Culture in Scotland

Scottish people are famous across the world for their warmth and hospitality. Whether you’re asking a stranger for directions or just getting something to eat in a pub, you’ll always be met with a warm smile and a friendly word in Scotland.

With this kind of reputation it’s no wonder that 50 million people across the globe claim to have Scottish ancestry.

India in Scotland

India is just one of many countries which has already made its mark on the Scottish cultural landscape. The Indian population in Scotland is significant and there are more than 55,000 people of Asian origin living in Scotland.

With such a prosperous community, it’s no surprise that this has had an impact on the religious and cultural make-up of Scotland. Numerous Hindu temples have been built across Scotland, including one in Glasgow’s West End and others in Edinburgh and Dundee. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow are also home to two large and considerable Mosques. Read more about Scotland's religions.

Of course, it’s not just Mosques and temples that have cropped up in Scotland over the past couple of decades. The country’s entertainment and retail scenes are changing, too. Indian restaurants and Asian supermarkets are gaining popularity in larger cities, and Hindi and Bollywood films are shown in some of the country’s cinemas.

The Edinburgh Mela Festival and the Glasgow Mela both run over the course of a number of days in summer and offer Scotland’s population a chance to celebrate our multiculturalism in style. The festivals are the perfect place for the Scottish population to enjoy a taste of India.

Scottish culture

Despite dating back for almost a thousand years, Scottish traditions are just as alive today as they were in the 12th century. Changing with every generation, Scottish culture is living, breathing, and constantly evolving.

Two of the things Scotland has remained famous for throughout the centuries are whisky and golf. Scotch Whisky, which is famous across the globe and as popular in Scotland as it has ever been, is possibly one of Scotland’s most well-known inventions. Mature, single malt whiskies are now seen as an investment in the same way that wine is; the highest price ever secured for a bottle of whisky at auction was £288,000.

Golf is probably Scotland’s other most famous export. The country is home to over 570 golf courses, and remains one of the world’s most popular destinations for golf lovers. Packed with historic courses and magnificent Open venues, including the Old Course at St Andrews, Muirfield, Carnoustie and Royal Troon, it’s no surprise that Scotland continues to appeal to awestruck golfers the world over.

Bagpipes, kilts and haggis

Of course, golf and whisky aren’t all we’re known for. Everybody across the world knows the cliché of Scottish bagpipers in kilts, but in reality, the experience of seeing a hundred bagpipers skirling in unison is magical, and this happens every August at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and on Glasgow Green.

We also know about the stereotypical notion of traditional Scottish food – porridge, whisky, and haggis. Today, Scotland is much more famed for the number of world-famous – and often Michelin-starred - chefs it produces, including Nick Nairn, Andrew Fairlie and Gordon Ramsay. We’re also known for the incredible natural produce which comes from Scotland. Our beef, seafood and venison are known as some of the best in the world.

And kilts? The kilt is definitely making a comeback on the catwalk, as recent years have seen designers including Vivienne Westwood and Jean Paul Gaultier taking traditional Scottish attire to glamorous new heights.