Sports have always played a significant role in Scottish culture. I often wake up in the early hours of the morning to my parents shouting at the television as they cheer on their home country from Singapore. Recently, Scotland's national football team participated in the European Championship - a football tournament where each country in Europe competes. For each of Scotland's matches, our family woke up at three A.M. and hung the Scottish saltire on the wall, only to be disappointed by their loss (Scotland did not manage to make it out of the knockout stages, losing two games out of three). Despite football being the national sport, Scotland has not qualified for a major tournament since 1998. The fans, however, have never lost hope: they call themselves the 'Tartan Army.' Often tartan-clad, they are one of football's most celebrated fan groups and have won several awards for their friendly behavior and merriment. Although Scottish football fans may be consistently met with disappointment and loss, they never seem to lose hope and pride in their country - as the nation always succeeds in uniting to support a fellow Scotsman. After all, my family has yet to miss a Scotland football match.
I care little for football, but the feeling that you belong to something larger than yourself is the most incredible feeling in the world - that is what makes Scotland unique. This pride, hope, and unity can be reflected in all other aspects of Scottish culture. Their ethereal castles, spectacular scenery, welcoming manner, contributions to society and pop culture give the Scottish people much to be proud of.
I was incredibly blessed to have been born into a Scottish family that will be endlessly proud and supportive of me, just as they are of their home.
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