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TITLE
Why is it important to study the past? - Jim Hunter
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_03_JIM_HUNTER_Q_08
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Jim Hunter
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41026
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
studypast

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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, Professor Jim Hunter answers the question:

'Why do you think it's important to study the past?'

'Well, I think it is important to understand- Well, in, I'm particularly interested in the Highlands, of course, but the same would apply anywhere, I guess, but it's, I don't think you can understand where, why any place is the way it is now, unless you understand how it came to be the way that it is now, and so I think that's extremely important. But, despite being interested in history and reading a lot about it, I'm not, I don't believe that one should, sort of, romanticise the past, and indeed nor do I believe, even though some aspects of the Highland story are pretty, pretty awful, I don't think one should become too sort of gloomy about it. I think it's important to, to, yes, know what happened, and, but as a kind of platform for going forward.

But I also, I also believe very strongly that in a Highland context that - and I said this, I think, this morning - that for so long people in this area were told that everything about them, their history, their heritage, their language, their culture, everything, was second rate, inferior, of no great account. And I think it's really important, if people are to be self confident, and enterprising, and all the rest, that they take a proper pride in their own heritage and history. But having said that, I don't mean that people should get all, kind of, bombastic about it. We, you know, we should know about our history and we should take pride in our culture and all the rest, but not in a way that denigrates somebody else's. That's what happened to us for long enough and we shouldn't start, we shouldn't be, we shouldn't, we should be able to take pride in our culture but also have respect for other people's cultures including, in the Highlands today, respect for the cultures of people who are moving into the Highlands who have no Highland roots but who, I think, we need to make welcome.'


BIOGRAPHY

Professor James Hunter CBE FRSE is director of the Dornoch-based UHI Centre for History, UHI being the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands. The author of eleven books on Highlands and Islands themes, he has also been active in the public life of the region. In the mid-1980s he became the first director of the Scottish Crofters Union, now the Scottish Crofting Foundation. More recently he was chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the north of Scotland's development agency. In the course of a varied career, Jim has also been a journalist and broadcaster. He is presently a board member of Scottish Natural Heritage and chairs SNH's Scientific Advisory Committee.

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Why is it important to study the past? - Jim Hunter

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; studypast;

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, Professor Jim Hunter answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'Why do you think it's important to study the past?' <br /> <br /> 'Well, I think it is important to understand- Well, in, I'm particularly interested in the Highlands, of course, but the same would apply anywhere, I guess, but it's, I don't think you can understand where, why any place is the way it is now, unless you understand how it came to be the way that it is now, and so I think that's extremely important. But, despite being interested in history and reading a lot about it, I'm not, I don't believe that one should, sort of, romanticise the past, and indeed nor do I believe, even though some aspects of the Highland story are pretty, pretty awful, I don't think one should become too sort of gloomy about it. I think it's important to, to, yes, know what happened, and, but as a kind of platform for going forward.<br /> <br /> But I also, I also believe very strongly that in a Highland context that - and I said this, I think, this morning - that for so long people in this area were told that everything about them, their history, their heritage, their language, their culture, everything, was second rate, inferior, of no great account. And I think it's really important, if people are to be self confident, and enterprising, and all the rest, that they take a proper pride in their own heritage and history. But having said that, I don't mean that people should get all, kind of, bombastic about it. We, you know, we should know about our history and we should take pride in our culture and all the rest, but not in a way that denigrates somebody else's. That's what happened to us for long enough and we shouldn't start, we shouldn't be, we shouldn't, we should be able to take pride in our culture but also have respect for other people's cultures including, in the Highlands today, respect for the cultures of people who are moving into the Highlands who have no Highland roots but who, I think, we need to make welcome.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Professor James Hunter CBE FRSE is director of the Dornoch-based UHI Centre for History, UHI being the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands. The author of eleven books on Highlands and Islands themes, he has also been active in the public life of the region. In the mid-1980s he became the first director of the Scottish Crofters Union, now the Scottish Crofting Foundation. More recently he was chairman of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the north of Scotland's development agency. In the course of a varied career, Jim has also been a journalist and broadcaster. He is presently a board member of Scottish Natural Heritage and chairs SNH's Scientific Advisory Committee.