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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Jan. 25 - The Importance of Robert Burns

This was written a while back by Scottish storyteller, Tim Porteus, for the international online network, Professional Storyteller.  It's almost Burns Night and I'm grateful that Tim gave me permission at the time to repeat his article and the discussion which followed.

As January 25th approaches Scotland gears up for Burns Night, when we celebrate our national poet's birthday. Burns however is not our national poet by government decree, but by popular opinion of the people. His work reflects his lifelong passion for social justice, based on his own experiences of brutal economic landlordism as well as social snobbery even when he was a famous poet. He was a man of the people.

More than that, for Scots he spoke the language of the people, and wrote in it. So on Burns Night we eat peasant food, sing oor ain sangs in oor ain leid, hae a blether wi oot havin tae feel that awfy cringe that oor high heid yins hae put intae oor hearts n heids aboot oor ain leid. Oan this day, aboon a' ithers, we can screive the way we talk, we can hae a sang an no fash aboot oor wurds, cause we can be prood o' them. Oor bairns can yaise their heritage wi oot censure frae ignorant fowk wha constantly put doon the way they speak, and inferiorise their wurd.

Sae as Janurar 25th approaches, lets celebrate no jist the Scots leid, but a' leids frae a' ower the warld which hae hae experience o' marginalisation an inferiorisation, cause we are , tae quote Burns himsel, "brothers (and sisters) for a' that" . So tae a' the folk wha I ken, an those wha I dinnae ken yet, on 25th turn aff the telly an computer, an get yersel oot tae a Burns event and celebrate by makin guid craick yersels!!
An if ye want ony advice on how tae dae it, then let me ken.


Because Professional Storyteller offers a network for discussion, the following comments were made.

Replies to This Discussion

how do you  do Mr.porteus, I would like to introduce my self to you, and trough this opportunity I would like to ask you. My question is how to be  a good story teller?how I  have to practicing my self on this? so thank you before.


Our local storytelling group tells at the Highland Games here annually.  It will be the 162d annual St. Andrew's Society of Detroit  Highland Games this summer.  Your comments lead this Stirling descendant to want to include a wee bit o' Burns.

Hiya Lois,

let me ken if ye want ony help!

Thanks, Tim.  It's a laing while awaa.  (August)  I'll mull it o'er & yell out if need be.
Lois(ummer; what a concept!)
We hae a census takin place here in Mairch, and fir the first time folk are goanie be asked if they can speil in or screive Scots. Mony folk can hae a richt guid blether in the leid but dinnae ken it, cause it's bin drilled intae oor heids that whan we yaise the words they're just examples o' bad English. But o' course it 's really the ither way roond!! :-)
Too funny, Tim!

I once auditioned for a Renaissance festival as a seanachie, but they musta thought similarly as I laid the Scots on wi' a ladle.

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