The 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony was Scottish humor at its best. The problem is that many nations would have no idea what the elements really meant and just why there was a traffic cone on the top of a statue. Even some of the English, Welsh, Northern Irish and others from the United Kingdom would have no idea jokes. It’s worth explaining some of the major ones.
The first is the traffic cone on the top of the statue. Many will have seen the bright orange and white cone standing out from the darkness of the statue of the Duke of Wellington that stands on Queen’s Street very close to George Square. People continually place a cone on the top of the head, despite the council attempting to stop it from happening. It seems the officials have finally given up and now the Duke of Wellington will hardly be seen without the cone.
One of the jokes mentioned was that about the Scottish weather, with John Barrowman suggesting people never leave home without an umbrella. The country is notorious for its cold and wet climate. The people of Scotland often joke that they receive two days of summer and that is all. The further north someone travels, the worse the weather will get considering just how close to the North Pole some of the islands get.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony really was Scottish humor at its best. Some of the humor had elements that people in other parts of the U.K. would understand, such as the reference to Gretna Green. This is an area close to the border to England, and is a place for many couples to elope. There is no need for 16 and 17 year olds to have parental consent to marry in Scotland, which is a requirement in England.
The Tunnocks tea cakes were another element that others in the U.K. would understand. There were a few dancers dressed up as the sweet treats, which are just biscuit topped with jam and marshmallow and then covered in chocolate. They are a favorite for many in various parts of the United Kingdom. Irn Bru was also spotted closer to the end of the performance, which is a popular drink in the country. In fact, many of the drinks’ adverts make it clear that a few sips make any situation perfectly fine to deal with.
Shortly after the joke about the Scottish weather, the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony had a large worm-like creature dressed in tartan. Barrowman called the creature Nessie, which is the nickname given to the Loch Ness Monster. This is a creature like the Sasquatch and Yeti in terms of being mythical, but one that has tourists and locals visiting Loch Ness in the hopes of spotting.
Another mention was the hairy cows, which are popular all around Scotland but especially in the Western Isles. While many in other parts of the world may have heard of the creatures, only those in or who have visited Scotland will likely have seen them. One thing that Barrowman missed was naming that “hairy coos” instead of “cows.”
The Opening Ceremony did have some people complaining. It was tongue-in-cheek and joked about the Scottish sights and heritage. However, the 2014 Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony was Scottish humor at its best.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham