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UK Government leads Burns Night celebrations around the world

The UK Government will be leading the celebrations of the legacy of Robert Burns this week with a reception at Lancaster House in London and the launch of a new a video showing armed forces personnel and diplomatic staff across the world reciting Burns’ poetry.


Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan will host tonight’s reception, where guests will be welcomed by bagpipes, enjoy a whisky tasting, and listen to Scottish folk singer Katy Thompson, who will perform ‘My Heart is in the Highlands’ and ‘My Love is Like a Red Red Rose’. In addition, Ryan Hunter, 2nd year BA Acting student from at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, will recite Burns’ poem ‘A Mans A Man for A’ That’.

Address to a Haggis

The video shows UK Government staff and Scottish service personnel including Major Jonny Rourke, Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Mackenzie, Bombardier Steven Cunningham and Chief Petty Officer John Boyle reciting Burns’ most famous work, the ‘Address to a Haggis’.

Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell said:

This week the whole country will celebrate the life and work of Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s greatest cultural icons. His works are justly famous right across the globe. From Ayrshire to Atlanta, and from Cumbernauld to Canberra, on Wednesday Burns’ work will be celebrated in homes and Burns societies all over the world.

Burns’ legacy remains relevant around the world, and as someone from Dumfries, Burns has always played an important part in my life. On Burns Night, I will be promoting Scotland’s fine produce at a reception with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. And, of course, toasting the Bard with a wee dram of “guid auld Scotch.

Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan said:

The clue is in the name – my father and many Duncans before us were born and brought up in Wick, Caithness, so I’ll be in my Duncan tartan tonight.

Burns’ enduring global influence demonstrates the impact of Scottish culture around the world and I know that Burns night will be celebrated all over – not just by British troops, embassies, aid workers and expats, but by people from many countries throughout the world. It shows us that Burns’ appeal is as strong as ever.

Published 25 January 2017