Scottish customs and traditions

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categorie: Engleza

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nivel: Liceu

The history of the bagpipes takes us a long way back from today and far away from Scotland. Everyone thinks about Scotland when they hear the word "bagpipe", but this instrument is so old that true age and origin are unknown. In some historical documents it is written that the pipes were first played somewhere around Asia Minor in 1000 BC. Also, it is said, by some, that "Emperor Nero played the "[...]
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The history of the bagpipes takes us a long way back from today and far away from Scotland. Everyone thinks about Scotland when they hear the word "bagpipe", but this instrument is so old that true age and origin are unknown. In some historical documents it is written that the pipes were first played somewhere around Asia Minor in 1000 BC. Also, it is said, by some, that "Emperor Nero played the "Pipes" not the fiddle, while Rome burned."

Some 'form' of bagpipes are used in many European countries but in Scotland they have become an integral part of the country's culture. Scotland is the ancestral home of the "Great Highland Bagpipes" known to all as the "Great Pipes".A Pipe band is one thing that every visitor of Scotland wants to see. These are groups of men (in modern times it can be both men and women); each group has matching skirts, fancy jackets and strange little hats.

They march around squeezing the air out of big tartan bags (known as bagpipes) and blowing it in again through a pipe attached to the bag. This results in a racket known as "the skirl o' the pipes" which is almost indistinguishable from the noise made by the haggis during the mating season. These pipe bands often turn out to be Australians, not Scots at all!The tartan kilt has long been the most recognizable cultural tradition of the Highland Scots, but just like the other symbols, kilts have also an unknown origin.

One sure fact is that the wearing of the kilt has been developed in the 19th century during the reign of Queen Victoria. It had been created for some rational reasons: men who wore it could make very quick moves, wade through rivers and shelter in huts, woods and rocks, etc.
There is a question which will always linger next to the word 'kilt' and that is: Do people who wear kilts have underwear or not?

Even though there are lots of people who consider this immoral, the tradition says that underwear should not be present if one is dressed in a kilt, the only exception being the participation to some sportive games and the presence of women. In the 50's, soldiers were verified if they wore underwear by their sergents who used a long stick that had in the top a mirror.
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