Each year our Christmas party in Costa Rica has a different character and this year 90 of us gathered for a taste of Scotland. There had been a lot of interest expressed in traditional attire and customs so we started at 4 pm with an introduction to Ceilidh dancing using the 3:3:3 method and encouraging many to try out some simple and not-so-simple traditional dances. Lots of fun with us all being reminded how it feels to be a beginner yet just letting go and joining in. We had an international guest, Maarten, from the Vancouver club whose flight arrived just in time to allow him to shower and join in the fun. He was also new to this style of dancing but joined in every one and gave no locals any excuse to sit out. He also modeled “eyes see, hands do” in helping clean up after the party and the next day too, before continuing on his holiday visit.
There was an extensive slide show, traditional music and a small commentary during the informal meal. Costa Rica and Scotland are countries of similar size and population so it was interesting to share some aspects of the differences in lifestyle in the respective lands and to see the impact of images of seasonal changes in weather, flora, and fauna and cultural heritage on perceptions.
We raised funds through the raffle and sale of surplus food for the families in need. Members donated local products (cheeses and coffee) and we even had contributions from other branches—Jane from the USA had donated some jewelry she made. As the evening drew to a close the “water of life” came just in time and was a new taste for most as the wee dram of finest single malt appeared to ease the passage of all homeward.