Scottish Connections Framework

This Framework sets out a cohesive and cross-cutting approach to diaspora engagement. It outlines a series of commitments and ambitions to strengthen and expand our relationships with, and between, Scotland’s international communities, and expand on existing work with our established networks.

Scotland’s Culture

From thriving Gaelic-speaking communities on the east coast of Canada to the Burns Suppers and Highland Games held from China to Australia to Argentina, people around the world embrace opportunities to celebrate Scotland’s culture. Scotland’s diaspora are naturally attracted to the country’s culture, in all its forms, and Scotland’s diaspora communities often play a significant role in maintaining and promoting Scotland’s culture and language internationally. We want to mainstream a strong cultural focus in this Framework.

Our world-leading festivals attract tourists and performers from the world over, many of whom have connections to Scotland – while diaspora also utilise other festivals and gatherings to access touring Scottish culture on their own doorstep. Our sporting legacy also spans the globe: as well as being the home of golf and curling, Scotland’s national teams took part in the first ever international games of football and rugby.

The Scottish Government will develop an International Culture Strategy in 2023. The strategy will aim to build the capacity of Scotland’s culture sector to work internationally and will complement this Framework by giving Scotland’s diaspora greater access to Scottish cultural products, and attracting them to visit Scotland as a result. We will consider creating a shared calendar of events to be used by the Scottish Government and partners for improved cross-promotion of cultural and tourism opportunities.

We will develop and deploy our existing networks including, for the first time, involving our network of GlobalScots in promoting the sector and supporting cultural connections with organisations and individuals around the world.

Gaelic and Scots

Language is central to our cultural heritage and identity. As the homeland of both Scottish Gaelic and Scots, we have a role to protect and promote these indigenous languages, and our diaspora play an important part in this.

Our International Network will continue to support diaspora organisations in their celebration of both Gaelic and Scots language – from hosting performances from Gaelic musicians and Scots language poets, to promotion of key linguistic moments on social media.

The Scottish Government’s Gaelic Language Plan 2022-27[8] commits to supporting Gaelic both in Scotland and internationally, including via trade and business engagements. We will look for opportunities to meet commitments in the Gaelic Language Plan within Framework activity, including exploring how to further promote Gaelic with educational and heritage diaspora groups.

SpeakGaelic[9] – a new multi-platform learning service supported by the Scottish Government – can be accessed worldwide, and has attracted 400,000 learners since its launch in October 2021. We will work with our Scottish connections to promote use of the SpeakGaelic and LearnGaelic digital resources.

Case Study: Tartan Day

On 6 April each year, Tartan Day celebrates Scottish culture and heritage in North America. Originating in the mid-1980s in Nova Scotia, Tartan Day is now marked in both Canada and the United States. The largest event is New York’s Tartan Week – a series of celebrations and ceremonies culminating in the Tartan Day Parade, which attracts thousands of participants and spectators. 2023 will mark the 25th anniversary of the US’s National Tartan Day, which was officially declared by the United States Senate in 1998.

Tartan Day provides an opportunity for the significant number of North Americans with Scottish heritage to celebrate their link to the homeland. But, links between Scotland and the US and Canada are now much broader. Each year we take the opportunity of Tartan Day to connect with our diverse diaspora communities – our heritage groups, business networks, our education diaspora and those who feel an affinity with our culture, even if not linked by their ancestry.

Through events, stakeholder engagements and communications activity, the Scottish Government’s International Network offices in Washington DC and Ottawa, and the Brand Scotland partnership, showcase Scotland as a great place to live, work, study, visit, and do business – at a key moment when Scotland is a talking point across North America.



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