Cultural ties on show in Scottish Parliament

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by Rona Mackay

Nationalist MSPs are set to show their cultural and linguistic ties today (Wednesday) as they take their seats in Holyrood. Alongside English, SNP MSPs will use Urdu, Gaelic, Scots, Italian and Doric to take their oaths or affirmations.

Newly elected Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf will take the the oath in Urdu and English, reflecting his Scottish-Pakistani identity.  He will also wear a traditional Indian garment called a sherwani with a tartan plaid – fusing the two cultures together.

MSPs with Highlands and Islands constituencies Rob Gibson, Dave Thompson, Michael Russell and Alasdair Allan will all use Gaelic as will list MSP John Finnie with Michael Russell and Dave Thompson also using Scots.

Aberdeen South and North Kincardine MSP Maureen Watt will deliver her oath in English and Doric as will newly elected North East MSP Mark McDonald. Edinburgh Central MSP Marco Biagi is to take his affirmation in English and Italian.

SNP Group Convener Gil Paterson said: “We have a wide range of cultures, roots and linguistic ties in this 69 strong group of SNP MSPs and as our MSPs take their seats they are highlighting just some of the different cultures the SNP represents across Scotland.”

Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf said: “I’m proud like many in Scotland of my Scottish – Pakistani identity and by taking the oath in Urdu and English and mixing traditional dress from both cultures I hope to take a further step toward cementing the Scottish-Pakistani identity in Parliament.”

The Doric oath to be used by Maureen Watt is: “I depone aat I wull be leal and bear ae full alleadgance tae her majesty Queen Elizabeth her airs an ony fa come aifter her anent the law. Sae help me God.”

And the Gaelic Oath to be given by Alasdair Allan is: “Tha mise a’ mionnachadh gum bi mi dìleas agus fìor umhail do a Mòrachd a’ Bhànrigh Ealasaid, a h-oighreachan agus a tànaistean, a-rèir an lagh, mar sin cuidich mi a Dhè.”