Stewart Bremner explains how Outlander helped him connect with Scots. He observes how Scots often devalue their own culture, especially anything associated with Tartanry, “Hae ye ever considert whit that’s aboot? D’ye think tartan an shortbread, as the maist-cited examples, are really things tae be sae affrontit by? When ye think aboot it, hoo many kintras hae such instantly-recognisable artefacts? It’s awmaist like we’ve been taucht tae no value oor culture…There cannae be mony countries whae feel shame aboot their ain culture”. And, of course, “There cannae there be mony whae deny their ain language is a language”. But Outlander helped the author become more aware of all this.
Last week a stairtit watchin the telly programme Outlander. An there it wis. Awbody speakin wi Scots accents. Uisin Scots words. Aye, they were speakin Scots dialect o English, but still. That’s the leid maist o us uise, efter aw, an they warna dumbin it doon. It wis awmaist a miracle tae hear. Owerwhelmin. Shockin in its ordinariness.
But realisation is one thing, change is another.
Tae change is nae sma thing. Tae owerturn centuries of denial is even less sma. So lets mak it easy on oorsels. Let’s dae this yin stap at a time. For me… ah’m tryin tae stairt tae uise mair Scots words. It’s no awfy comfortable tho. Ah feel like a fake, like am tryin tae soond less intelligent (because educatit fowks dinnae uise the Scots). Ah hate that feelin, o the strangehold the wrangs ah wis taucht still carry. Unlearnin those wrangs taks time an effort – but ah am gaun tae try.