Traditions: television discussion. Sample containing about 4927 words speech recorded in leisure context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C75

FLLPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS001 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS002 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS003 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS004 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS005 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS006 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS007 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPS008 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FLLPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FLLPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 082804 recorded on unknown date. LocationLothian: Edinburgh ( Studio ) Activity: Television Discussion

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [1] Saint Andrew and Father Christmas.
[2] What have they got to do with our real lives, today?
[3] Do you wish your nearest and dearest happy Saint Andrew's day on the morning of the thirtieth?
[4] Yes, we're talking about traditions. [introduction music]
(FLLPS000) [5] Let's start with Christmas.
[6] Now we all know about the commercialization of Christmas and the pressure to spend money to give the kids the best, which often means the most expensive!
[7] Not to mention the pressure to play happy families which often leads to arguments and tears, or loneliness and depression.
[8] The point is, it never used to be like that in Scotland, Hogmanay was the main event, short and pagan and ... festive in a Scottish kind of way.
[9] It's not that long ago that Scots worked through Christmas, including Christmas day.
[10] So, Christmas, two months of panic before it, two months of dieting after it, tell me honestly with exactly one month to go, are you really looking forward to it?
[11] Let me put that question to the hundred women here, are you looking forward to Christmas?
[12] Button one for yes, and button two for no.
[13] And, this hundred don't share my apparent cynicism, seventy three of them are, twenty seven said no.
[14] Of those who said yes, why?
[15] What are you looking forward to?
[16] Yes?
(FLLPS001) [17] Young children.
[18] It's always a happy time with young children in the house ... and everybody gathers around, it's a family time for us and we enjoy it.
(FLLPS000) [19] Who else said yes.
[20] Mhm.
(FLLPS002) [21] Well my family has, is now all over the world ... so Christmas, give me a good excuse to sa , to tell them to come home, we need you!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [...]
(FLLPS000) [22] Who else said yes?
[23] Mhm.
(FLLPS003) [24] I love it because it's Christian and ... Christmas to me is basically a ... traditional Christian festival, and that's the part of it that I enjoy.
[25] I must admit, I do enjoy ... over indulging on the Christmas pudding as well!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS003) [26] But firstly it's a, it is ... a special religious time.
(FLLPS000) [27] Okay.
[28] Who else?
[29] Any of the yes's?
[30] Yes?
(FLLPS004) [31] Yes, I love Christmas because family comes together.
[32] We are rather living apart now, some down South
(FLLPS000) [33] Mm.
(FLLPS004) [34] er, and er ... it's grand to have er the family together again.
(FLLPS005) [35] I just don't like all the hassle, or the money spent, all the food that's eaten, all the washing up!
[36] And, quite honestly I'd ... my family are quite happy where they are.
(FLLPS006) [37] I dislike the commercialization and the pressure to consume.
[38] I'd, I'm ... [laughing] find it quite offensive [] sometimes, and particularly, I happen to work on a, a project that's to do with poverty and I'm very aware of the kind of pe pressures that that sort of consumerism can
(FLLPS000) [39] Mhm.
(FLLPS006) [40] put on people.
[41] So I dislike that.
[42] I think the other thing I dislike as pressure is to be with people and to, to be happy when actually, lots of time, I would rather just be on my own!
(FLLPS000) [43] How do you withstand the ... the commercial pressures and the emotional pressures, the seventy three of you who are looking forward to Christmas?
[44] Yes?
(FLLPS007) [45] Well I started when my children were quite young, and taught them that er ... advertisements on television were just an invitation to be ripped off.
(FLLPS000) [46] Aha.
(FLLPS007) [47] And I seem to have been fairly successful ... in that ... I've never ... neither I, nor Father Christmas, has ever been asked for what I would consider to be a greedy, outrageous present!
(FLLPS000) [48] That's er, so you've been a successful propagandist?
(FLLPS007) [49] I've brainwashed them, yes!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [50] Er, yes?
[51] Up there.
(FLLPS008) [52] Yes, I was very successful in that respect as well that er, my children, I taught them that ... just to wait till the January sales and they'd get what they wanted for [laughing] half the price [] !
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS008) [53] And er, also, I like the religious side of it too, I
(FLLPS000) [54] Mm, yeah.
(FLLPS008) [55] I emphasize the the true religious ... er, feeling of the
(FLLPS000) [56] Yeah.
(FLLPS008) [57] the occasion.
(FLLPS000) [58] There.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [59] I wanted to answer yes and no.
[60] Yes, to the fact the family gets together ... maybe
(FLLPS000) [61] Right.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [62] you ha , it's first time for the whole year you've seen some of them, and so on.
[63] And the other thing is, I don't like the commercialism, I think it's just
(FLLPS000) [64] Mm.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [65] gone over the top!
(FLLPS000) [66] Mm.
[67] Up there?
(FLLPS000) [68] I think a lot of people ... tend to find it hard to get by on a, a monthly pay packet as it is
(FLLPS000) [69] You bet!
(FLLPS000) [70] and then there's the ... as everyone says the commercialism coming up to Christmas it's
(FLLPS000) [71] Yeah.
(FLLPS000) [72] it's even harder to try and get by on your pay packet and to get all the Christmas presents.
[73] So, in that respect I find, I mean I'm, I'm just gonna be making my first monthly pay packet and I don't know how I'm gonna manage.
(FLLPS000) [74] Mm.
[75] Here.
(FLLPS001) [76] Yes.
[77] It's interesting the lady
(FLLPS000) [78] Mm.
(FLLPS001) [79] saying yes and a no.
(FLLPS000) [80] Mm.
(FLLPS001) [81] The reason why you say yes and no is that everybody wishes Christmas is the ideal ... and perfect and everybody gets together ... but there are so many people who are not in that position, and therefore, it emphasizes those who are not.
(FLLPS000) [82] Mhm.
[83] Beside you here.
(FLLPS002) [84] Er, I was at a a appalled recently being in ... in Edinburgh in the shops in the middle of September where everywhere you looked there was Christmas ball balls and
(FLLPS000) [85] Yeah.
(FLLPS002) [86] Christmas trees, and I have two small children that to try to sustain Christmas for three or four days is very difficult, to do it for three months is impossible!
(FLLPS003) [87] Well a , my kids always got a, something at Christmas ... not very much at times, and they looked forward to it.
[88] But, we always ... before Hogmanay, because we used to go out fresh
(FLLPS000) [89] Aha.
(FLLPS003) [90] fresh fruiting people, and I used to have people coming to my house
(FLLPS000) [91] Mhm.
(FLLPS003) [92] and we miss all that.
[93] It seems to have died away now.
(FLLPS000) [94] Yeah.
(FLLPS004) [95] Well I think now, in general in in Scotland th the ... the the drinking license has been different ... er Hogmanay does not exist as such because
(FLLPS000) [96] Mhm.
(FLLPS004) [97] nowadays most people have Hogmanay every weekend!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS004) [98] No, well I mean, let's be honest today, you know, clubs, the opening of pubs in places liked
(FLLPS000) [99] Mm.
(FLLPS004) [100] and the changing of the licensing laws ... and I think, traditionally now ... more Scots enjoy Christmas better ... than they
(FLLPS000) [101] Mm.
(FLLPS004) [102] used to do years ago because they were working or whatever.
[103] You know, I think it is now more a traditional family time, Christmas, and you know they don't look at Hogmanay the same.
(FLLPS000) [104] Yeah.
(FLLPS005) [105] At Christmas and Hogmanay, well I'd like to go away and get outside do you know where the country because that is more Scottish, you get, that's the countryside.
[106] I wouldn't like to be stuck up in the city and have an ... being forced to buy people lots of Christmas presents that I just can't afford.
(FLLPS000) [107] So do you think you're inventing your own tradition, which is a perfectly time honoured and respectable thing to do, or do you think you're harking back to an old tradition or or what?
(FLLPS005) [108] Well a mixture between both cos ... I can er ah go back but there's lots of things I do ... just now that weren't about in those days.
(FLLPS000) [109] Yes?
[110] Yes?
(FLLPS006) [111] I would like to say that in these days of environmental awareness and so on, that is a kind of harking back to times when there was a mid-winter feast
(FLLPS000) [112] Mhm.
(FLLPS006) [113] it was all to do with ... recognising it was the middle of the winter, sun was at it's lowest and the sun would be coming back again, and maybe that's some sort of gut feeling
(FLLPS005) [114] Yeah , celebration.
(FLLPS006) [115] that you're having, and I think other people have too.
(FLLPS000) [116] Beside you.
(FLLPS007) [117] Yes, I I'd like to go back to that very traditional Hogmanay, I mean, I think that Hogmanay is very important, not the ... the Hogmanay that we have now where everybody gathers round a T V ... but it was very much ... erm like a ... I always think Hogmanay at my granny's, as do er, most of the people in in th the mining area, actually her house was a focus.
[118] And some of the things that led up to it ... erm,yo you had like a form of spring cleaning yo you know
(FLLPS000) [119] Mm.
(FLLPS007) [120] everybody here will be aware of that, turning the house inside out, erm, getting rid of ... of all the old things and I
(FLLPS000) [121] Mhm.
(FLLPS007) [122] that went out to erm making up argu , you know if you'd fallen out with somebody you had to make up with them before the bells, and in fact what my granny did was to ... erm ... to empty the fire and to relay the fire for the new year
(FLLPS000) [123] Mhm.
(FLLPS007) [124] and at ten to twelve my grandfather would take out the bucket with the old ashes and bury it in a garden, and that would burying the old year
(FLLPS000) [125] Mhm.
(FLLPS007) [126] and looking forward to a new year.
[127] And I mean, I still feel very emotional at er Hogmanay
(FLLPS000) [128] Mm.
(FLLPS007) [129] you know.
[130] I think about the year that's gone past, perhaps, people who've passed out of my life, and think of it as a new beginning, and I wish as Scots that we would hold on to it and perpetuate that tradition and get away from gathering around the T V in Hogmanay.
(FLLPS008) [131] In my tradition ... on a Christmas day ... and Hogmanay, we have the old fashioned Scottish Ceilidh
(FLLPS000) [132] Mhm.
(FLLPS008) [133] pipes playing, accordions ... traditional ballad song, and that is our ... what we do at Christmas and new year is to have the old traditional ballad song.
(FLLPS000) [134] So, are there particular ballads sung and ... sung, and tunes played at Christmas that, that aren't played at other times of the year?
[135] I mean, what what differentiates that kind of Ceilidh from from
(FLLPS008) [136] Well , er at Christmas time and the new year time, we can let our hair down and sing the old traditional ballads, maybe
(FLLPS000) [137] Yeah.
(FLLPS008) [138] forty or fifty verses, where other times of the year the young ones would nah sit and listen to that.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS008) [139] But Christmas and new year is our time to let our hair down and sit our old traditional ballads.
(FLLPS000) [140] You should say who who we are?
[141] I mean I don't
(FLLPS008) [142] We are the Stewarts of Blair ... er, traditional ballad singers
(FLLPS000) [143] Mhm.
(FLLPS008) [144] and story tellers of Scotland.
(FLLPS000) [145] And that tradition is is unbroken and and
(FLLPS008) [146] It's
(FLLPS000) [147] it's unhurt by ti , by the passage of time?
(FLLPS008) [148] It's unbroken in our family.
[149] It's it's er, the travellers tradition ... and it goes back to the old tradition of the Scottish people as well
(FLLPS000) [150] Mm.
(FLLPS008) [151] which is dying out now but we are adamant to keep it alive!
(FLLPS000) [152] Mhm.
[153] Down here.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [154] I wo , I would like to go back to the days of my youth when we ... at Hogmanay there was usually frost and ... and and ice, and er we used to celebrate it partly on skates and it was great fun when you skated perhaps a mile and a half out of the town, and er ... er had a lovely ice festival and then we skated back and we had
(FLLPS000) [155] Where was
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [156] dancing at the cross and er
(FLLPS000) [157] Where was that?
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [158] That was in Straven
(FLLPS000) [159] In Straven
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [160] Yes.
(FLLPS000) [161] Is there no longer frost in Straven at Hogmanay
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [162] Well , I've been away for three, well th the winters aren't as hard now as they used to be.
(FLLPS000) [163] Like the summers aren't as golden?
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [164] [laughing] Aye [] .
(FLLPS000) [165] I mean is that, is that
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [166] Well
(FLLPS000) [167] did you feel as if
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [168] Yes?
(FLLPS000) [169] There's a sort of cosy sentimental glow coming over everyone who's talking about, it can't have been all that wonderful, all the time somehow!
(FLLPS008) [170] There was a lot of hard drinking in those
(FLLPS000) [171] Yes!
(FLLPS008) [172] days.
[173] A lot of women must have suffered in those
(FLLPS000) [174] Mm mm.
(FLLPS008) [175] same Hogmanays.
(FLLPS000) [176] Well looking ahead to to the events er a month hence, but of course this week ... er, on the thirtieth of this month er ... we will be celebrating Saint Andrews day, or will we?
[177] Do do you celebrate Saint Andrews day?
[178] Button one for yes, and button two for no.
[179] Now this is supposed to be Scotland's national day, however, amongst this hundred eighty people don't celebrate it, twenty do!
[180] The twenty who do wha wha wha what do you do, those tho those those twenty?
[181] Yes?
(FLLPS001) [182] Buy a bottle of whisky and ... order up a haggis.
(FLLPS000) [183] Whisky and haggis?
(FLLPS001) [184] Give him a good toast.
(FLLPS000) [185] Okay.
[186] Who else said yes?
[187] Aha.
(FLLPS002) [188] Yeah.
[189] I usu , I usually go to a St.Andrews dance about that time.
(FLLPS000) [190] Right!
[191] The la wo in front?
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [192] She said not.
(FLLPS000) [193] Er, in front.
(FLLPS003) [194] I go to er a St Andrews dinner
(FLLPS000) [195] Aha.
(FLLPS003) [196] run by lasses.
(FLLPS000) [197] And does it feel like a traditional Scottish
(FLLPS003) [198] Yeah, we run it as such ... very much.
(FLLPS000) [199] Ah yo ... sa so you use the day as a, as a, as a reason to have that event?
(FLLPS003) [200] Yes.
(FLLPS000) [201] Who else?
[202] Yes?
(FLLPS003) [203] I'm a musician, so St. Andrews night is one of the, the great weeks of the year ... and erm ... invariably turns out to be male orientated, erm
(FLLPS000) [204] No!
(FLLPS003) [205] Yes it does!
[206] Oh yes it does!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS003) [207] It's usually male singers and and all sorts of things like that.
[208] Erm, but it's a nice week.
(FLLPS000) [209] Do you think that's the reason why eighty of the people
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [210] No.
(FLLPS000) [211] here said no, they weren't celebrating St. Andrews because it's actually er a male tradition?
(FLLPS003) [212] Perhaps, yes.
[213] It's also a lesser tradition, St. Andrews day.
(FLLPS000) [214] I mean the eighty of you who said no,do does St. Andrews day mean anything to you at a a at all?
[215] Yes?
(FLLPS004) [216] Why St. Andrew?
[217] I mean, I know his bones were brought to Scotland but why St. Andrew?
(FLLPS005) [218] It's celebrated in the schools with er, my school children always acknowledge it, so it may not actually be celebrated within the family as such, but it's certainly acknowledged.
(FLLPS000) [219] Yes.
(FLLPS006) [220] Well it
(FLLPS000) [221] Yeah?
(FLLPS006) [222] Well it's part of the reason that er it's not celebrated is that because it isn't a holiday.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [223] Mhm.
(FLLPS000) [224] Yep.
(FLLPS006) [225] Lots of people want it to, er suggest that it ought to be holiday but
(FLLPS000) [226] Yes.
(FLLPS006) [227] obviously not enough.
(FLLPS000) [228] Would you like it to be a holiday.
(FLLPS006) [229] Sure.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [230] Yes!
(FLLPS000) [231] And , and and what would you do to mark St. Andrews day?
[232] Would you
(FLLPS006) [233] I would do as I do now probably and go to
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [...]
(FLLPS006) [234] some kind of ... St. Andrews night ... do or something like that.
(FLLPS000) [235] Yes?
[236] There.
(FLLPS007) [237] I was just going to sa , er ask the question if it's not more celebrated by expatriate Scots?
(FLLPS006) [238] Well
(FLLPS007) [239] And the rest of the world
(FLLPS006) [240] might be.
(FLLPS007) [241] you know, that's the ... that's Scotland.
(FLLPS000) [242] Mhm.
(FLLPS007) [243] That's it's day.
(FLLPS000) [244] There is a point
(FLLPS007) [245] You know
(FLLPS000) [246] there though isn't there, there are St. Andrews day dinner and dances held
(FLLPS007) [247] Mm.
(FLLPS000) [248] all over the world where there is a Scottish community, from Hong Kong to New York.
[249] In fact,th the New York Saint Andrews Society which exists to er ... I think to er, apart from to hold er meetings and er ... get togethers, also to assist er Scots in New York, at least that was one of it's original ... er, principles, they have a ... er a splendid dinner with all these gentlemen in full kilts, kengroms, don'tski and do's, the whole ... bangshoot, and and their their women folk can come and watch them from the gallery upstairs.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [250] I mean, do they?
[251] I mean, maybe maybe that's ... but then we have something not un er un unkin to that which is er, a traditional Burns night.
[252] Now ... do you go to Burns nights, do you enjoy those as a good Scottish tradition?
[253] Yes?
(FLLPS008) [254] Oh yes!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [255] Yes, but it's not so male orien orientated now as you're making it out to be.
[256] Cos
(FLLPS000) [257] Oh , I'm I'm sorry I didn't, I was sa , I was simply suggested it used to be, I mean it did originally start as a
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [258] Yes.
(FLLPS000) [259] as a, as a male thing.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [260] Well many of the traditions nowadays, even the male orientated ones are depending a lot on women to upho hold them.
(FLLPS000) [261] Mhm.
[262] Yes.
(FLLPS000) [263] I think actually, there are still a few erm male only Burns suppers.
[264] I'm a singer and I have ... on several occasions sung at male only Burns suppers which means you get wheeled in after the meal is over, and then ... wheeled out again ... after that, which doesn't worry me at all
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [265] because I'm charged exactly the same whether I'm there for three hours or twenty minutes!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [266] And er ... frankly, you would nah want to go to [laughing] a male, a male only Burns supper, they [] , they they're a most un ... seemly looking crew by the time they've finished their dinner!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [267] Yes?
(FLLPS001) [268] I think it's a good idea that more and more schools now are having Burns suppers
(FLLPS000) [269] Mhm.
(FLLPS001) [270] both at the primary level and the secondary level, so what's coming across is not just er the fact that perhaps Burns was a womanizer, but also as a nationalist and an internationalist
(FLLPS000) [271] Mhm.
(FLLPS001) [272] and a humanitarian.
(FLLPS000) [273] Up there.
[274] Yes?
(FLLPS002) [275] Can somebody tell me here why ... Robert Burns is so ... celebrated when he was a womanizer and neglected his wife ... why?
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [276] No!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [277] Nelly, could you explain why?
(FLLPS003) [278] I'll explain why, he was a socialist!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping] [clapping]
(FLLPS003) [279] Rabbi Burns was a socialist!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS003) [280] That's why ... it's er celebrated so much!
[281] Because ... it's, one of his poems was, when man to man in the world ever shall grer ,gra gra , Oh Gosh!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS003) [282] well [...] be for all that, and ... and and help me God it's not happened yet!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [283] Yes?
(FLLPS002) [284] I don't really think it's good enough for Nelly to say that he was socialist because I don't think his attitudes to women
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [285] Yeah!
(FLLPS002) [286] would be upheld by women in the nineties, definitely not!
[287] If you have a look at some of his poetry.
(FLLPS003) [288] A oh yes, but
(FLLPS002) [289] And I would like to make another quote if I may, he was the one that talked about Scotland being the land of cakes, and brother Scots, where the women made the cakes but he's only addressing the brother Scots.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [290] Yeah!
(FLLPS000) [291] Okay.
(FLLPS002) [292] Yet , these traditions which are kept, which have no status whatsoever, women's traditions.
(FLLPS000) [293] Down here.
(FLLPS003) [294] But the fact remains that he has written the most beautiful love songs that
(FLLPS003) [295] Here here!
(FLLPS003) [296] we have in this country.
(FLLPS002) [297] And he also had the [...] write pornographic poetry!
(FLLPS003) [298] And th th th they're known all over the world.
(FLLPS000) [299] Mhm.
[300] There.
(FLLPS003) [...]
(FLLPS004) [301] I think if you ha , if you look at Burns in the context of the time in which he lived, he was not an exceptional drinker or an exceptional womanizer, we're a lot like him
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [302] Mm.
(FLLPS004) [303] and it was the ... ma , it was the custom of the times, and we we we shouldn't judge somebody living in another age by
(FLLPS000) [304] Mm.
(FLLPS004) [305] the standards of our own.
(FLLPS000) [306] Mhm.
[307] I'd like to pick up something ... er, that Veronica touched on, you said women's traditions, now,wha what are women's traditions?
(FLLPS002) [308] Well we're all struggling to think of them I suppose, but what the one lady said over here about ballad making and story telling
(FLLPS000) [309] Mhm.
(FLLPS002) [310] maybe that's one of women's traditions, I believe they had a big part to pla play in it.
(FLLPS000) [311] By the way, the reason I ask is because th that suggests from from the phrase you used that that you see ... there are men's traditions ... and that perhaps Scottish traditions are ... are very, are very
(FLLPS002) [312] I see that men's traditions are held in higher esteem ... and some parts of women's lives, like cooking and ... making clothes and so on
(FLLPS000) [313] Mm.
(FLLPS002) [314] because they were women's work they were held in a
(FLLPS000) [315] Mm.
(FLLPS002) [316] mu much less esteem.
[317] These
(FLLPS000) [318] But
(FLLPS002) [319] kind of trad traditions I mean.
(FLLPS000) [320] Yes?
(FLLPS005) [321] I, I imagine that there were erm ... distinct women's traditions in pre-Christian times ... erm, and that these are lost ... to us now.
(FLLPS000) [322] There has been a revival of er, of some of those old fash , for instance, Beltane
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [323] Mm.
(FLLPS000) [324] is, has been celebrated er ... more recently in Scotland and, and I ... I think quite successfully.
[325] Liz, you're a ... you've been Beltane Queen.
[326] Now, I don't know how many of you are familiar with Beltane so
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [327] No.
(FLLPS000) [328] assume that none of us is ... and er ... what, what happens at a Beltane
(FLLPS006) [329] Well
(FLLPS000) [330] night?
(FLLPS006) [331] It's, certainly erm ... well attended, there's, you know thousands of people attend and basically it centres around ... erm, a fire, Beltane means erm, sacred fire ... and ... erm a procession of drummers leads me to top of a path and along Carlfa , Carlton Hill ... and erm ... fire sculptures are lit around me ... and I unfo ha have this great costume that I unfold in and erm process round the hill and round hill are different performers ... erm ... painted in different colours to represent different elements of nature, and ... finally we come to this big fire where ... which I light with hands, which have been sculpted and ... bannocks are given to the people to eat, and erm ... the tradition that you're supposed to cross the fire as a sort of a erm ... purification ceremony or ... or through the ashes of the fire.
(FLLPS000) [332] And you as the Beltane Queen are the, you know so , the the the, the focus of this, or one of the main focal figures, yes?
(FLLPS006) [333] Yes.
[334] That's taken,i i it refers to ... Pagan festivals that have happened in the past,i i I mean we've invented ... our own rituals as well, but based on the May Queen figure.
[335] So that that's why I'm sort of representing Mother earth.
(FLLPS000) [336] Mhm.
[337] So it's an unashamedly Pagan fertility festival?
(FLLPS006) [338] Yes.
(FLLPS007) [339] I think, I think the reason why it's ... women are erm ... somewhat cautious about talking about these
(FLLPS000) [340] Mhm.
(FLLPS007) [341] essentially sacred times
(FLLPS000) [342] Mhm.
(FLLPS007) [343] is the knowledge that if er, we'd been talking about them two hundred and fifty years ago ... we'd be put on trial and probably ... burnt to death.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [344] Well there's a grand old Scottish tradition, burning witches.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [345] And er, it's not one that's er ... that's currently practised, but it's not all that long ago, in in folk memory that that that women in their ... particularly women who had practices and rituals were seen as witches.
[346] Do do does that
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [347] Mm.
(FLLPS000) [348] is that what's making you all clam up about the potential for women's traditions?
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [...]
(FLLPS000) [349] Are you keeping yourselves to yourselves?
[350] Yes?
(FLLPS008) [351] Erm, well I've talked a erm ... about women's traditions in the sense of singing and celebrating
(FLLPS000) [352] Mhm.
(FLLPS008) [353] and so on but what about working traditions in
(FLLPS000) [354] Mhm.
(FLLPS008) [355] Scotland?
[356] You know, when I was bringing up my children in the early seventies I read about the the mergence of the new working woman, you know, how to balance a career and a home and children, and I couldn't for the life of me think what was new about this working woman!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS008) [357] Because the women in my family ... and most families in Scotland had always gone out to work.
[358] Erm, this was in fact something ... you know, coming from, I think the feminist movement and very much a a ... it was quite new for middle class women to go out and work, and you know they are now aghast that they're ... you know, having to juggle all these things ... but these were traditions that had in fact, been handed down.
[359] Where I come from, erm most of the the the fish , the fishing part of the community, up until just two, three years ago ... we had a tradition of women's working practices which were handed down for hundreds of years from the female side.
[360] Now, most people think ... that you were a fish wife because you were married to a fisherman ... that had nothing to do with it!
[361] You were a fish wife because your mother, or your granny, or your auntie was a fish wife.
[362] It was in fact, a closed shop, and those working practices and skills were handed down from mother to daughter.
[363] I actually became interested, not ... so much in the women locally ... but my o , my own grandmother Greta , was a herring gutter from Wick I never knew her, I have one photograph of her taken with her two children, and when my children were small I used to look at this and think, how did she get away for weeks to work and follow the boats
(FLLPS000) [364] Mm.
(FLLPS008) [365] when I can't get the ho , out the house for an afternoon?
(FLLPS000) [366] Mm.
(FLLPS008) [367] Now there's a tradition.
[368] There is no job that women today where they go away together and work.
[369] And I think the practise of women working in a group like that ... and supporting each other has long gone.
[370] In Fisherrotha ... th , the women were economically independent, they had flexible working hours
(FLLPS000) [371] Mhm.
(FLLPS008) [372] they organized their own child care practices, all the things that women say they're fighting for today, has actually been done before, and done very successfully.
[373] These women gave all their money they ha , they made, till the day they were married, they handed it over to their mothers.
[374] Once they got married they never told their husbands how much they earned ... ever!
[375] Now that's what you call liberistic women!
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS008) [376] Definitely!
[377] And I think it's a pity we don't carry it [...]
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS008) [378] today.
(FLLPS000) [379] Yep.
[380] Yep.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [381] Erm, in Aberdeen we had our first woman's festival in nineteen ninety and we're ready to have our second festival in nineteen ninety two.
(FLLPS000) [382] Mhm.
[383] Up there.
[384] Yes?
(FLLPS000) [385] Yes.
[386] Ah, women's tradition that eh, seems to have grown up in the workplace, or maybe it's it er, nested outside the workplace originally, is er, when a bride gets dressed up, we must all be familiar with that ... er, when she's going to get married and ... carries a chanty round about to make a collection
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [387] I'm not su , I'm sure I don't know what it's called, I'm ashamed to say!
[388] But er ... that's definitely a woman's tradition, men don't do it.
(FLLPS000) [389] But they do other things.
[390] Well they barkening in in Aberdeen don't they?
[391] They, they chase the
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [...]
(FLLPS000) [392] potential groom around and cover him in gloar.
[393] Yes?
(FLLPS001) [394] I would just like to say that women from the ethnic minorities, I'm talking about our community and, they've have children that have been born and brought up over here, we have double trouble cos we celebrate Christmas, New Year, Easter ... and then we uphold our own traditions and have o all our own festivals as well.
Unknown speaker (FLLPSUNK) [clapping]
(FLLPS000) [395] But you say double trouble but I mean that's, isn't that good because you're bringing more traditions in?
[396] Do you find tha that that ... you're ... you're bringing traditions to ... people?
(FLLPS001) [397] Well yes, because in the schools now they've started erm ... some of the schools have taken up celebration, Divali which is coming up in November ... and erm ... they celebrate some of the other festivals as well.
(FLLPS000) [398] Yes?
(FLLPS002) [399] We say that er ... women's lives have changed, and the working patterns have changed because
(FLLPS000) [400] Mhm.
(FLLPS002) [401] we are ... more in the forefront.
[402] We can be managers now
(FLLPS000) [403] Mhm.
(FLLPS002) [404] erm ... and I wonder if ... our traditions have disappeared because we have had to adapt to working lives and changes in lives, and I wonder if men have held onto theirs ... in the face of women being a threat to them in working environments and other aspects of their life.
[405] We've infiltrated into their pubs ... you know
(FLLPS000) [clapping]
(FLLPS002) [406] how far are women gonna go?
[407] Are we really gonna take over the Burns suppers now?
(FLLPS000) [408] Esther?
(FLLPS003) [409] Erm,th I'd like to make a couple of points about traditions, women's traditions, one is particularly looking at th the oral tradition o , the tradition of poetry in Scotland, and there's a very rich tradition of Gaelic poetry, and ballad singing, as
(FLLPS000) [410] Mhm.
(FLLPS003) [411] as has been mentioned, which has been something that often has been composed by women and transmitted by women, and there's recently been an anthology published of Scottish womens poetry, I think that's a tradition ... and is perhaps related to second point, the fact that the material's only just becoming available to us.
(FLLPS000) [412] Mhm.
(FLLPS003) [413] That, part of th , of the issue I think about us, perhaps feeling that we don't have traditions th is that we we are still rediscovering our own history, and I think a lot of traditions grow out of historical events or historical personages.
[414] There is a rich ... erm, history of women in Scotland and we're only just beginning to discover that and publish that, and I think that we will establish traditions by doing that.
(FLLPS000) [415] Well we're go , we're going to a close, so let me finally ask you yo thi this,i if you wanted to reassert one Scottish tradition, either an old one or a new one,wha what would it be?
[416] What would you like to be ... er, a Scottish tradition which at the moment is perhaps ... fallen away?
(FLLPS004) [...]
(FLLPS000) [417] Yes?
[418] Up there.
(FLLPS004) [419] Just Ceilidh.
(FLLPS000) [420] Sorry?
(FLLPS004) [421] Ceilidh in the house.
[422] When yo , people just gather informally, and friends and neighbours ... and you make music and you sing songs, you tell stories, play instruments, do what you like, eat, drink ... talk.
(FLLPS000) [423] Well I haven't said,her , heard anybody say anything about the grand old tradition of switching on the television set, and I've a horrible feeling that er ... that th ... that the one day in the year when people want to get together with their families probably means switching off the television set.
[424] So I'm very grateful to you for sticking with us ... and getting away from your traditions for this half hour.
[425] Thanks to all of you for sharing your views.
[426] Goodbye. [closing music]