foods of the Scottish people have not been adversely affected by evolution of the world (Gardiner, 2005). The few changes that have been on the foods of the Scottish people are due to other cultures interfering and having some influence on them. However, it is interesting that the Scottish have still continued to prepare their meals the same way their early people used to prepare. The most common method of preparing meals in Scotland is the fine dining method.
Under this method, meals are prepared in conjunction with other supplements that are a source nutrients. For instance, haggis, which is the most common dish, is made using meat in form of sausages that are got from the inner meat sheep such as the lungs (Knox, 1999). The sausages are boiled and then a mixture of onions, pepper, salt and suet are added to it. The mixture is then put inside the stomach of the sheep and left to boil for a few hours. No meal is served singly but other supplements have to be added to make it whole. For instance, haggis are served together with the neeps. This is important because it makes the foods sweet and enjoyable, making many tourists visit the region to witness. The foods are then preserved traditionally using sugar, salt, and honey depending on the type of food. For instance, meat is preserved using meat, because the salt is able to absorb any water that could act as a medium for bacteria multiplication.
When flavoring and seasoning their
foods, the Scottish people use certain colors that they obtain from fruits they
collect form the deserts. They squeeze
the juice form the fruits and later expose it to the sunlight for long
periods to obtain a powder. They then ground the powder to make it
smooth. Whenever they want to add flavor to the food that they have cooked,
they will always mix it with some thick mixture of fried tomatoes. This adds
the taste of the dish thus making more attractive for the tourists. Tourism in
Scotland is generally based on the rich culture that has not been diluted
unlike in other regions. This is interesting especially in these days when
culture seems to be an old school practice to many people and especially to the
youngsters. This makes many people get attracted to the region to see the rich
cultural values, customs and standards that are held by the people in the
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Gardiner, M. (2005). Modern Scottish culture. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Knox, W. (1999). Industrial nation: Work, culture and society in Scotland, 1800-present. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Levinson, D. (1998). Ethnic groups worldwide: A ready reference handbook. Phoenix, Ariz: Oryx Press.
Munro, R. W. (2007). Munro’s Western Isles of Scotland and Genealogies of the Clans: 1549. Clearfield Co.
Robbers, G. (2006). Encyclopedia of World Geography: Three-volume Set. New York: Infobase Pub.
Withers, C. W. J. (2001). Geography, science and national identity: Scotland since 1520. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press.