At a céilidh, a home-based social gathering in the Highlands of Scotland, a young man is asked to follow the custom of sharing a song or a story. He doesn't think he has anything to offer, but then he sets off on an incredible journey across the loch. This is a story of gender fluidity, transformation, and community.
Dr Michael Newton, who holds a Ph.D. in Celtic Studies from the University of Edinburgh. He has written many books and articles about Gaelic culture and history and is a leading authority on Scottish Gaelic heritage in North America.
This story is hundreds of years old, but it invites us to discuss some of the most important (and challenging) issues of today:
- Gender identity and gender fluidity
- Issues of toxic masculinity and why this is particularly important to discuss in relation to Irish- and Scottish-American communities where expectations of “manly men” and military prowess twist both the understanding of history and contemporary culture
- The long legacy of alcoholism and abuse that are part of the Scottish and Irish communities
- The legacy of imperialism and colonialism
Music on the show is by the wonderful Beth Sweeney and Billy Hardy, a Celtic Fiddle and multi-instrumental Duo based on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The traditional Irish reel we play at the start of the show is called The College Groves. Find out about their music and shows at: billyandbeth.com
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