Edinburgh’s voice will be heard


Credit to Edinburgh Hogmanay.jpeg

Picture of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in Princes Street Gardens, 31st December 2017. Photo credit to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.


Edinburgh is loud.

The cobbled streets are bustling with people from around the globe. A variety of voices, in a mixture of languages, merge together to create a hum unique to the city. The roads are often nose-to-tail with traffic, and the odd horn may sound, and the trams add their own buzz.

But Edinburgh is not just a city of constant sound; Scotland’s capital is also a voice in itself.

The voice does not come from one person’s mouth, it is not a voice in the regular sense, but Edinburgh is often personified by the voices all the people who call the city their home, those who bring the capital to life.

Credit to Edinburgh Hogmanay

Picture of candlelit procession in central Edinburgh, December 31st 2017. Photo credit to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

What matters to the city’s occupants is known, as it is encouraged that these issues and thoughts are openly discussed. This might not be possible in the form of a dialogue, rather they are declared through rallies, festivals, protests… Although these events are held across the country, often about the same topics, Edinburgh is often seen as the birthplace of these aspirations.

Of course, if a political matter is being protested, being outside the Scottish Parliament is a must. Just recently, tens of thousands of Scots marched through the streets, painting the streets blue, with demands of having a second vote on Scottish independence. As marchers chanted the familiar “what do we want? when do we want it?” tune, and banners with slogans like “down with London rule”, it was difficult to miss the protest.

There was no hiding what these demonstrators wanted. Although Edinburgh did not buck this trend in 2014 when the “no” votes won by 61.10%, the flame still seemed alight in Edinburgh on October 6th. It could be said that this change of opinion followed the results of the 2016 EU-referendum when 74.4% of the City of Edinburgh voters advocated for the Remain campaign. The aftermath of the referendum result made it obvious that there were people in Scotland who felt they had no voice. Some felt they were powerless and were now unwillingly being separated from their beloved continent.

This year, to ring in the New Year, Edinburgh will be expressing Scotland’s love for Europe. The city has been planning how to best celebrate its European links. Performers from Germany, France, and Spain will be at the centre stage to highlight the beauty of international connection through art. At this time, so close to Brexit, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s choice to show Europe a little love might be seen as controversial by the rest of the UK.

Credit to Ediburgh Hogmanay

Picture of fire performer in central Edinburgh, December 31st 2017. Photo credit to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, who are the directors of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is all about inviting the world to come on in and celebrate the end of one year and the start of a new and as we move from 2018 to 2019, there’s no better time to celebrate Scotland’s cultural ties with Europe.”

As the only country in the UK to have all regions vote against leaving the EU, Scotland clearly wanted to keep the current links with Europe. So much so, that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently said the country could “reaffirm its vote to remain in the EU” if

SNP’s MPs backed a second referendum. (Of course, this did tie into her party’s goal of Scotland’s independence.) Yet, although Northern Ireland also voted to remain in the EU, there were areas that chose to leave. Both England and Wales saw the majority vote to leave the EU.

But Edinburgh will not be dissuaded. Its voice will be heard. Edinburgh’s celebrations will without a doubt show that leaving the European Union is against Scotland’s wishes.

Even though the country’s Hogmanay will be bright and full of cheer, there will be much more behind the celebration. Maybe it will be a show put on by a European performer, or it might be a love letter to Europe projected on to one of the capital’s landmarks, but it will be seen.

Edinburgh, as Scotland’s voice, will be heard.

And the country’s love for Europe will not be questioned.

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