Multicultural Scotland has many festivals to celebrate – Angus Robertson MSP

Multicultural Scotland has many festivals to celebrate – Angus Robertson MSP
© Angus Robertson with Rabbi Pinny Weinman and Scottish national Hannukah celebration sponsor Edward G…

Modern Scotland is a nation of rich cultures and traditions with many backgrounds.

In these dark days of the year, Scotland’s Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists have been marking Diwali, the festival of lights. Scotland’s Jews are currently celebrating Hanukkah, another festival of lights, with the lighting of a candle on the menorah candelabrum for eight nights and days.

I was honoured to join the Jewish community at the weekend on behalf of the Scottish government at the national Hanukkah celebration in St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh.

Despite the cold, it was lovely to see so many people enjoying themselves as the first lights were lit above the large menorah. Scotland’s Jewish community might be small but it is an integral part of our national story.

For those who have never heard it before, I would give a listen to “Scotland’s Story” by The Proclaimers. The chorus is: “In Scotland’s story I read that they came, The Gael and the Pict, the Angle and Dane, But so did the Irishman, Jew and Ukraine, They’re all Scotland’s Story and they’re all worth the same.”

Scotland is now marking its winter festivals which celebrate our rich culture and heritage over three key dates in our national calendar: St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns’ Night.

With Christmas, Diwali and Hanukkah falling at the same time of year, we should make the most of everyone’s traditions and festivals in modern Scotland.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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