Scots Make Hae, Away
An excerpt from a rather sour article in the latest Scottish Review categorises a certain type of sentimental expat Scot as follows:
"The group as a whole is redolent of the Sean Connery School of Scottishness, an academy of exiles who sing the praises of their native land without the inconvenience of having to live in it"
And one is singled out for special attention: Lulu, the vocalist, who 'dreams every day of Scotland' from her mansion somewhere deep in the Home Counties'.
The article which was provoked by a recent Burns Supper in the Big Smoke at which awards for Great Scots were announced can be read in full here
. Somewhere else I read that there were now more Scots south of the Border than domiciled in Scotland-including No 10 of course. That's nonsense
One authoritative figure quoted in 'Undiscovered Scotland at http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/usscotfax/soc/scottish.html puts 800,000 Scots in the UK outside Alba but the word wide figure is frightening.
To highlight two paras in the Undiscovered Scotland article:Scotland's often turbulent history and its long record of large scale emigration means there are far more people who consider themselves Scots outwith Scotland than within it. In the 2000 Census, 4.8 million US residents considered themselves Scots by ancestry. And another 4.3 million US residents considered themselves to be Scots-Irish, i.e. descended from Scots who settled in Ulster, perhaps for generations, before emigrating to the United States. This makes a total of around 9 million Scots in the United States: and some estimates suggest that a further 38 million US Citizens could consider themselves to be Scots or Scots-Irish, but don't (and so don't count as Scots under the definition set out above).
Meanwhile, 4.1 million Canadians reported Scottish ancestors in the 2001 Census. Scottish communities exist in France, Italy, Holland and Poland, and it has been estimated that up to 250,000 Russians are of Scottish descent. Further afield, 20% of the European settlers in New Zealand were from Scotland, as were many who went to Australia. And there are significant numbers of people descended from Scottish settlers living in Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Overall there are probably around five times as many Scots living outside Scotland than within it.
If this lot all return for the year of the Homecoming!
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Labels: Expat Scots, Return to Scotland, Scots in England