LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for CELTIC-L Archives


CELTIC-L Archives

CELTIC-L Archives


CELTIC-L@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

CELTIC-L Home

CELTIC-L Home

CELTIC-L  December 1996

CELTIC-L December 1996

Subject:

Re: Heritage and Acceptance

From:

Scott Robert Ladd <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Sat, 21 Dec 1996 14:03:46 PST

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (91 lines)

R J H <[log in to unmask]> writes:

>Every generation re-invents what is "traditional".... I don't see why
>anyone would begrudge we "crass Americans" our fun at the Highland
>games.  We are, most of us, many generations from our ancestors.

Actually, it is a recent phenomenon for societies to "reinvent"
tradition every generation or so. For the most part, change in
society followed a pattern of punctuated equilibrium: long periods
of relative social stasis interrupted by dramatic events (the
Reformation, for example) that forced people into new lifestyles.

A great deal of stress in today's society stems from a lack of
constancy. In only a few years, the basic assumptions of family and
profession can change dramatically as technology evolves at an ever-
increasing pace. Families no longer stay together; there is little
or no passing of tradition or knowledge from generation to
generation. And that lack of cohesiveness is a threat to the
stability of civilization.

I'm not saying that societies shouldn't grow and change -- but I do
see substantial evidence that change is coming too rapidly. Values
such as loyalty, honesty, and charity seems to be falling by the
wayside as people scramble to survive.

>The point is simply that ANY connection we feel... Any cultural
>heritage we can relate to... is good. We've been accused of lacking
>roots, we Americans. A large number of us are the descendants not of
>one culture, but of many. One of my great grandmothers was Irish.
>Another was a Russian, and Jewish. To which culture do I belong?
>Neither. I 'm a child and a product of both.

The whole concept of racial purity is wrong. Tracking backward, we
double our ancestors with each generation; depending on how far back
we go, any of us can be from any racial stock.

Heritage in the "old world" was easy; we lived and died where our
ancestors had been. We knew who we were because of who we lived
with and how we lived. Today's mobile society sends us across the
planet, leaving us to find a generic path that fits any locale.

Culture is what you believe and who you are. Tossing cabers and
wearing kilts does not make one Scottish; it is a hobby. To be
Scottish in a cultural sense involves more than just activities;
it involves a philosophy, spiritual beliefs, and ties to place
and family.

>My background isn't unusual for an American. If we seem to do things
>in ways the purists don't approve of... They're likely to accuse us of
>loosing our True Heritage. If that's the case... Perhaps we should be
>ENCOURAGED to try finding it again. At any rate, the Highland games
>are nothing to rant against. They're many peoples beginnings in the
>hunt for who they are.

I couldn't agree more. I'm having incredible fun learning about
my ancestors. Now if I could just figure out where the Clan
MacDiarmaid fits into things in Scotland... <grin>

There is, however, a problem with parody. Like Indian Pow-Wows,
the Highland Games are a way of turning a culture into
entertainment. As Steve Blamires put it in his booklet on the
Highland Clearances:

  Between 1820 and 1840 the rate of evictions slowed down but this
  was when the Highlands became very popular with the English
  aristocracy and especially Queen Victoria.  The tartan which had
  virtually disappeared thanks to the Act of Proscription, was re-
  introduced in a bastardised form.  Highland games and Highland
  dancing (which did not actually exist prior to then) became very
  popular amongst the landowners and wealthy English merchants and
  the traditional Highland culture became the "Brigadoon" type of
  romantic rubbish that most non-Scots still believe today.

I've done considerable studying in the past month, and confirm
Blamires' history. The Highland Games and Indian Pow-Wows may
be fun, but they began as parodies of lifestyles destroyed by
genocidal conquerors. The dances you see at Pow-wows once had
incredible spiritual value; now the dancers earn money for their
skills. I don't knock their making a living, but I worry that
we have exchanged depth for something rootless and shallow.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
    -- George Santayana (1863-1952), U.S. philosopher, poet.

---
Scott Robert Ladd

[log in to unmask]    957 Empire Street
voice: +1 970 387 0271      P.O. Box 617
  fax: +1 970 387 0277      Silverton, CO 81433 USA

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2019
December 2018
September 2018
March 2018
January 2018
December 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
November 2016
August 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
March 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
June 2014
May 2014
February 2014
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995
October 1995
September 1995
August 1995
July 1995
June 1995
May 1995
April 1995
March 1995
February 1995
January 1995
December 1994
November 1994
October 1994
September 1994
August 1994
July 1994
June 1994
May 1994
April 1994
March 1994
February 1994
January 1994
December 1993
November 1993
October 1993
September 1993
August 1993
July 1993
June 1993
May 1993
April 1993
March 1993
February 1993
January 1993
December 1992
November 1992
October 1992
September 1992
August 1992
July 1992
June 1992
May 1992
April 1992
March 1992
February 1992
January 1992
December 1991
November 1991
October 1991
September 1991
August 1991
July 1991
June 1991
May 1991

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager