All of us know that January is celebrated with not only the new month of the year but in Scotland, this month has a significant importance as well. As it’s said here, this is the month of ‘Robert Burns’ a famous Scottish poet well-known around the world and whose portrait is depicted in stamps and banks note too. Most of us have probably celebrated it at some point by having a ‘wee dram’ of Whisky or tentatively tucking into some Haggis and playing a Bagpiper and of course renditions of Auld Lang Syne.
In his memory, on Sunday the 28th of January 2018, Aberdeen Multicultural Centre organised a Birthday Celebration at Mile End Primary School. There were around 160 people including children from different cultural backgrounds and particularly with those from the Scottish, Asian, African and East-European communities. During the programmes, there were performances from different artists who have direct connection with Robert Burns poet followed by Scottish tradition of celebrating Robert Burns Birthday in Scotland with a Haggis, parsnip, Tatties and mixture of Asian food. The best part of the event was to learn addressing Haggis, lassies and vise versa in Doric language with an ancient tradition of Scottish style and with procession of Scottish pipers followed by every individual performances and finally dance with live music from Melting pot. It was a great opportunity to bring people from different cultural backgrounds together and celebrate the Scottish Culture.
As a tradition, the evening began with a background music by ‘The Melting Pot Collective’ band in memory of Rabbie Burns. To celebrate the birthday the program was structured in a more formal setting of haggis addressing, a procession followed by a bagpiper and thanks giving. The haggis was brought in on a big plate with a soundtrack of pipes and a tribute to the famous Scottish dish is paid. Haggis addressing program was coordinated by David Mcgrath. The formalities of ‘The Immortal Memory’ where Burns poem ‘The Louse’ was recited by Scottish poet Fiona, followed by a ‘Toast to the Lassies’ by Madhav.
The program was addressed by MSP, Lewis Macdonald, MP and SNP’s deputy speaker in wesminister Kirsty Blackman, Councillors Sandra Macdonald and Taqeer Malik and project manager Dr Narayan Shrestha. An in-absentia apology letter was sent by Scottish Minister Kevin Steward and was recited by program host Madhav Regmi. At the end of the program, everyone stood, joined hands, and sang Auld Lang Syne bringing the evening live.