Well, we've tonight and tomorrow and then we're off to the US of A.
Colour me excited. :)
I finished the following in about an hour, it's that riveting to me.
The Thistle and the Brier: Historical Links and Cultural Parallels Between Scotland and Appalachia by Richard Blaustein
I realize that many of you many have never heard of the faff about the connections between Scotland and Appalachia, the so-called 'Celtic Connection'.
Because of this, I'd wanted to read at least one scholarly work on the concept.
Unsurprisingly, academia bears out my earlier premise: no, Americans, regardless of place of birth or upbringing, are not Irish, are not Scottish. However, in many places, and especially Appalachia, the Scots-Irish background is preserved and does inform many aspects of life.
The stereotypical Scot is akin to the stereotypical Appalachian. Both are surrounded with a mythology that is romanticized version of reality.
Did the Highlanders of the 1740s or do those of the 1990s prance around in kilts 24/7 or eat nothing but oatmeal and haggis? No!
Did the Appachians of the 1830s or do those living in this new century wear denim overalls and smoke corn cob pipe constantly? No!
There are some that are solely intrigued and entranced by the mythology of the situation. It isn't just modern Americans that buy into this. Walter Scott led Lowlanders and Englishmen alike in a Pied Piper-esque parade of tartan and adoration of the 'noble savage'.
However, others are truly looking for cultural identity. An understanding of what they are, based on who their ancestors were. (I could trot out the 'don't know history, doomed to repeat it' line, but I'm pretty sure most of you have already gotten there.)
For me, am I Scottish just because I spent 14 years living in Appalachia? Nope. That's ridiculous.
But, what it does mean for me is that I understand exactly what they're on about when I hear two auld granite wifies talking about how someone is a newcomer who's been living here for 43 years.
You could hear people in Boone, NC say near abouts the same thing...and in some cases, using close to the same dialect.
I highly, highly recommend this one.