Like many international communities existing in Luxembourg, the Scots typically see each other once a year; for them it is at the annual Burns Supper.
An institution in Scottish life, Burns’ Suppers are celebrated across the globe at the end of January, as many gather to celebrate the life and works of the national poet Robert Burns.
This year’s supper opened fittingly with Polish-British Chairwoman Paola Liszka Draper proving she is a “Game Burd”, with an excellent attempt at Scottish pronunciation.
Kath Griffiths then led everyone in thanks with the “Selkirk Grace”, before the traditional meal of “cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, champit tatties an’ bashed neeps” was served (these culinary delights were prepared by the French chef at Restaurant Reimerwee and one can only wonder what his thoughts on the whole thing were).
The traditional “piping-in” of the haggis was performed by Anthony Orr, who travels from Brussels every year to do the Scottish community this honour. No-one can taste a drop of the delicious fare before the “dedication to the haggis”, this address was dramatically performed by Hugh Savage, who as a man of Burn’s own Ayrshire, has the Bard’s words in his blood, so there was no room for error in this performance, and indeed there was none.
The life, times and worldwide influence of Robert Burns was reminisced upon in the “Immortal Memory” by Anthea MacDonald. Tony Sugrue delivered the tough-in-cheek “Toast to the Lassies”, and Fiona Urquhart replied on behalf of the lassies, with equal biting humour.
Neil Ross delivered an excellent rendering of “Holy Willie’s Prayer”, one of the finest satires by any poet, it is a withering attack on religious hypocrisy. Throughout the evening music was performed by On the Wagon, who once again travelled from Scotland for this event. Their beautiful melodies were admired, and rousingly sung to when appropriate.
The evening ended as all good evenings should, with kilts swinging and music blaring at the traditional ceilidh.