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It is human nature to long to belong, to fit neatly and comfortably into a familiar niche. It allows for a foundation, on which to build upon. It often nurtures us, but sometimes, as our ever static identities develop, we surpass it. We out grow it. It is when we are sheltered and content, that the prospect of leaving or letting go is most difficult, as we must uproot ourselves. In order to keep our roots, which are so deeply buried in our foundation, we simulate our previous, traditional landscapes, in order to keep them alive.
Through language, tradition and others, we can partially re-create traditional landscapes. As immigrants of the same nationally huddle together in a suburb-an island of familiarity in a sea of strangeness- in the hope that it might be something like is was before.
Some wish to keep their cultures and traditions sacred and unaltered by ‘treasuring’…’the recent past’, simultaneously blinding themselves from being open to new traditions; as in the case of Old James.
This leaves him to feel isolated, having no place to re establish his roots, stifling further growth. Old James is malcontented that Young James, disparate from his family, will not settle his roots in Ettrick Valley; ‘go[ing] on and not remember[ing] a thing of Scotland’. Young James, and those who follow him will have not emotional affiliation with Scotland, simply, knowing that it is the place of his ancestors orirgons. Like many others, tradition and culture of those gone before is lost, only to forge new ones, and a new foundation and a different sense of belonging.
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