The Association of Exiled Scots

 
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Manage episode 283681800 series 1547954
By Glen L. Moyer. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
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There can be no denying the Scots diaspora worldwide. There are millions of us spread around the globe. Elements of Scottish culture can be found across the Americas to be sure, but also in far flung destinations like the Carribean, in New Zealand, India, Singapore, Japan and elsewhere. Scots truly are all about family and community. You need only know the history of the Scottish clan society to find the truth in that statement. Even today, with clan society long disappeared, the first question typically asked of anyone who proclaims themselves to be Scottish or of Scots ancestry is - “What’s your clan?”

A map of Scottish clans. Clan society was based around a kinship of Scottish people, whether connected by blood lines or by a common allegiance to a particular leader of clan chief. The Jacobite uprising of 1745 is often viewed as the beginning of the end of the clan system. Common today, the idea of clans with their specific identifying tartans is largely a 19th century creation thanks to the romanticism of Sir Walter Scott and others.

A map of Scottish clans. Clan society was based around a kinship of Scottish people, whether connected by blood lines or by a common allegiance to a particular leader of clan chief. The Jacobite uprising of 1745 is often viewed as the beginning of the end of the clan system. Common today, the idea of clans with their specific identifying tartans is largely a 19th century creation thanks to the romanticism of Sir Walter Scott and others.

Ainsley Hamill and Anna MacDonald are singers, songwriters, musicians and step dancers who found themselves living in London, “exiled” as it were, and missing that connection to home, that sense of belonging, so they decided to create their own community away from home for “exiled” Scots like themselves by sharing their talents and doing what Scots the world over have done for generations – sharing Scottish culture with anyone interested. The two co-founded the Association of Exiled Scots to teach music, language and culture through their Culture and Music School, while also showcasing themselves and other Scottish talent through live event bookings and corporate gigs.

Ainsley Hamill and Anna MacDonald, aka The Association of Exiled Scots.

Ainsley Hamill and Anna MacDonald, aka The Association of Exiled Scots.

In 2020, like so many others, they were forced by the pandemic to revamp their business plan and rely more and more on an online presence, a move that fortuitously opened the door to a line of bespoke association apparel featuring Scotland’s national icon, the unicorn.

The TAoES wee beauty beanie

The TAoES wee beauty beanie

The TAoES Pure Dead Classic Tee

The TAoES Pure Dead Classic Tee

Moving into 2021, classes (Step dancing, Gaelic songs, etc.) once offered in person remain available only online pending the easing of UK lockdown restrictions. Both Anna and Ainsley are anxious to return to their first love, live performance. However, they now expect they will continue their online outreach, especially to Scot diaspora from around the world as technologies like Zoom have shown us all how we can safely gather and share the benefits of a shared community even if separated by only a few city blocks or thousands of miles.

KEY POINTS:

• 05:15 Ainsley tells how she and Anna first met in London

• 09:15 Why the term “exiled” Scots?

• 12:00 TAoES is a community but not a membership driven association.

• 17:20 How the pandemic interrupted and changed TAoES class offerings in music and dance.

• 25:45 Anna & Ainsley discuss their interest in Gaelic language and song.

• 32:10 How the pandemic forced TAoES to adjust their goals and operations.

• 34:50 Will TAoES continue online offerings once pandemic restrictions on travel and meeting are lifted?

• 38:00 Who exactly does TAoES see as their clients?

• 39:00 What is it about Scottish culture that makes it so appealing to people worldwide?
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
TAoES Website

81 episodes