Recently I have had a couple of conversations with different folk about Ulster-Scots culture and they are the basis of this post.
One person said that they had heard Ulster-Scots culture described as ‘a mixture or fusion of Irish culture and Scottish culture'. They were appalled by that misunderstanding because it is not ‘shamrock and thistle’. It is not 'a bodhrán in a kilt' and neither is it 'riverdancing with a Lambeg drum'.
The legislation which created the Cross-Border Langage Body defined it as follows: ‘Ulster-Scots cultural issues relate to the cultural traditions of the part of the population of Northern Ireland and the border counties which is of Scottish ancestry and the influence of their cultural traditions on others, both within the island of Ireland and in the rest of the world.’
For all its shortcomings and inadequacies, that definition highlights two important points:
1. Ulster-Scots culture is a culture which is firmly rooted in Ulster.
2. Ulster-Scots culture is a culture which is authentically rooted in a community and is of that community.