I’m Scottish, and when Mike Myers created his Saturday Night Live character long ago who declared, “If it’s not Scottish, it’s crap!” I nodded my head in agreement. Each May, the Scottish Festival season begins and one of my favorite events takes place just north of Baltimore in Fair Hills, Maryland. This year, The Fair Hill Scottish Games takes place on Saturday, May 18. There will be over 500 performers and competitors in addition to vendors selling all kinds of delicious treats like bridies, meat pies, and Scottish shortbread. Of course, there will be haggis. Someone once said that all Scottish food sounds like something you’d eat only on a dare. To these folks, I say: What about gelfelte fish? Or scrapple? How about octopus? Head cheese. Many foods which fall into the “on a dare” category. Plus, haggis is pretty tasty. With scotch.
But I digress.
Even if you’re not Scottish, consider taking a drive to enjoy the day. Here’s what you’ll you can expect to do: Watch feats of strength when burly Scotsmen toss the caber. See border collies herd sheep, following only a series of whistles. Listen to the rousing tunes of bagpipes and witness the marching with military precision by the various pipe bands. There will be troubadours singing ballads, dancers kicking and swinging, and a sense of merriment that dates back to Medieval times.
I like connecting to my family’s old world heritage and allowing my kids to do the same. There’s something inherently visceral about doing so. Plus I’m already salivating over those meat pies!
How about you and your family? What links to your heritage are important to you? Have you adopted others from someone else’s heritage?