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Europe >> Scotland >> Culture of Scotland

Culture of Scotland

The musical instrument most often associated with Scotland is the Bagpipe. Although the Romans, who acquired it somewhere in the Middle East probably, brought it into the country, it serves as a major icon of Scottish identity today.

The Scottish kilt today is as much a national costume as it is a national export. The tartan print of the kilt, can today be seen not only on skirts adorned by bagpipers outside Edinburgh castle, but in countless souvenir shops selling beautiful tartan scarves and cardigans made of the finest Scottish wool. The intricate argyle design is synonymous with Scottish sweaters and cardigans.

The Scottish highland sheep has also made some major contributions to the Scottish economy and crafts. Scottish wool is high in demand, and although it may not qualify as an "art" in the strict sense of the word, these fibers certainly have come to be identified with the cozy warmth and welcome of this country. Scottish music is known for its variations – the same folk songs can be completely transformed by just a few adaptations to tone and beat. The traditional Highland fling folk dance of Scotland is still alive in the country. It was traditionally a war dance, performed to the tunes of the bagpipe whenever victorious armies marched back home.

Scottish writers such as David Lindsay, the immortal Robert Burns, and Sir Walter Scott were the creators of a whole new genre of prose altogether. A large portion of Scottish literature that is read today was written by Scots when they were away from their country, but deals directly with Scottish themes and issues. Yet, it is 20th century Scottish poets such as High Mcdiamire and Edwin Muir who popularized themes of Scottish nationalism and political socialism.

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