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TITLE
If you emigrated today, what would you miss from home? - Margaret Bennett
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_02_MARGARET_BENNETT_Q_07
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Margaret Bennett
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41017
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
missfromhome

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Margaret Bennett answers the question:

'If you were emigrating today what would you miss most from home?'

'Well, if it's my own personal home, I would just look forward to making a home somewhere else. My husband was also an emigrant; we share that kind of, well, 'we'll just make home wherever home is' but I, I'm from quite a close family, and I suppose the longer I live, the more importance I attach to family. One always misses family. But I'm not the sort to get lonely. I don't ever feel lonely. And so, even in my eight or nine years in Canada, I never felt homesick, isn't that curious, dearly as I love Scotland. Now is that - I can't answer this - is that because I knew I could go back, or because I was so preoccupied in what I was doing?

I missed individuals, but, and I absolutely love Scotland, and yet, I didn't- Oh yes, I'll tell you when I did miss it, now that I remember now. I missed Scotland terribly when I spent eight weeks in Tennessee, because the weather was so hot and stifling, I thought I was going to just expire. So, I think what I missed was the air. As long as I'm in place that has nice air, which Newfoundland ticks the box there, and so does Quebec, although Quebec's very far from the sea, but it's got a beauty about it. And, and, it's the people, the people you relate to. It must be hard for people who, for individuals who find it difficult to relate to people, because maybe wherever they are they're going to not feel a sense of being settled, whereas I've been very lucky that way. I've felt very at ease in other places, in other cultures, and I've felt often very privileged to be, to have found a place within somebody else's culture, and to be accepted.'


BIOGRAPHY

Dr Margaret Bennett was brought up in the Isles of Skye, Lewis and Shetland. She emigrated to Canada in 1967 as a post-graduate student in Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1975 she was Folklorist with The Museum of Civilization's Quebec-Hebridean Project, returning to Scotland in 1976. From 1984 she lectured at the University of Edinburgh, recording oral history and traditions of Scots at home and abroad.

Now part-time at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, her books include 'Scottish Customs from the Cradle to the Grave' (1992) and two prize-winning studies on emigrant traditions, 'The Last Stronghold: Scottish Gaelic Traditions in Newfoundland' (1989) and 'Oatmeal and the Catechism: Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Quebec' (1999).

She features on several CD recordings, has sung at international festivals and has contributed to several theatre productions. In 1998 she received the Master Music Maker Award in celebration of a lifetime of musicianship and teaching, and in 2003, the Celtic Women International award for 'lifelong service to Scottish Culture'. For Homecoming Scotland 2009 she has published a book with double-CD of songs spanning three centuries, 'Dìleab Ailean-A Newfoundland Homecoming Cèilidh' (Grace Note Publications).

Image: Duncan MacNab

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If you emigrated today, what would you miss from home? - Margaret Bennett

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; missfromhome;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Dr Margaret Bennett answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'If you were emigrating today what would you miss most from home?' <br /> <br /> 'Well, if it's my own personal home, I would just look forward to making a home somewhere else. My husband was also an emigrant; we share that kind of, well, 'we'll just make home wherever home is' but I, I'm from quite a close family, and I suppose the longer I live, the more importance I attach to family. One always misses family. But I'm not the sort to get lonely. I don't ever feel lonely. And so, even in my eight or nine years in Canada, I never felt homesick, isn't that curious, dearly as I love Scotland. Now is that - I can't answer this - is that because I knew I could go back, or because I was so preoccupied in what I was doing? <br /> <br /> I missed individuals, but, and I absolutely love Scotland, and yet, I didn't- Oh yes, I'll tell you when I did miss it, now that I remember now. I missed Scotland terribly when I spent eight weeks in Tennessee, because the weather was so hot and stifling, I thought I was going to just expire. So, I think what I missed was the air. As long as I'm in place that has nice air, which Newfoundland ticks the box there, and so does Quebec, although Quebec's very far from the sea, but it's got a beauty about it. And, and, it's the people, the people you relate to. It must be hard for people who, for individuals who find it difficult to relate to people, because maybe wherever they are they're going to not feel a sense of being settled, whereas I've been very lucky that way. I've felt very at ease in other places, in other cultures, and I've felt often very privileged to be, to have found a place within somebody else's culture, and to be accepted.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Dr Margaret Bennett was brought up in the Isles of Skye, Lewis and Shetland. She emigrated to Canada in 1967 as a post-graduate student in Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 1975 she was Folklorist with The Museum of Civilization's Quebec-Hebridean Project, returning to Scotland in 1976. From 1984 she lectured at the University of Edinburgh, recording oral history and traditions of Scots at home and abroad. <br /> <br /> Now part-time at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, her books include 'Scottish Customs from the Cradle to the Grave' (1992) and two prize-winning studies on emigrant traditions, 'The Last Stronghold: Scottish Gaelic Traditions in Newfoundland' (1989) and 'Oatmeal and the Catechism: Scottish Gaelic Settlers in Quebec' (1999). <br /> <br /> She features on several CD recordings, has sung at international festivals and has contributed to several theatre productions. In 1998 she received the Master Music Maker Award in celebration of a lifetime of musicianship and teaching, and in 2003, the Celtic Women International award for 'lifelong service to Scottish Culture'. For Homecoming Scotland 2009 she has published a book with double-CD of songs spanning three centuries, 'Dìleab Ailean-A Newfoundland Homecoming Cèilidh' (Grace Note Publications).<br /> <br /> Image: Duncan MacNab