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Life around the world

The kilt

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Whenever people from Scotland live in foreign countries, there is one thing that people always ask them: 'Oh, is Scotland that place where the men wear skirts?' The short answer is yes. This blog post, however, will try to explain the longer answer.

The 'skirt' that Scottish men sometimes wear is called a kilt. It is part of the traditional dress of Scotland. The kilt is clearly very famous across the world. It seems that everybody has heard of it, and that most people have seen a picture of a man wearing one.

People’s knowledge and ideas about Scotsmen wearing these funny kilts comes from films and television. Every time people from other countries ask about the kilt, they mention Mel Gibson’s film, Braveheart. In many countries, there are documentaries on television about the United Kingdom and, often more specifically, about Scotland. These programmes always include information or images of men in kilts.

Of course, in Scotland, you will often see the kilt. The reality is, though, that you will most commonly see it in tourist areas. The main streets and tourist areas of Scotland unfailingly have a Scotsman wearing a kilt (and usually playing the bagpipes) and all tourist shops in the country will sell kilts in a variety of different colours.

The reality is, though, that kilts are not something that Scottish people usually see every day. Kilts are for special occasions, such as weddings, funerals and other big and important events, such as university graduation or school proms. Scotsmen do not put on their kilt just to buy a bottle of milk and a loaf of bread at the local supermarket.

The reason for this may be that kilts are very expensive. When a man wears a kilt, he normally wears it with a special shirt, jacket, bow tie, socks and shoes. This is obviously not cheap. In fact, a quick Google search, suggests that an average kilt outfit costs around £500.

The final thing to mention about kilts is the most famous myth of all; many people around the world believe that Scotsmen do not wear underwear underneath their kilt (as was seen in Braveheart). Of course, every man is different. If you ever meet a man wearing a kilt and want to know if he is wearing underwear, there is only one way to find out; ask him.


What traditional clothes exist in your own country? Do you know of other cultures where men or women wear very traditional clothes for special occasions?


irinamozol's picture
irinamozol 15 September, 2015 - 15:44

Hi, I'm from Ukraine!
in my country is the traditional dress
This embroidery. It looks good when many people wear embroidery)

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AndriiS's picture
AndriiS 15 September, 2015 - 15:20

I am from Ukraine and our culture is very rich, including clothing. The symbol of our clothes are "vyshivanka". this is a shirt embroidered with colorful threads. I know a lot of people's clothes of different nations of the world, such as Asia.

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JuliaGlu's picture
JuliaGlu 15 September, 2015 - 13:48

Our traditional clothes is "Vishivanka". It's a beautiful blouse with embroidery.
And unfortunately I don't know about national clothes in other countries.

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Coke's picture
Coke 19 December, 2014 - 20:09

In my country a traditional clothes is "Ie". It's white with different models on it and handmade. It can be wear by womens at proms, weddings and national holidays. "Ie" is confortable to wear. Lots of people buy it because it's traditionally.

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cklj's picture
cklj 6 August, 2014 - 17:23

In my country all traditional clothes have one name. They are called "nosija". There are different types of traditional clothes that come from different parts of my country. Every traditional clothing usually has the same parts. There are also some traditional clothes that have more parts than others. They are decorated with coins and were worn on some special occasions. They also weight a lot. Macedonian traditional clothes are white, red and black. The black colour symbolizes the pain of the Macedonian people and the red coluor symbolizes the blood. I have worn traditional clothes many times, because I'm a member of a folk ensemble from Skopje.
In Macedonia there is a village named Galicnik where every year in summer, on St. Peter's Day, occurs a big traditional wedding. The wedding is called "Galicka svadba". The groom and the bride have to be selected first because many people want their wedding to be in that style. There are also special preparations for the wedding and everyone who wants to participate needs to wear a traditional clothes. The wedding lasts more than one day and it's spectacular. People from all the cities in Macedonia go to Galicnik to see the famous wedding.

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venkatgade10's picture
venkatgade10 31 July, 2014 - 22:41

In my country you can find wide variety of traditional dresses, Most of the people wore white shirt and pant in north area during festive days, Especially girls wear traditional dress its called saree, If you see in south its entirely different than north, people wear pancha and white shirt with red color spot on forehead as it represents the devotion towards God. I know some other cultures where jewelry can be used widely during festivals days,

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aktoty_nis's picture
aktoty_nis 25 July, 2014 - 12:36

I'm From Kazakhstan. There are lots of traditional clothers in Kazakhstan. For example "Shapan" for old men and "Comzol' for old women. They look like a jacket. Also we have 'SAUKELE' for young bride . It is special headress . Bride wears it at her wedding. And there are other amazing traditional clothers here . We wear all of them in special events too!

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yuumj's picture
yuumj 18 July, 2014 - 03:55

I come from Viet Nam. My country has traditional clothes. It's called "Ao Dai". The "Ao Dai' can be wore by both man and woman in special occasions such as Wedding, Festival... It can also be used as a uniform for teacher, air hostess, high school girl, etc... Although it is very beautiful but I don't like dress it much because it make me difficulty to riding bike to school.

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