This community is so amazing there is just always something going on! Centre Wellington was once again hosting the Annual Fergus Highland Games this August weekend. I had the privilege of attending the opening ceremonies on the Friday evening.
Ahhhh… the sound of those bag pipes, it was truly soul-stirring and when the Tattoo began, my heart seemed to have skipped a beat. I found myself getting rather emotional, almost in tears which surprised me, however I don’t think I was alone in my thoughts as I looked around everyone was standing still and appeared to be just as in awe as I was.
I had the honour of meeting and chatting with Graham McTavish, the Scottish Actor who portrays Dougal MacKenzie in the popular Outlander series. Check out my chat with him on my FB social media, https://www.facebook.com/wanderingwellingtoncounty/?hc_ref=ARQNbIui3YV67rLi_OYe7MeqChO8gLxPQwWHonNU2InD-bhxNFeaiHNgHhgw6PeBSig
Last year when I attended the Fergus Highland Games I had the opportunity to meet the popular author of the Outlander series who was a special guest, http://www.dianagabaldon.com/ Diana Gabaldon. She was full of grace, elegance and appeared humble amidst her immense popularity. Meeting both of these two talented public figures I believe is definitely the universe’s way of sending a message; it is time to dust off the book I had purchased at last years event and delve into another world.
Another bonus of attending the Festival, is of course learning more about the culture and customs of different countries. When one of the speakers shared some of his insight into the various clans in attendance, it is like I had a light bulb moment! I am rather embarrassed to admit this, however I had never seemed to fully comprehend the meaning of the Scottish Clans. He explained it in a way I finally could understand a little more about this interesting culture. Clans as I understood it for the first time in the Scottish context is another word for family. If you are like me and need to understand a little more about the definition of the word, here is the Wikipedia definition below.
A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. Clans in indigenous societies tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans proceeded more centralized forms of community organization and government, and exist in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan. The kinship-based bonds may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a “stipulated” common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan’s unity. When this “ancestor” is non-human, it is referred to as a totem, which is frequently an animal.
The word clan is derived from the Gaelic clann meaning “children” or “progeny”; it is not from the word for “family” in either Irish or Scottish Gaelic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English in around 1425, as a label for the nature of the society of the Scottish Highlands
As I sat at a table with people watching the Tattoo, I felt more welcomed as the night was nearing its end. Perhaps this is a glimpse into what the Scottish call a Clan, as it felt like we were part of a family.
As I have learned this life, there are various types of family, not always blood. What ever you call it, I love my “CLAN”. You know who I am talking about, “those people who get you!”, “they have your back, they fight for you, they cry with you, they are family, they are your clan!”
Sláinte or until we meet again!