SALMOND CELEBRATES TOP SCOT
Burns Day is an opportunity to celebrate our unique culture, First Minister Alex Salmond said today as he issued his Burns Day message.
In his online message, which features extracts of an interview recorded with the Herald’s Poetry Editor Lesley Duncan, the First Minister reveals that Robert Burns is his favourite Scot of all time, and reads from his favourite poem – A Man’s a Man for A’ That.
To view the online message go to: www.scotland.gov.uk/210237
A video of the First Minister reading extracts of his favourite poems is also available on request as part of a series of events, including Burns suppers, readings and Ceilidhs, taking place around the world. Together these activities send a clear message that, today, the Bard is still making a significant contribution to our national identity.
Mr Salmond said:
‘Each year the Burns season marks the vast and brilliant work of our national Bard. This year it also brings Scotland’s Winter Festival of cultural events to its climax. It is a time to reflect on the reach and richness of our culture, and to look forward and consider our place in Scotland’s future.
‘Next year, to mark the Bard’s 250th anniversary, will be the Year of Homecoming Scotland. This will be a celebration of the great contributions Scotland has made to the world and an opportunity for Scots abroad to reconnect and engage with their heritage. We want to encourage them to come back and visit.
‘The poetry of Robert Burns has carried Scots to an audience beyond our shores and adds real colour to the Scottish tartan. As celebrations around the globe, from Ayrshire to Argentina, will testify Scotland’s favourite son now forms a substantial part of the articulation of Scottish identity. His work contained virtues that have been absorbed into our sense of self � it is humorous, radical and articulate.
‘These are strengths that support a lasting legacy we should be proud of. My message today is simple � Robert Burns is my top Scot.’