When thinking about the Scottish Diaspora it is important to recognise what diaspora actually means. Traditionally the word refers simply to the movement of people, i.e. describing the migration of Scots and other groups away from their homeland. More recently the term diaspora has primarily been associated with victimhood and forced dispersal from a homeland.
Today is May Day – an opportune moment to think about some of the contributions Scottish trade unionists have made in the diaspora. To South Africa, for example, some Scots brought with them their ideas of trade unionism and the organisation of labour, becoming heavily involved in the South African labour movement, as well as
25 April is ANZAC Day, a national day of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand. The ANZAC tradition goes back to the First World War, specifically Gallipoli, and originally commemorated the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. More recently it has become the central commemorative occasion in Australia and New Zealand that
Today is St George’s Day and many English around the world will come together to celebrate England’s saint day. Despite its focus on celebrating English culture and traditions, express Englishness, however, St George’s Day often brought together migrants from both England and Scotland – and so did St Andrew’s Day. Some of the more recent
Last Saturday saw New York’s annual Tartan Day parade make its way along 6th Avenue. The unrivalled culmination of a week of Scottish celebrations in the Big Apple, Tartan Day has now been celebrated for over two decades and attracts many a visitor to the streets of central Manhattan. With similar events held throughout North
At the end of April 1905, self-proclaimed Traveller wrote a letter to the editor of the Manawatu Standard, commenting on the Caledonian Games that had been held in Palmerston North, New Zealand, on Easter Monday. ‘Having a spare day here on my tour through the Colony’, Traveller wrote, ‘I sauntered down to your athletic meeting
In nineteenth-century Japan Scots were at the vanguard of European arrivals, with Thomas Blake Glover providing the most prominent example of the close ties that subsequently developed between Japan and Scotland. Glover arrived in Nagasaki in 1859 to manage the local office of Hong Kong-based Jardine Matheson, but soon set up his own trading company.
It was my great pleasure to visit the Turakina Highland Games last Saturday — the 148th Games, making them New Zealand’s longest-running Highland Games. It was in early January 1864 that the residents of Turakina and the nearby villages first gathered for Highland Games. The first Games were not held on the Turakina Domain, however, but on
When members of the Dunedin Burns Club and its friends gathered in 1906 to celebrate the 147th birthday of Scotland’s national bard, they did so ‘with mirth and song and joyous acclamations’. The Club’s choir and the Dunedin Pipe Band enlivened the proceedings, offering musical entertainment between the many toasts and speeches that were delivered.
The Scots accounted for around a quarter of all UK-born immigrants to New Zealand between 1861 and 1945, but have only been accorded scant attention in New Zealand histories, specialist immigration histories and Scottish Diaspora Studies. This is all the more peculiar because the flow of Scots to New Zealand, although relatively unimportant to Scotland,