I grew up in Glasgow; home of Irn Bru, Tennents, and the Glasgow Kiss. I’ve not been permanently resident in Scotland since going to university in Liverpool in 2001. Over time, I’ve felt increasingly like a stranger in Glasgow, but it still has the familiar and comforting feeling of home.
I’ve taken to using the phrase ‘lapsed Scotsman’ to explain that, while I was brought up with the culture, and I can still sing the songs, I’m no longer a practising Scot. While I still have faith in Scotland, I don’t observe many of the rites and observances associated with the nationality. For example:
- I sometimes put sugar on porridge
- I abstain from confectionary
- I’m able to refer to England without using the euphamism ‘down south’ (although that’s partly because England is ‘back east’ from here).
In some other regards, however, I have culturally compensated for these transgressions by becoming more Scottish. For example, I’ve taken to making my own Haggis, something the average Scot wouldn’t bother with.
On balance, I’m happy with this hybrid status. I’m able to appreciate the cultural richness of my upbringing, while keeping the xenophobia and tooth decay to a minimum.