Published: December 13, 2006

My-land dress

Here’s a thing: if Breton pipe bands can compete at the World’s wearing their national costume, and Pakistani bands can wear the yellow and red satin tunic and trousers, and Spanish pipe bands are allowed to wear the ornate ensemble of their homeland, why do New Zealand, Australian and Canadian bands have to wear the cultural dress of the Scots?

Shouldn’t Canadian bands be able to wear toques, Hudson’s Bay coats, and boots from Roots?

Shouldn’t bands from the United States be allowed to compete wearing the uniform of middle-America: Dockers, Oxford shirts and tasseled loafers?

Given the Ali G. / Borat analogy below being at least partly true, then New World non-Scots bands wedging themselves into Scotland’s ethnic dress – while Old World bands are allowed to play Scottish bagpipes, drums and music in their national attire – is even stranger.

I say New World pipe bands are allowed to compete in Scotland wearing blue jeans, t-shirts, baseball caps and Nike training shoes. What sort of inter-continental discrimination is this?

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