At 09:34 PM 10/20/95 -0500, Jessica wrote:
> Firstly, I was quite taken aback when I saw a post-er call
>themselves a Celt. I plan to one day stud Celtic archaeology and history
>more in-depth, but as far as I know right now, there are no more Celts on
>the earth in the sense of the historic clans. Yes, some people can claim
>a possible line, but actually being a CELT?
I believe that even the ancient Celts were not so much an ethnic group as a
culure, and that modern Irish, Scots,Welsh and Manx peoples are part of a
modern-day Celtic culture. Good God, I have a collection of music with the
word "Celtic" prominent on the label, representing musicians from Ireland,
Scotland, France, and Spain. These are not Gaels, Gauls and Celtiberians in
the recording studios.
> Secondly, I once heard a very interesting line that I would like
>to repeat here. THere is a difference between "ethnicity" and "culture",
>and not many people realize this. Ethnicity refers to ones actual
>heritage--I am an Irish/Scottish American. CULTURALLY, no matter how much
>wemay want to deny it, we are American.
I would *never* deny it; I am proud to be an American. *This* is the land of
my birth, and a wondrous land it is.
>there is no such thing as AMERICAN.
What about the Native Americans (North and South)?
>NO American (or others) can
>correctly claim that they are culturally Celtic--unless they were brought
>up as a part of a barbaric tribe doing all the things that the Celts did.
>They would need to be a NATIVE gaelic or celtic speaker...etc., etc.
Again, I believe that the people who identify themselves as such from the
modern countries of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales could actually make this
claim. I think Nova Scotians who identify themselves as such have to be
considered as modern Celts. These are all areas (that I'm aware of) that
have kept Celtic culture and language viable into the present times.
>No matter how much I
>study, track my ancestral lines, or wear plaid, I can NEVER claim to e a
>CELT--and neither, I believe, can anyone else.
Celticism is a blend of culture, language, and mythology. If you study a
Celtic language and attempt to use it in your everyday life; if you enjoy
traditional Celtic music; if you delight in the folklore and pass it down to
your children and grandchildren; if you are consumed by the known history of
the Celtic people into the present day; if you have as an ideal "Truth in
our Hearts, Strength in our Arms, Fulfillment in our Tongues"; ---- why
could you not claim to be Celtic?
>Anthropologically speaking---can someone lend a view into the NEED (and I
>use that word very strongly) for people to identify with CELTS here in
>North America? Why not just Irish or Scottish or Welsh (which is
>different in man ways than Celtic)?
Only Native Americans are ethnically American, as we both agree. Personally,
I feel that I have *less* right to call myself Irish or Scottish. I am very
interested in the present day politics of those countries, but I do not come
near to experiencing them as if I was an Irishman. I feel I have no right to
comment on them, and that to do so would be very presumptious and
insulting.I am proud of my Scots-Irish lineage, and I am a member of the
Irish-American Social Club in my city, but I lack the common faith of the
modern Irishman, and most Irish-Americans: Catholicism.(And here we have a
perfect example of "Celtic" vs. "Irish". I do not consider Northern Ireland
to be Celtic. Geographically, no one can argue that it is Irish, and the
protestant Loyalists who have lived there for as long as *my* family has
lived in America doubtless don't consider themselves Celtic.) As an
outsider, it appears to me that this faith is inextricably intertwined with
modern Irishness and is indeed integral to the definition of Irishness. Now,
when Americans of Irish lineage, who know nothing of the history or culture
of Ireland, do not try to learn Irish gaelic or in most cases are not even
aware that an Irish language exists, and know nothing of modern Irish
politics declare themselves to be "Irish" (which many do)simply on the basis
of genetics, I would be standing right alongside you in agreement that they
were not. Why is it inappropriate for people with similar Indo-European
ancestry, living all across the world but sharing a common passion in
preserving the mythology, language, and history of the Celtic people "Celts"?
Sarah Joyal Sacramento, CA
[log in to unmask]