Glasgow 2014

July 25, 2014

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 Strathclyde Park where the Triathlon will be held

It's a big year for Scotland with the impending referendum but on Wednesday evening thoughts turned to the big sporting event our country is to host this year. People all over the world tuned into watch my home city of Glasgow open the 20th Commonwealth Games and in all honesty, it was a bit hit and miss in my opinion. The cheesiness of our musical-esque opening with John Barrowman and Karen Dunbar listing all the terribly Scottish and Glaswegian stereotypes made me cringe inwardly.

As a nation we have this horrible habit of being self-deprecating. It seems as though we have a mentality of "we best poke fun at ourselves first before anyone else can". If we don't take ourselves too seriously then we can't be upset when the rest of the world deems us inadequate. I just had to take a glance at twitter to see many Scots and others from around the world being unnecessarily harsh.

Now don't get me wrong, that's not all bad. Having a sense of humour is definitely important in a world that often feels full of doom and gloom. However, when we are trying to showcase our beautiful country and my beautiful home city of Glasgow, I can't help but feel like perhaps we should have taken it more seriously than dancing tea cakes. Undoubtedly, we are much more than a few twee stereotypes but luckily we gave the world a little bit more of an insight into our wonderful city and country for the rest of the show.

Although I may have watched the camp opening from between my fingers it wasn't all bad. Yes, it played into our stereotypes but the message of Scotland being a welcoming place that champions equality was evident. Moreover, the rest of show went pretty much without a hitch. That is, if you overlook Susan Boyle fluffing her words at the beginning of Mull of Kintyre and Chris Hoy having to help the Malaysian Prince get the Queen's message out of the baton!

Amy McDonald was massively underused, Rod Stewart sounded as rusty as hell and the two dancers from Scottish Ballet danced beautifully to (would you believe it!) The Proclaimers. Oh and don't forget the bagpipes that give me chills or the beautiful rendition of Loch Lomond by Nicola Benedetti! As I said, for me, there were some ups and downs but overall I think Glasgow put on a show to be proud of. It was a nice touch for the organisers to work with Unicef to also help to raise money for the children all across the Commonwealth. With James McAvoy gracing our screens to tell us how to do so and the brief glance of my rugby boys (in outfits that weren't quite as hideous en masse) during the athletes parade my evening was worthwhile.

I am fiercely proud of being Scottish and Glaswegian.  I hope that these games show how wonderful my little country and city really is over the next week and a bit. I can't wait to get to the rugby sevens on Sunday morning even if we still haven't quite worked out how to get there by public transport!

Did you see the opening ceremony? What did you think?


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4 comments :

  1. I didn't catch the opening ceremony, but I know what you mean about the self deprecating humour. It's fine for everyday talk but when you are trying to showcase our country then do it well and be proud. We have a beautiful country and we have great people but we always let ourselves down with taking the piss out of ourselves.

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    1. Yeah, it's a bit of a problem I think. It doesn't necessarily show us off in the best light to those who don't know very much about us or our country. I just find it a little bit disappointing sometimes.
      Debi x

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  2. It's bad, I didn't even know this was happening until I heard something on BBC World Service that we get on NPR radio when they did a little news thing about if the commonwealth games were still important. I guess because the US isn't involved it doesn't get a mention otherwise. It's a shame it didn't come across as serious though, I mean it's good to have a laugh at yourself but they could have used that opening ceremony as a great time to beat those stereotypes and show a version of Scotland/Glasgow people around the world might not necessarily have known about.

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    1. Absolutely. I hate how Glasgow and Scotland is portrayed to the world. I'm a fiercely proud Scot so it does annoy me when we come across as a bunch of tartan wearing, shortbread eating, whiskey drinking numpties.
      That being said, from a Glaswegian's viewpoint, the games were a great success. There was a brilliant atmosphere and a real sense of camaraderie which is always good. I definitely enjoyed having the games in my city! :)
      Debi x

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