What happened to the celtic revival.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by MuinXing, Feb 23, 2013.


  1. MuinXing

    MuinXing

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    I donno if it's just me but during the mid nineties it seemed like there was this huge thing with being celtic. Whether in europe or in the new world.

    Yet just 20 years later it's just disappeared it seems.

    I mean celtic music itself was massive in canada, boston, flogging molly, ashley mascassic, etc etc.

    There were all the comedians (conan obrien, denis oleary etc) taking pride in their irish heritage.


    There was trainspotting, braveheart, boondock saints, Good will hunting, Rudy(notredame football movie) etc etc.

    You'd swear that people of celtic descent were 2/3s of the
    worlds population.

    Throughout europe and NA, there were celtic festivals.

    Even in census data, the count for irish and scottish was much higher than it is now, as most people these days just say canadian, american, or aussie?
  2. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    You might find my blog interesting, particularly these two posts:

    http://thescottishaustralian.wordpress.com/2012/11/12/scottish-ancestry-in-australia-since-1986/

    http://thescottishaustralian.wordpr...e-of-migration-and-scottish-ancestry-in-2011/

    Personally, I found the whole Celtic/tartanry thing to stink of thinly-veiled ethnic supremacism, perhaps as a reaction to globalization and increased multiculturalism in Anglo countries.

    EDIT: Perhaps not ethnic supremacism, but certainly a slippery-slope to it.
  3. MuinXing

    MuinXing

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    Meh I think your missing part of this.

    I agree some of it was absurd.

    But it's a hugely important ancestry in many parts of the world.

    And the fact is being english in many ways is self evident, in most of the anglosphere.

    You can throw in supremacism, but atleast in north america, being celtic is seen as being the underdog, the minority so I think a group taking pride in this is at a relatively low risk for being overly nationalistic,(not that there won't be trolls).

    And again please keep this thread from being trolled into getting closed.
  4. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    See my edit, and read the posts I linked to. The Celtic revival is far from over.
  5. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy Gold Supporting Member

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    We're all mutts, really. (And before you accuse me of trolling, take a look at my profile photo. Fraser tartan through my mother's side)
  6. MuinXing

    MuinXing

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    Meh genetically speaking yes.

    Culturally we all have backgrounds that are unique.

    I think one of the problems with multiculturalism is the failure for people to understand that plurality can exist.

    Just because I'm irish, dont mean I'm not proud to be french. There both a large part of who I am, and have shaped where I live tremendously.

    This in no way threatens a tamil-canadian, to be canadian or anything of the sort, in my opinion does the total opposite.
  7. basscooker

    basscooker

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    so i saw something recently regarding some interesting genetic research. according to this particular program, peoples of western euopean heritage tend to have neanderthal dna. some more than others, but it's generally present to some degree in most caucasian and asian populations. mutts is a very appropriate term. i don't think anybody really should be held in contempt for having pride in their familial past, whether it be a country, region, or ethnicity.
  8. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    My PhD was on Scottish cultural identity in Australia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and I also have a good grasp of the global literature on Scottish (and British and Irish) culture and identity up until the contemporary period. I lecture at a university on national and ethnic identities, as well as Indigenous and multicultural Australia.

    What I'm saying is that I do this for a living. I'm happy to contribute to the discussion if people will put aside their own patriotism (or lack-of), and their own attachment to ethnic or national identities, and look at the issues objectively. These are very contentious and complicated subjects.
  9. MuinXing

    MuinXing

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    I don't know if you thought I was being dismissive of you or something, it's just after reading your posts, and just thinking about the issue for a mere second I realize the issue is totally different in Australia.

    In many parts of north america, the celtic heritage has pretty much be the corp of many different regional areas of the continent.

    In Australia it appears this heritage has shaped the entire country.
  10. Musiclogic

    Musiclogic

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    I find too many times, any type of pride in a non anglo culture is seen as advancing the course of humanity, yet when someone identifies with an Anglo culture, they are immediately viewed as being some type of supremicist.

    I have been a member of a few Irish American societies since I was a teen. We connect to our cultural heritage, in an attempt to preserve that which the "globalists" are trying to eliminate every day.

    I think the celtic revival is alive and well in some circles, and dead in others.

    No matter your heritage, I think you should take pride in it and help to preserve the traditions and culture.
  11. Snarf

    Snarf Supporting Member

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    :scowl:

    Whoa boy I almost edited myself into a permaban.
  12. UncleFluffy

    UncleFluffy Gold Supporting Member

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    I'll happily agree with this observation. It does seem to happen quite frequently.

    But, my point is more about the whole concept. Why be "proud" of something someone else did? I care about who you are, not who your great-grandparents were.

    And if you're going to take pride in the good things these people did in the past are you prepared to be ashamed of the bad things they did?
  13. blue4

    blue4

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    I think you are overthinking it.:) I think of it as less pride and shame, and more of a overall feeling of being happy with who you are and an interest and love of the family that came before you.
  14. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    No worries.

    Yes, historically speaking, I think it's broadly accurate to say that Australian national identity has drawn strongly on Anglo-Celtic culture and identity imported from the British Isles.

    Nevertheless, there have been tensions between Anglo-Protestant and Irish Catholic portions of society, and there are still towns, suburbs, regional areas, that vaguely seem to be connected more strongly to, say, Irish Catholicism or Scottish Presbyterianism in their politics, religious demographics, culture, and so on. In Melbourne, for another example, Carlton is historically the 'Italian' part of town, while Caulfield has always been home to a large Jewish population. So there are some regional variations, but Anglo-Celtic identity is certainly still what you'd call 'mainstream' in Australia if you were seeking out an ethnic basis for a national identity.

    Here's this for some food for thought. I think it's an interesting observation. Comes from here:

    And this is what I mean when I described the Celtic revival as a reaction. Both Australia and North America (particularly Canada... especially Toronto) consider themselves multicultural societies, not rooted in any particular ethnic tradition. To demonstrate what I mean by a reaction, in the colour and light of the late-80s/early-90s popular multicultural movement (think world music fusion bands, international food days at schools, LOTE classes, that kind of thing) emerged a kind of cry of 'me too!' from Anglo-Australia - Celtic and Caledonian societies flourished, specialist newspapers were set up, and eventually 'Irish', 'Scottish', and 'Welsh' were officially recognised as ethnic groups, thus allowing them to apply to the government for cultural grants and the like. These kinds of cultural organisations had always been around, but they really did flourish in the last two decades of the twentieth century, and are still going strong. There's nothing wrong with the way in which the Celtic revival occurred, or at least how I perceive it did.

    So, in the wake of Australian multiculturalism came a re-commitment by many white Australians to Anglo-Celtic ethnic and cultural identity. Now, I have no problem with people identifying themselves with this or that ethnicity, religion, political persuasion, whatever. It's something that humans seem to do naturally - seek belonging and rootedness in an identity and tradition. Most people just wear kilts and get into drinking Scotch and playing golf; it's mostly harmless.

    However, some groups in the 90s tried to assert 'Anglo-Celticism' to the exclusion of the plurality of ethnicities present in Australia. It was a worrying echo to of the ethnic supremacism of White Australia. We had Pauline Hanson's explicitly racist One Nation party trying to curtail Asian immigration. Our own Prime Minister, John Howard, tried to change the school books (literally) to emphasise Australia's British heritage; he's still on a mission against the inclusion of Asian and world history in the school curriculum.

    Now we have extreme Islamaphobia and a new generation of assertive 'Anglo-Aussies' driving around with "**** off, we're full" stickers on their bumper bars. It's shameful and we have a dark enough history of racism without this kind of thing.

    So that's the slippery slope. For most, 'cultural ethnicity' is just harmless fun or tradition and perhaps a good way to gain a sense of self and identity. But for some, the assertion of ethnic identity is related to their own racism or xenophobia - perhaps as a kind of way of orientating themselves against the ever-present 'Other'.

    Again, most people are not like this (I'd like to think!). I have fun with my heritage (English mum, Scottish dad) and so do most.

    Now, as for the original post, I would speculate that the Celtic thing might have dropped out of mainstream culture as a consequence of generational change - my generation certainly grew up with the idea of Australian identity being rooted in civic values rather than ethnic heritage, so maybe the 'ethnicity' thing is not a big deal for most younger Anglo-Australians. The historical association of Anglo-Australia with White Australia is also very uncomfortable for many, which might - paradoxically - also go towards explaining why some people would prefer to call themselves Irish (or anything else) instead of Australian.

    It is, however, going strong among some segments, and there does seem to be a skew towards the older age group when it comes to the appeal of all things Celtic or Caledonian. Except for Flogging Molly - everyone loves Flogging Molly.
  15. Rocker949

    Rocker949

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    I just find Ireland to be an utterly fascinating country. I've probably liked other countries as much or almost as much. But Ireland definitely has a unique charm. I'd love to visit Scotland some day, too. One of my best Internet friends is Scottish.
  16. MuinXing

    MuinXing

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    This line I seriously think has be taken from a george carlin joke. You can take something literally for the sake of a joke, but we all know what we really mean.

    When I take pride in being irish, I'm not proud of something my grandfather did, I'm taking pride in keeping the tradition alive. A simple thing like remaining in native province, means a whole lot in maintaining of this tradition. And yes even if getting blind drunk in a kitchen party isn't considered a tradition to some it is to us :D.
  17. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

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    River Dance= cool.
    Michael Flatley=Douchebag.
  18. MuinXing

    MuinXing

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    Meh you gotta understand that things are very different in canada.

    Canada has always been such a mixed country, that the slipperly slope thing isn't remotely an issue.

    The worst fear, of some form of nationalism has already been had in quebec, and aside from a few bikers really isn't an issue.

    We have 10 provinces, and they segment into about 8 or so mini nations.

    Also first nations groups have a strong influence in more rural areas, to the point that no matter what multiculturalism is both an obvious solution, and yet at teh same time allows for indentity.

    Newfoundland is super anglo/irish.

    Nova Scotia, and P.E.I. have a strong scottish influence.

    Newbrunwick is super acadian, which is a group of people that are even seperate from Quebecois.

    Quebec although totally french, has a strong mix of mediterrean, and other catholic influence.

    Ontario, is a bizarre mix of old school canadians(mostly scottish protestants), and plethora of different immigrant cultures.

    The west is a mixture of everything listed, plus a very influential native population.


    So from my viewpoint, this type of thing isn't just obvious, it's definitive of the country.

    What's frustrating is that when you live in such a spread out country, nobody is really aware of the differences, and how much the background of each region is defined by immigration even 200 years after the initial settlement.
  19. punkjazzben

    punkjazzben

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    Okay, just as an aside, you've got to stop prefacing your responses with meh - it's an expression of indifference, boredom, or a way of dismissing something as mediocre or boring. When I put together an articulate, fairly lengthy response for your interest alone, it's hard to know what to think when your reply starts with an expression that usually means something to the effect of "Whatever, I don't care..."

    As for Canada, yes, regional identities are more tightly connected to ethnic identities, and you mentioned a few of the important ones. Ethnicity works in different ways in different parts of the world, but that's what make studying ethnic identities interesting - especially when they are spread across the world in diasporas, it's fascinating to see how different migrant groups negotiate and re-imagine their sense of self in response to new, adopted homelands. For example, what it means to be Scottish in Canada is different to being Scottish in Australia. The anti-English Highland mythology has had more of an influence in Canada, whereas in Australia Scottishness has been tightly interwoven with Britishness and, for a long time, loyalty to Empire.

    But back to the Celtic revival... Perhaps it's the case that, although ethnicity has worked in different ways in Australia and Canada, it is likely that 'Celiticism' as a pop-culture movement has experienced very similar levels of popularity and decline. Australian pop culture has for the last few decades been increasingly derived from North American trends and fashions.
  20. placedesjardins

    placedesjardins

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    Riverdance/Lord of the Dance overkill.

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