A reply from the pepetrator (Veeery loooong)

Anselm Lingnau

Message 43335 · 1 Dec 2005 18:41:21 · Variable-width font · Whole thread

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Jenny Cooper wrote (by way of Andrea Re):

> I have received a counter-reply to the (in)famous commentary which I am
> happy to circulate, since the author has not managed to master how to
> join the list yet:)

Tell her to get in touch if she needs help :^)

> Inevitably, as we grow up
> most of us rebel in some way against rules, traditions, culture etc. and
> look for new, alternative ways to express ourselves - it's part and
> parcel of the process. For those who were brought up in Scotland, a
> cultural heritage which is embraced by grandparents, great grandparents
> and a whole society of previous generations is just asking to be
> rejected in favour of something more "interesting", "ethnic" and
> "different". Conversely, if people who are brought up in other countries
> pursue something from a different culture (in this case, Scotland) it is
> perceived by both themselves and their peers as being slightly
> avant-garde and therefore totally acceptable.

This is an important observation. Here in Germany, Scottish country dancing
is, judged by the numbers of organised participants, maybe not as popular a
pastime as football but it is going fairly strong. On the other hand, I
should think that most of our dancers would not want to be seen dead doing
traditional German dances. This is not only due to the »never do what your
parents/grandparents/... apparently enjoy« rule of youth; we also have to
thank the Nazi regime, who were into the German(ic) folksy »tradition« in a
big way so that when Germany was finally rid of them (with outside help) few
people wanted to touch the stuff even with a 10' pole. Similarly, the GDR was
fairly big on folk dancing and now that is gone many people don't seem to
shed a tear. (If you believe SCD in Scotland has an image problem, consider
that German folk dancers hereabouts have to fight being tarred with the
nationalist/reactionary brush.)

Of course people do German folk dancing these days, and in fact, we as
Scottish country dancers in Germany often get asked why we do not do German
folk dancing instead. The reasons for this include:

  - SCD is social dancing. The German folk dancing that is done today is,
    for the most part, display dancing.
  - If you think Scottish (accordion) dance music is dull you haven't heard
    German folk dance music yet.
  - If you think Scottish country dances are dull and boring you haven't
    seen German folk dances yet.
  - Many people here like Scotland and running about in kilts.
  - There are no German folk dance groups in Scotland (that we know of), let
    alone San Francisco, Tokyo, or Sydney, that one could join for a night
    when one happens to be in the area.

With SCD, we have a pastime that is social, happily exhausting for both body
and mind, universally standardised, part of an ongoing tradition of art and
invention, and generally practised by very nice people all over the world.
What else could one want?

Anselm
--
Anselm Lingnau, Frankfurt, Germany ..................... xxxxxx@xxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Unix is not a `A-ha' experience, it is more of a `holy-shit' experience.
                                   -- Colin McFadyen in alt.folklore.computers
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