MaDaI - Interkulturelles Training

A chinese girl in Glasgow


My name is Lan Lu and I’m originally from Guiyang, a city in southwest of China. I studied in Shanghai before moving to Glasgow in 2010 where I lived for two years. Now I’m living in the Netherlands. I enjoyed myself in Glasgow, although it was difficult at the start, and I would like to share some of my impressions and experiences of Scotland.
If you want to have a brief idea about Scotland, I would suggest watching a movie “Brave Heart”. The countryside is beautifully presented and, if you watch it a second time, you will appreciate some of the cultural background which prevails between England and Scotland (This is not a good subject for conversation in a Glasgow pub!). Do be aware though, that historically, the film is not so exact! Nevertheless, many Chinese become familiar with Scotland by watching just this film. William Wallace is one of Scotland's national heroes and there is a Wallace Monument located in Stirling. Scotland is known, worldwide, for its appalling weather, which is actually not so bad, and for golf (St. Andrews) and for its whisky (Scotch)…which you have to taste to have an opinion!
After I arrived in Glasgow and had my initial “look around” I understood why Golf was developed in Scotland – it is a natural golf course – a large amount of ground is naturally full of luscious green grass almost all year long! Thanks to the (relatively) warm and very wet climate. After living in Scotland for two years, I appreciate sunny weather much more than ever!
Glasgow is cold but the people are very friendly; in the first instance, Scots are exceptionally friendly. They help you as they do to their friends and family. This is what I liked and miss most since I left Glasgow. If one asks (as an obvious foreigner) whether a Scot speaks English, the answer is always yes but Scottish people have their own accent which is not so easy to understand for non-English speaking foreigners. It is worth mentioning that the “best” English” is purported to be spoken on the east coast of Scotland around Inverness! Gaelic is still spoken in some areas and the local dialect is sometimes even difficult for other Scots! After I became a little more accustomed to the local dialect, I started to learn some special words; my favourite one is “wee” which means little, tiny, small. I use it all the time since I learned it! Another interesting and very often used word is “Aye”. It means yes, really yes, and not to be confused with the Japanese “Hai”. I hope these two wee words will help you understand a wee better of Scots when you visit Scotland!
If you intend to visit Glasgow, I definitely recommend you to visit the west end. There are very beautiful parks, museums, restaurants and pubs. It’s always very crowded at the weekend, especially on a sunny day. Everyone just sits or lies on the grass in the parks enjoying the unusual sunshine.
I started to learn to drive a car in Glasgow and then we moved to Eindhoven, I have some experiences about the similarity and differences between learning to drive in Scottland and the Netherlands, and indeed between driving in Europe and in China but that is a story for another day!
Last, but not the least, here in Holland, I do miss quality of the meat which we could buy in Scotland – beef, lamb and pork as well as e.g. venison. The quality was generally so good that a complicated preparation was not necessary. There is an open market on every second and fourth Saturday in Glasgow’s west end where the local farmers sell various foods from their own farm.

 Marchese Daniela - Ma.Da.I

     Intercultural Management