Lisa's week: Up in the Highlands
Over the summer holidays, many of my students love to visit the British Isles to enjoy the landscape, soak up the culture and even practice their English a little.
The Republic of Ireland with its rolling green landscape and historic Dublin is popular, as is London of course with all the incredibly famous landmarks that this fabulous city has to offer. But Scotland is very much a firm favourite for touring trips with tents, campervans or just hire cars. The welcome is warm even if the weather can be rather wet.
Right across the summer, from May through to September, a highlight of life in Scotland is surely the Highland Games, which are a collection of games held at different towns and communities across the highlands of Scotland.
The tradition of the Highland Games predates recorded history and it is thought that the games provided clan chieftains with the possibility to pick out potential bodyguards and fighters due to the war-like nature of the events held. The games were also a chance to select dancers and musicians who would entertain the household and provide the chieftain with prestige, while fast runners would be used for couriers. Some believe that a running race set by King Malcolm III of Scotland in the 11th century might be the true origin of today’s games.
Many events today have their roots in these Celtic traditions but the modern Highland Games that we see today are a somewhat Victorian invention.
Each Highland Game is different but a range of athletic events seem to have become standard such as the caber toss, the stone put, the Scottish hammer throw or even the Maide Leisg (Gaelic for “Lazy Stick”), details of which can be found online if you’re not sure what they are.
For visitors, entertainment at the games is also to be found with the marching pipe bands with the instantly recognisable sound of the bagpipe and the traditional Scottish dancing completion and displays.
One question comes up again and again: what does a Scotsman wear under his kilt?! I know the answer but I’ll leave you to find that out for yourself!
What is Lisa's week?
"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"
Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday
Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?
Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?
Episode 4: The sound of London
Episode 5: Not just a last resort
Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise
Episode 7: Title talk
Episode 8: The Union Jack
Episode 9: Why Thursday?
Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?
Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!