Scotland! Everyone knows someones brothers aunts cat's neighbours brothers dogs uncle, who came from Scotland. These same people have a romanticised idea of Scotland...
Gaelic(gÃ�ï¿½Ã�Â¡idhlig) is a language spoken by just over 1% of Scots in the Highlands and Islands compared with nearly everybody about 500 years ago. The Gaelic alphabet has a only 18 characters, which goes some way to explaining the intelligence of its citizens.
However it is a not a language that most people be concerned with learning. Due to the variences in dialect, it is highly likely that no-one is interested or can understand what your trying to say.
Typical phrases include:
hallo - hello
Ciamar a tha thu?(kyamar a ha hoo) - How are you?
B' Ã�ï¿½Ã�Â¡bhaist dha sin a bhith a' cur eagel am beatha air na calleagan Ã�ï¿½Ã�Â¡ga.(?) - That used to terrify the young girls
Clearly a totally useless language that is not going to help you out anytime soon.
The haggis(taegieis). The less said the better. You'd really want to eat this:
Contrary to popular belief the haggis is not a mythical creature, roaming free on the Scottish hillside.
The haggis has much darker origins. Traditionally, you take the stomach of a sheep, and stuff inside it minced heart, liver and kidneys, and then add onions, oatmeal, suet(a type of fat), spices and salt.
Just take that in for a moment. A sheeps stomach, stuffed with its heart, liver and kidneys!
Haggis is also served with mashed turnips and washed down with a very healthy dose of whisky(trust me you'll need it to restore the equilibrium in your stomach after that catastrophe).
Things are further complicated by Robert Burns' 'Address to a Haggis.'It's the equivalent of saying Grace but without the niceties:
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, (Nice seing your honest chubby face,)
Great chieftain o' the puddin'-race! (Great chieftan of the sausage race!)
Aboon them a' ye tak yer place, (Above them all you take your place,)
Painch, tripe, or thairm:( Belly, tripe or links:)
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace (Well are you worthy of grace)
As lang's my airm. (As long as my arm.)
And that's just verse one of eight. By the end regardless of what it is, you just want to eat it to shut the speaker up, which is a timely reminder that eight verses is too short too avoid such an abomanation.
Not to be confused with the Colonel's deep fried southern finger lickin' goodness. In Scotland there's always a way to take things that step too far.
Scotland's greatest contribution to world cuisine in recent years has been the deep fried battered Mars bar:
No-one is still sure of the evolution of the deep fried Mars bar, whether it was by accident or a devishly evil plot devised by Satan himself. It has helped to contribute towards Scotland having the highest obesity rate amongst its population in Europe, this coupled with an instant dislike and mistrust of any food that is green.
Regardless of this, Scot's still love to deep fry their food, be it chips(fries), burgers, sausages, even pizzas. Hell, they even enjoy those little floating bits of batter that accumulate in the frier. This is just a side order to salt though. Scot's love to kill the flavour of food with salt.
So if obesity doesnt kill them first, cholesteral definitely will.
Known by other names such as scallies and chav's across the UK, in Scotland they are classified as ned's or non-educated delinquents.
Ned's are easily spotted for their penchant for anything designed in Burberry. Usual attire is sports clothes, usually white, trousers tucked into socks and baseball caps peaked at 90 degrees towards the sky. They also enjoy wearing cheap gold jewellry, you know the stuff that turns your skin green, especially soverign rings.
Ned's are typified for their anti-social behaviour, usually congregating in groups of a minimum of 10, more for their safety than yours(they tend to favour verbal abuse from a distance giving them a head start when they run away, mainly from police officers).
They are also known for their favourite drink Buckfast or 'Bucky.'
Expect to hear of a Saturday 'excuse me pal, cld you buy me some Bucky?' This is because ned's are either underage or banned from shops. An empty bottle of Buckfast also becomes a useful weapon.
In summation, ned's are as laughable as they are incoherent. I'd recommend a trip to Scotland just to see one.
Contrary to popular belief, Mel Gibson is not Scottish.
It's not that we don't want him, it's more that he made a film more detrimental to Scottish history and culture in one move than any one person still living or deceased.
The film Braveheart is based on a peom by 'Blind Harry', who recounted the life of William Wallace nearly 200 years after he died. A lot of his story was based on elaboration and romanticising past glories and failures, late made popular by such writers as Sir Walter Scott.
First off is the great Scottish emblem, the kilt. It is a known fact that at that time everyone wore one as a sense of national identity much liek today, but clans were not distinguished by colour, by but emblems such as heather. So their taratan would be any assembly of colour but all would have one badge to associate with.
Next comes the marriage.
In the movie, Mel Gibson marries princess Isabelle. Controversy surrounds this as in history, Isabelle marries the Prince of Wales. It is never clarified if William Wallace ever did marry. More than likely Mel just wanted to get his rocks of with some young thing so he could tell his wife it was 'all for the movie.'
More worryingly, was the glamourised battle scenes. As impressive as they were, and I mean impressive to the point that everyone feels patriotic upon hearing the lines:
"Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!"
I don't think there's anyone on this Earth wouldn't heed to that battle cry. This was uttered before the Battle of Stirling Bridge, famous in Scottish folklore in that the Scots were vastly outnumbered by the English and prevailed, defending the better land to the north of the bridge. A bridge which was never depicted, mentioned or even alluded to to in the movie.
To make matters worse, Gibson even decides to introduce another Scottish legend in Robert the Bruce.
In the movie they are shown, armed to the hilt, ready to die, side by side in battle. In reality, Robert Bruce was born a couple of years after the death of William Wallace, later becoming the king.
the death of William Wallace was one of the few things that Mel did get right. Wallace was eventually caught and tried for treason or an 'infidel' as they're called today, and was later found guilty and hung, drawn and quatered with his limbs being sent out to the four corners of Britain(almost in the shape of a Saltire(Scotland's flag) some would say, but's that's another story) to warn people that betraying the 'true' king was not to be trifled with.
So thanks Mel Gibson, for denying Scot's any peace from foreigner's forever quoting your lacklustre movie and continually questioning us on the numerous inaccuracies in your movie(there is more including the white transit van still visible in the first released edit of the movie), he has managed to successfully remind a country of its history while at the same time encourage feelings of xenophobia, not just towards the English, but to everyone non-Scottish. Just two years later Scotland welcomed Devolution(they self govern, almost), and now are ruled by the SNP(nationalists) and are one step away from independance which welcome bankruptcy and further alienation, not to mention a population exodus. It would be like the current financial crisis times a thousand!
To make matters worse, in Stirling, they erected a statue of William Wallace shortly after the films' release....in the image of Mel Gibson.
Notable mentions include:
Golf (stupid clothes/sport)
John 'Smeato' Smeaton (one man anti-terrorism unit)
Sectariansim(Glasgow Celtic/Rangers / Protestantiasm/Catholicism)
Anyone from the Scottish Enlightenment