Scotland is a land of mountains, wild moorlands, narrow valleys and plains. The Highlands of Scotland are among the oldest mountains in the world. The highest of them is Ben Nevis. The lakes of Scotland are called "lochs". The beautiful Loch Lomond with its thirty islands is the largest. One third of the people in Scotland live in or near its capital Edinburgh and its great industrial center Glasgow.
Scotland is a country with the deep national traditions. Scotland is a part of England but Scotland is not England. Scot's laws are different from the English. Scotland has its own administration of government, which is centered in Edinburgh. It has its own national heroes. These heroes fought in endless battles against the England. Scotland has its own national drink, national musical instruments, national dances, songs, poetry, traditions, food and sports, even education and manners.
There is the Old Scotland and the New Scotland. New Scotland is a land of steel and ships, coal and power, of factories and great ports, of modern literature and music.
The Old Scotland is the land of ballads, legendary heroes defending its independence, legendary knights, outlaws, beautiful queens, brave and cruel kings. And the shadow of Old Scotland has its place in the New Scotland.
There is a national dress of Scotland, the kilt. It is the best walking dress yet invented by men: there is up 5 meters of material in it. It is airy, leaves the legs free from climbing: it stands the rain for hours before it gets wet through; it is warm for a cold day and cool for warm one. And what is more, if a highlander is caught in the mountains by night, he has just to unfasten his kilt and wrap it around him. 5 meters of warm wool will help him to sleep comfortably enough at night.
The kilt is only worn by men and it is a relic of the time when the clan system existed in the Scottish Highlands. The clan was like a very large family and everyone had the same family mane like McDonald or McGeorge ("Mac" means the "son of"). The clan had its particular territory and was governed by a chieftain. Each clan had its own tartan which both men and women wore.
Now people can buy tartans ,which are new designed in the shops. They are different from the ones worn by the clans long ago. The old fabrics which were made from local sheep's wool disappeared and the secret of making them is lost. But the machine-making tartans are very popular.
The thistle is a national emblem of Scotland.