Whole lotta Burns

Despite being a sassenach I joined the English Speaking Community in Alsace last night for my third Burns Night and had a great time eating, drinking and dancing Scottish.

I have written elsewhere about the layers of belonging which build up on central facts about the place where we exist to make it home.  Another happened last night.  I have been to this event twice before with friends and had a good time with them but hardly knew anyone else there.  This time, as well as the friends we had gone with, there were lots of other people present it was good to catch up with and discover how they were doing.  Another layer grown on the onion.

The evening followed a pretty normal course for a Burns evening with demonstrations of dancing, the Selkirk Grace before we ate a broth and then the haggis was piped into the room and paraded around it before being killed.  Whilst the toast to Burns and the Address to the Lassies and to the Laddies were being given we had our dessert before the rest of the evening was spent dancing with a break at midnight to sing Auld Lang Syne.

The English Speaking Community is not an enclave of Brits leavened with a touch of antipodean or American but open to people who speak or have an interest in speaking English.  It is less exclusive than, for example Americans in Alsace for whom you have to be American to be a member.  We were joined by two French, one Portuguese and a Russian friend last night.  The pictures show the piping in of the Haggis and the dancing.

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