Ceilidh Culture Comeback

Along with recent initiatives to redevelop the Gaelic language there have also been efforts made to revive Scotland’s ceilidh culture. As Gaelic-speaking began to diminish in certain areas so too did the music and traditions of the inhabitants. Today, more people seem to have a renewed interest in Scotland’s ceilidh culture and old forms of entertainment and social interaction seem to be making a comeback.

Ceilidh Dancing. Courtesy of gstatic.com

Ceilidh culture doesn’t just refer to traditional set dancing and bag-pipe playing but refers to the festival culture of the entire Gaelic community. Continue reading

The Development of the Gaelic Community in Scotland

Gaelic, it is sad to say, remains a minor language in Scotland today. There was a time when those living in Gaelic regions in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland would have spoken no English but it is not the case now. The majority of folk in Gaelic-speaking regions are bilingual and more often than not would use English in a professional and official capacity, limiting their use of Gaelic to personal relationships. Even in places like the Isle of Skye and the Hebrides, where the majority of the population would be Gaelic speakers, English is also spoken. In 2005 it was estimated that there were 70,000 native Gaelic speakers in Scotland, mainly in the north-west of the country. Hopefully that number has risen in the last 6 years but it is nothing compared to what the numbers were in the past. How did the Gaelic community come to be so small in the first place? Continue reading