Because one of the aims of our ESN section is to immerse the exchange students into the Scottish culture, 25th January is the date we could not miss to organise one of most typical Scottish evenings – the Burns Supper. This is a social gathering with traditional dinner and poetry recitals to remind people and celebrate one of Scottish greatest poets – Robert Burns on the day of his birthday.
Our event took place in the Grosvenor Cafe. At approximately 7pm, the evening started with a piper playing traditional tunes. Then we waited a little while and after a welcoming speech from our lovely secretary a starter was served. There were three options – Scotch broth, Cock-a-Leekie soup or Fishcakes. After the starter was finished and dishes tidied up, the one and only Haggis came out from the kitchen carried on a tray stuffed into a sheep’s stomach while a piper was walking in front of it playing traditional Scottish tunes following the custom.
Address to Haggis was then spoken and the stomach cut. After a few minutes it was served to us in typical combination with neeps and tatties. For non-haggis-lovers the other option was Chicken Balmoral. After the main meal a few Robert Burns’ poems, which had been chosen and printed out in advance, were recited by anyone who wished to read them in exchange for a wee bottle of another Scottish delicacy, whiskey. The last course, a dessert was served. It was either sweet Cranachan, or a selection from Scottish cheese.
Overall, the event was very festive and happening in friendly and talkative atmosphere again, presenting the local culture to the exchange students, following the old well-known “When in Rome ...”