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Showing posts from March, 2019

Why history can help make you happier.

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Why history can help make you happier.
History, in the form of cultural heritage, is a much about the present as the past.Here we argue that the way in which people engage with local history can help to promote community wellbeing – and their own wellbeing along with it.
The reasons for this is that it helps to develop cultural and social capital, it helps to mobilize community members and resources (for example through volunteering) and it helps to create place identity and civic pride. In addition it can help to boost economic prosperity in marginal areas. Here we demonstrate how this happens with reference to two very different rural communities: the Outer Hebrides (a string of islands on the Western coast of Scotland) and Portsoy (an old harbour town on the north coast of Scotland).
In the Outer Hebrides, a series of local history organisations were set up in local settlements to document the links between past and present through people, the crofts they lived in, the land they farm…

Living history on the Western Isles

Living History on the Western Isles
Cultural heritage has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent decades and nowhere more so than on the Western Isles of Scotland.  Starting in the 1980s there was a movement to reclaim the history of “ordinary people” as seen through their own eyes as a counterweight to official accounts of kings and queens, wars and treaties, politicians and aristocrats, that we learn at school.
This approach has a special resonance on the Outer Hebrides where alternative histories live vividly in people’s memories as on-going traditions.For example, the Gaelic language, still spoken by many Islanders,celebrates the landscape and lineages with which it evolved.Place names are evoked as well as long pedigrees embodied in patronymics. Hence, a person known simply as“Donald MacDonald”in English, in Gaelic calls up family histories involvinga long line of the sons of Donald,along with their nicknames.Thus does history infuse everyday communications.
These histories are…