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Chamber and committees

Recognising International Mother Tongue Day and "A Sonsie Face"

  • Submitted by: Clare Adamson, Motherwell and Wishaw, Scottish National Party.
  • Date lodged: Tuesday, 01 March 2022
  • Motion reference: S6M-03245

That the Parliament recognises International Mother Tongue day, which took place on 21 February 2022; further recognises the artwork by the Flying Haggis, commissioned by the University of Glasgow’s Centre for Robert Burns Studies to mark the end of a two-year project researching the history of Burns suppers and mapping these events in the 21st century; understands that over 350 "sonsie faces" and several selfies of "great chieftains o the puddin'-race" were submitted, with 30 to 40 being superimposed onto the 21st Century Burn’s Supper Collage; understands that Professor Gerard Carruthers, co-director of the Centre for Robert Burns Studies, reportedly estimates that over 9.5 million people around the world take part in a Burns supper every year; recognises what it sees as the importance of promoting linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism; notes that autocorrect does not allow for mother tongue words, quotes or sayings, which, it understands, reportedly led to Ruth Wishart’s temporary public ban on social media after she initially called musician Curtis Stigers' wee dug a "sonsie laddie" only for autocorrect to amend this to "so die laddie"; considers it fortunate that autocorrect was not present when Burns sent his poem to the Glasgow Courier in 1795, and that otherwise the entire work of Burns could have been a costly ban for Scotland; notes the findings of a report by Professor Murray Pittock, commissioned by the Scottish Government, which, it understands, showed that Scotland’s national bard, Robert Burns, is worth just over £200 million a year to the Scottish economy and that the poet’s brand is worth nearly £140 million annually; understands that Burns Night alone, on 25 January, represents a turnover of £11 million in Scotland and that the demand for haggis has increased six fold; welcomes that haggis makers have created new recipes to cater for the 21st century palate; believes that, as a result, "some hae meat and canna eat and some wad eat that want it, but we now hae meat, gluten free and vegetarian haggis and can now all eat and say the lord be thankit"; notes that the Scots Mother tongue still flows freely from the mouths of children and adults alike, all thanks, it believes, to Robert Burns, and wishes Stanley a happy first birthday with "his wee sonsie face a' aw".

Supported by: Karen Adam, Colin Beattie, Miles Briggs, Stephanie Callaghan, Bob Doris, Annabelle Ewing, Joe FitzPatrick, Pam Gosal, Christine Grahame, Bill Kidd, Rona Mackay, Ruth Maguire, John Mason, Stuart McMillan, Kaukab Stewart, Michelle Thomson, David Torrance, Evelyn Tweed