April 8th, 2014 / posted by paularath

Island style, kilt with aloha shirt, interpreted by Ron McPherson, who loves his kilt and wears it every chance he gets.

Jerry and I have been immersed in the Scottish Highlands for the past few months because we’ve been Netflixing “Monarch of the Glen,” a BCC Scotland TV series that’s about ten years old. We love the innocence of the show, as well as the beautiful setting on a loch in the Highlands.

The show is about a fictional estate called Glenbogle that’s struggling to survive in modern times. It is filled with humanity and humor (and sometimes over the top behavior from the assistant gillie, Duncan, who helps run the estate and is never seen wearing anything but a kilt).

That said, it made sense that I would want to go to the Scottish Festival last weekend at McCoy Pavilion. As if the buffed men in kilts competing in Highland Games wasn’t enough, there was a lovely dance contest for the wee lassies, great Celtic music, scones with home made jam and of course, beer and scotch.

Slippahs with his kilt and a clan T-shirt with his tam.

But my favorite thing was to check out how our local Scots interpret their “native attire.” Kilt and slippahs anyone? Or a kilt with an aloha shirt? How about wee girls in diaphanous dancing costumes who take off their gillies (another meaning of the word is dancing shoes) as soon as they leave the stage?

The dancing girls wore gillies, the traditional lace-up dance shoes I am crazy about. I wore a pair of red gillies for an entire year when I went around the world.


During the Highland Games, the guys have to toss a heavy stone with a stick attached as far as they can fling it.

Watch my blog for a story on palaka, the Hawaii version of plaid or tartan.

– Paula Rath

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