"Are you American or Canadian?"

Post Theme Song:

This was the question I was asked a few days ago. Was I American, or was I Canadian. Since I have moved down to Newcastle from the miserable grey skies of Aberdeen, I have gotten this question with increasing regularity. Waitors, store clerks, taxi drivers and doctors have all asked me this question. My response is usually a variation because despite being asked the question on a regular basis, I always seem to come up with different answers. My usual go to is:

"Well I spent a good amount of time growing up in Canada, but I'm not originally from there."

As time has gone on, I realise though that's not inherently true. Yes, I did spend many summers in Canada since my grandparents had emmigrated over there when I was rather young and they were the sort who wanted to see their grandkids on a regular basis, but I spent the other 10 months or so of the year in Scotland and the UK. I never got asked this question while I was in Aberdeen, heck I didn't get asked this question when I was in any other part of Scotland, but when I'm in England despite how far north I may be, I get asked this question regularly. The truth of the matter, is remarkedly more mundane but a bit harder to convey to people because they seemingly don't really understand it or don't believe me.

I have heard it referred to as a "Posh Scots" accent, when it seems like someone from Scotland has no Scottish accent, but I have always seen that as more of an Edinburgh accent. I think that's probably a bit simplistic and actually my accent does fall in to the "Posh Scots" as it were, but I originally dubbed it an "Oil Brat" accent. Even though I'm not the conventional "Oil Brat", I did go to a school with a couple of them. For those who aren't aware, Aberdeen is the oil capital of the UK (and some would say Europe. I wouldn't. Some would.) so it means you get quite a few people with families from different places, Norway, England, U.S.A etc. So you have a bit of a melting pot of accents, coupled with the fact my father was the only one with a particularly strong Scottish accent, that he seemed to lose a bit of when in Aberdeen would probably support that theory more.

Recently I been reflecting on the blog posts title question, because I have found it to be a bit more irritating than usual. I think partially because the question is asked exceedingly often (innocently I should add, people are curious and that's fine) but also because I don't live in Scotland anymore. I'm not that far away from the border, but it's funny how you move away from somewhere and there are just these small things you begin to miss about the place you originally came from. I have always been proud of my heritage, I own and wear a kilt to any formal occasion I can because frankly, I love wearing them. I feel they are a very stylish kind of formal wear that bypasses the mundanity of a simple suit (what can I say? I enjoy a bit of flair) I enjoy our culture and our arts, I can sing most of Auld Lang Syne without just repeating "And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet" over and over (They do this on the BBC Scotland New Years countdown as well and it drives me nuts.) I even have a nice tartan scarf with my families pattern which I enjoy wearing. I suppose I just don't like feeling, I'm not Scottish simply because of how I talk. I don't like being attributed to a culture I know little to nothing about. It's something I imagine, I should get used to and learn not to take it so personally, because it's a silly thing to take personally.

But by god, I'm Scottish damn it!

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