Interview with Susie Shields | Scottish Culture and Traditions | What's Up!

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Interview with Susie Shields | Scottish Culture and Traditions

Today we interview Susie Shields, our Scottish Head of Studies at What’s Up! RamblaCatalunya. 

Hello Susie, tell us a little about yourself. 

Hi there! I am the Head of Studies in What’s Up! RamblaCatalunya. I am from the city of Glasgow, on the west side of Scotland. I’ve lived in Barcelona for 3 years, but I am still passionate about my Scottish roots!

Can you talk about the most well-known customs in Scotland?

I think the first thing that comes to mind is whisky! But apart from drinking, we also have other well-known customs. Bagpipes (gaitas), kilts (skirts for men!), and ceilidhs (Scottish dances) are a fantastic part of Scottish culture.

Does music play an important role in your country? 

Of course! Walking down the main streets of cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh, you can hear bagpipes (the national instrument of Scotland) being played by street-performers. At weddings, it is very typical to have a ceilidh (Gaelic word for Scottish dance). At a ceilidh, you dance to a traditional folk band, who play instruments like the violin, accordion, guitar, drums, harp, bagpipes…The ceilidh music is cheery, fast and fun!

Tell us about «Scottish Dance», the upcoming event at What’s up! Rambla Catalunya.

The Scottish Dance (or “ceilidh”, in Galeic) is lots of people dancing together to traditional folk music. You dance with a partner, or as part of a group. The steps are very simple, and it’s very easy to learn quickly. At What’s Up! RambaCatalunya, we will practice 2 or 3 dances, following the instructions and demonstrations of myself and our other Scottish teachers. First, we will learn the steps. Then we will dance!

Do you think that it’s important for a student of English to know more about the culture of English – speaking countries? Why?

I think local people always appreciate when their local culture is recognized. So if you meet new people, it’s useful to remember that English-speaking doesn’t always mean you are English and follow English culture. It’s not always about Big Ben, the London Eye or Buckingham Palace!

Can you recommend the coolest Scottish music? 

Yes I can! Scotland is rich with music, and my city Glasgow is particularly famous for being the home of live music. Franz Ferdinand, Frightened Rabbit, Chvrches, How to Swim, Travis, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Biffy Clyro and Idlewild are all bands I recommend. But my personal, ultimate, forever and always favourite band is…Belle and Sebastian! 

Interview with Susie Shields

Thank you very much Susie!

The What’s up! Team 

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