Remembering Scottish bard Robert Burns (Lead, correcting intro)

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) It was no ordinary gathering on Thursday evening at British Council here as the University of Edinburgh and British Council India celebrated “Burns Night Supper”, an event to commemorate Robert Burns, a Scottish poet and lyricist who played a significant role in Scottish culture.

Born on January 25, 1759, Robert Burns is the national poet, or bard, of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide. “He is known as one of the best poets who has written in Scots and English, with his writings often being blunt when it came to political or civil commentary,” British Council India said in a statement.

Sir Timothy O’Shea, Vice Chancellor and Principal, the University of Edinburgh and Alan Gemmell OBE, Director British Council India welcomed the guests to the delightful evening, which was a part of the celebration of the life and poetry of Robert Burns.

The British Council further informed that fans all over the world come together around Burns’ birthday with bagpipes, poetry readings, singing, and feast on traditional Scottish delicacies mainly the haggis, tatties — and drink Scotch whisky.

Timothy O’Shea said: “Burns Night is one of the biggest celebrations in Scottish culture, and this year, we are tremendously pleased to be here in India to celebrate it with our Indian friends and colleagues. The University of Edinburgh’s connections with India stretch back over many centuries and today we are working in partnership across India to address a wide range of challenges.”

“From solar power and water purification technology, to cutting-edge stem cell research, the protection of wildlife, and the improvement of livestock husbandry, our collaborations with institutions across India are a vital part of the University’s global ambitions,” he added.

The celebrations ended with Burns’ haunting “Auld Lang Syne” being sung by the guests, with the memory of the bard who influenced the Scottish culture lingering in the minds of everyone present.

–IANS

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