Scotland the Brave?

An Exile’s Perspective on Scottish Identity from Abroad

In: Intercultural Mirrors


In 2014, nearly 85% of the Scottish electorate went to the ballot boxes to cast their vote in the independence referendum. For those of us who supported independence, the choice could not have been simpler, and despite a last-minute surge towards a Yes vote, the No side came off victorious, 55% to 45%. Scotland chose to remain part of the United Kingdom. The result, for people like myself, was devastating. As a long-standing independence supporter and campaigner, the result was a bitter pill to swallow, as my own Scottish identity now felt threatened. While new ideas about what it means to be Scottish are enjoying a renaissance in Scotland, overseas Scots like myself, face challenges when expressing our identity in regions that may or may not be familiar with Scotland. This chapter will explore Scotland’s new push towards national sovereignty and my own experiences as an immigrant dealing with outdated stereotypes, and in some cases complete ignorance of Scotland, in Australia and Japan.