Thursday, 22 January 2009

A Homecoming Burns Night

The Homecoming is coming! What is the Year of Homecoming? Set up by former First Minister Jack McConnell, it was decided to make 2009 - the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns' birthday - as a Year of Homecoming. A call would go out to global expats and people with 'affinity' to Scotland, calling them to come back home or, at least, to visit. The concept would revolve around five main themes - Burns, golf, whisky, inventions, and ancestry. Thousands of events scheduled between Burns night (25th January) and St Andrew's Day (30th November) have come under the Homecoming umbrella - some around the five main themes, though most are events that were happening anyway (like football's Scottish Cup).

Completely by chance, the timing of the Year of Homecoming could not be better. With the plummeting value of the pound and poor prospects in 2009 for the UK economy, there is no doubt that hopes for any bright spots this year are being pinned on tourism. So it is a happy coincidence that the government has been thinking for the last couple of years about bringing more visitors than usual to Scotland.

I too have been thinking about this coming year - I've even written a tune for it. So on Burns Night I will publish a poem about expats. Tune in to read it!

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