We are separate. We are distinct. We are Scotland.

The Saltire wis removed fae Tesco shelves tae be replacit by the emblem o Brexit Britain. The stooshie is kicked aff wis felt oan sociological seismographs aa owre Scotland.

Hou dare they use wir ain produce as a clash o identities that ragin the noo? Scottish berries arnae British berries, Scottish whisky isnae British whisky.

Aabdy that cam breengin oot the shadows tae caa fir boycotts were clear on ae thing: Scotland isnae England. It is its ain, separate, distinct place. Oor weys are nae their weys. Oor subtle aged single malts arnae their subtle aged single malts.

But whit the hell are we that’s sae different? Dae we no buy wir claes in the same shopping malls? Dae we no read the same buiks as whit’s available in ilka ither country that spiks English. Ditto tele, even mair noo wi the advert o Netflix: Scots are stappit fu o the same Transatlantic guff as aabdy else.

In ae sense we’re a bawhair awa fae bein yet anither ootpost o faceless consumers.

But music, language an tradition aye set us apairt.

We are currently braw spikkers o Scots: 85% o Scottish fowk happily admit tae usin Scots at least occasionally. Houaniver just 27% o fowk ken hou tae screive in it.

We are no far fae illiterate in wir ain tongue.

Bella Caledonia gies Scots scrievers a space tae find an audience. Mair importantly, it gies an audience a chance tae find scrievers. Mair important still, it entertains the audience, an encourages us tae think in Scots a bittie, an reacquaint oorsels wi the wirds, some o which we mibbie havnae used since wir bairnhood, or never seen afore.

Scots is richt at the hert o definin modren Scotland.

It is pairt o whit maks us oorsels. Its rich vocabulary is specially designed tae suit the unique situation we finn oorsels in. It’s spent eight hunner year graftin itsel tae the landscape, getting a lenn o the burns, glens an straths fae the Gaelic, the bairn the braw an the doo fae the Norse, an makkin up a wheen native phrases an wirds tae express whit we finn aroon us.

Tae continue wi the essential task o gien Scots spikkers, scrievers an readers a placie tae meet an interact, Bella maun hae yir siller. Sae dig intae yir pooch an dig us oot some coins.

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