Homecoming Scotland 2009

pipersI was surprised that I haven’t mentioned about the biggest event in Scotland yet. Homecoming Scotland 2009 is a series of events designed to attract people of  Scottish ancestry to visit Scotland. The campaign, organised by EventScotland and VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government, and part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, claims that “for every single Scot in their native land, there are thought to be at least five more overseas who can claim Scottish ancestry.” It celebrates the 250th anniversary Robert Burns’ birth and also four other Scotland’s great contributions to the world: golf, whisky, great minds and innovations and Scotland’s rich culture and heritage.

Robert Burns, as I briefly mentioned in my old post here, was Scottish’ most favourite poet. Are you familiar with the song “Auld Lang Syne you keep singing at every year-end party?” Well, congratulations, you have been singing a Scottish folk song, and yes, it is written by the famous Robert Burns.

Golf, dare I say, is a sport where one spends most of his or her time walking around a beautiful course and occasionally hitting a ball into a tiny hole. With 550 golf courses spread across the country, plus being the origin of the game, no wonder why Scotland is called as the home of golf. St Andrews, 50 miles south of Aberdeen, is the world’s oldest golf course.

Whisky is Scotland’s national drink. Scotch whisky is whisky made in Scotland. In the United States, it is often referred to as “Scotch”.  Scotch whisky is divided into five distinct categories: Single Malt, Blended Malt, Single Grain, Blended Grain, and Blended Scotch Whisky. Although the “Whisky Month” festival was held in last May, there are many more whisky events held throughout the entire year.

Penicillin, insulin and antiseptic surgery were all developed in Scotland. The ATM machine was invented here. Most recently, in 1996, Dolly the sheep, the world’s first cloned mammal, was created here. Those are just a few example of Scotland’s great innovations. I should also mention my favourite architect, Charles Renee MacKintosh, who, among other things, is famous for his chair designs.

4710_1This weekend there will be a big event called The Gathering, held in Holyrood Park, Edinburgh from 25 to 26 July. There will be highland games and Scottish festivals, but the clans gathering will be the primary focus on this event. As the website states, there are over 500 clan and family associations registered around the world, and this weekend would probably be the perfect time for people to trace their ancestry. Click here to see the clans of Scotland map.

Homecoming Scotland 2009 was officially launched in 16 June 2008 by Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond and just in case you are interested in participating or to feel the grand scale of this promotion, see below series of events held throughout the year (courtesy of Wikipedia):

Looking at the list of events which has been starting since last year, I couldn’t help but feeling envy. What has our government done on the campaign of Visit Indonesia 2009?


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