Why am I proud to be Scottish? There are many different things that make me proud to be Scottish like the pride of watching the National Football Team perform at Hampden, singing the national anthem, being proud of Glasgow being chosen to host the Commonwealth Games. All of these types of things and many more contribute, not just to me but to millions over Scotland, to people being proud of their Scottish heritage and nationality. I feel very patriotic now but when I was younger I never thought I’d ever feel so passionate and ready to speak out and defend my country as I do today. When people ask where I come from, I do not hesitate in telling them that I’m from Scotland as I never get embarrassed at all when confronted with those types of questions. This is the type of person I like to be and this is very evident.
Why do I feel like this? Why do I all of a sudden feel proud of my nation? It all started one day my friend and I went to a Scotland v Czech Republic game in 2011 at Hampden for the first time. Before the game, I never knew a thing about this “national pride” that everyone was so fond of. But approaching Hampden and seeing all of these thousands and thousands of fellow Scotland fans swarming around the stadium was what flipped the activation switch; from that moment on I was hooked. It made me feel part of something like being involved in something as big as this. Once in the stadium and the teams emerged the feeling of “I am Scottish” kept growing inside of me. The smell of ‘Hampden pies’, which I was later informed by a beer-bellied old man to be a very deer scotch pie, that typical encounter is the sort of thing you would get only in our Scotland.
The key overwhelming factor which locked in my first thoughts was when the national anthem rang out around the ground; it gave me goosebumps as I stood in unison with 52 thousand other proud Scots. The game finished 2-2 with a complete joke of a last-minute goal by the opposition which virtually ended our hopes of qualification. I knew that I was changing into this type of passionate individual I could just tell it as every bad decision from that ‘referee’, or clown as we like to call him, actually was called everyone including me and my friend roared at the pitch to make sure that the ref knew that he was wrong. Now do not think that I am a football casual or a little thug who shouts abuse at people because I‘m angry because I definitely am not, what I just said may give that impression but that is just an example of what being passionate about your country can do to you.
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The final whistle went and even though fans booed, and people said things you couldn’t imagine about the manager and the referee, I still felt proud and that I had accomplished something of unlocking a deadlocked passion inside of me. This was one big occasion of why I started to become proud of being Scottish. Now there is a lot to be proud of about being from Scotland. Not just the things that go on or the beautiful scenery, but also the people. A lot of famous figureheads of the World are actually Scottish: Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Andy Murray the tennis player, Kenny Dalglish, Sir Alex Ferguson, Paul Di Resta, Sir Jackie Stewart and finally the greatest British Olympian Sir Chris Hoy, and much more. This proves that it is not unheard of to be proud of being Scottish. As with these legends and idols being representatives, if you will, of how good Scotland can be.
Recently The Scot Andy Murray and World Number 3 won his first-ever Grand Slam trophy, which would make anyone including myself proud to be Scottish and to be able to say you come from the same country as the US Open Champion or Sir Alex Ferguson is just a great feeling. Therefore this also contributes to me personally being very proud of my nation. Now one of the reasons that I did not think about until recently is the political side of Scotland, of how we are sort of separate from the UK government in some parts with devolved powers when up here we have the SNP Government etc. With Scotland having a separate government, it gives us sort of an edge of England as we get lots of things they don’t which is actually pretty good because we Scots always love to get one upon them!
We get free prescriptions whereas in England they have to pay to receive the exact same stuff we get for free, Scots get University tuition for free but again in England, they do not they have to pay thousands and thousands of pounds for their extended education, which from my point of view is fantastic as I plan to go to University when I leave school so I can get it for free. Finally the elderly get free healthcare in our great nation and once again down there they have to pay massive sums of money for it. This is a very positive aspect of being Scottish and makes you very proud over the rest of the UK to have all those facilities at your disposal whenever you may need them. Also with an upcoming referendum on whether Scotland should be independent of the rest of the UK, it gives you a sense of pride to know that you’ll have the chance to vote on your country’s future and take part in such a big event and possibly have the final say in Scotland’s history with which way you vote.
However, being Scottish does have its downfalls believe me. Starting with the football element of NEVER having a lucky chance unfortunately and just not having the ability to make that last step towards a major tournament which does fill you with embarrassment at times. Another downfall is the weather; I can guarantee that I speak for near enough everyone in Scotland when I say, the weather is completely dreadful. We all hate Scottish weather when all we get is rain; wind and just depressing weather 363 days of the year and those occasional two days of either snow or cold son. This, therefore, is a big factor of Scottish people not being proud of this country with the dyer weather. Finally the stereotypes. I bet you were all waiting for me to bring this up, Scots are constantly stereotyped to be ginger-haired, irn-bru addicted, kilt-wearing people when that is completely out of context and so far from the actual truth.
These are some of the reasons why some people are not proud to be Scottish but there are many more proud moments than there are moments of non-proudness for us Scots. In reflection, I am very proud to be Scottish and have no reason whatsoever not to be proud. With many people on my side I think it is fair to say that most people love Scotland even with its downfalls but that’s just what makes Scotland what it is and we would not change it for the world, well maybe the weather. I feel more patriotic about my country even more now than before. Meaning probably more people have this view as well.