Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Military Tattoo

As an American, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that my expectations were a bit off. I definitely pictured strong men and women in the armed forces of the Scottish military, covered in glamorous body art, battling to the death. And something about bagpipes.

Well…..I was right about the bagpipes!

I watched as bits of history marched in front of the Edinburgh Castle. I saw India, Singapore, New Zealand….so many cultures and countries showcase their culture. These cultures come together for three weeks out of the year to display their pride and skills to the people from around the world. Highland Dancing, a steel drum marching band, spears, snipers…..I was awestruck by the talent, music, and quite honestly, the organization. As a tech who works backstage a lot, how they managed to organize several marching bands, group numbers, bagpipes, a choir, platforms, stilts, and ponies….I want to be on that crew!

As these tourists and members of the United Kingdom came together, I felt the unity in Scotland. As our trip comes to a close, this is one of the things I am going to miss the most about Scotland. Despite the referendum, their differences, and their struggles, the Scots welcome everyone into their culture and immerse you into it. They aren’t afraid to tell you the truth, and they are proud to be who they are. This is what the Tattoo displayed: Unity in a time where Scotland could choose to be bitter. Pride in a country that displays great strength.
No battling to the death. No displays of glamorous body art. Just culture…..including some of my pop culture music. I guess it wouldn’t be complete without something from the Americans!

-Maddy Fortney

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