Burns Night: First Minister letter to Scotland’s diaspora

A letter from First Minister Humza Yousaf to the Scottish Connections community around the world, as they celebrate Burns Night.

I wish you a very Happy Burns Night.

Few writers or composers are as widely celebrated as Scotland’s National Bard Robert Burns. Each year, people gather to celebrate Burns and his works on 25th January – what would have been his birthday – in a tradition that is now marked the world over.

Our country has a rich history of creative minds, and Robert Burns was one of Scotland’s first creative pioneers. He had a unique ability to put himself in the shoes of others, giving his words an enduring appeal that continues to this day.

This celebration of Burns speaks to Scotland’s wider spirit. Burns Night is a time to savour Scottish customs – haggis, neeps and tatties, a warming dram of whisky or a sip of Irn Bru. It's also an opportunity to celebrate our unique culture and creativity and to embrace our Scottish connections.

It’s thanks to you – our fellow Scots and friends and family of Scotland – that Robert Burns continues to be celebrated so widely around the world. Coming together to attend Burns Suppers, poetry readings, or ceilidhs where you embrace Scotland’s culture is what keeps our traditions alive and thriving. Events like these are invaluable – both for bringing together our communities and for reaffirming Scotland’s reputation around the world as a welcoming and creative nation. I extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ not just to our attendees, but to the event organisers, whose efforts to bring us together are often unsung, but hugely valued. I am grateful that so many of you choose to celebrate with us.

If your Burns Night celebration has inspired you to travel to Scotland – we would love to see you. Whether it’s to visit family, enjoy our breathtaking scenery, or sample our world- renowned food, drink and festivals – you are very welcome. Scotland is also open for business, investment and for those that want to study at our world-class universities.

As Burns himself said, “It’s comin yet for a’ that, That Man to Man the warld o’er, Shall brithers be for a’ that.” Thank you again for being part of our community ‘the warld o’er’ and for your support of Scotland’s culture.

Happy Burns Night,

Humza Yousaf


Celebrating your Scottish Connections

Scotland opens its arms to anyone who wishes to join us in these celebrations. We see Scotland’s diaspora as an extension of Scotland itself. Whether you are Scottish by heritage or ancestry, have lived in Scotland at any time, have links through business or education, or simply have a strong affinity for Scotland’s culture – all are welcome in our international community of Scottish connections.

You may know that we have recently launched two new online tools for Scotland’s diaspora community to help you be better connected than ever. Anyone with a Scottish connection can register to join us online and receive news and updates for our diaspora community via email. We have also launched a Community Directory, which lists organisations across the globe with a Scottish link so you can find your nearest groups and events wherever you are. For more information on these tools, please scan the QR code below, or visit www.scotland.org/globalcommunity.

Burns Night: First Minister letter to Scotland’s diaspora
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