A TEACHER from East Kilbride is teaching students in Romania all about St Andrew, Scottish traditions and highlighting Scotland as a “hidden-gem in the UK”.

Ross Woodhouse, 27, is currently living and working in Bucharest teaching English as a foreign language to children and teenagers at The Mayflower Centre which focuses on teaching English, German and French.

One of its main aims is to develop cultural knowledge along with language acquisition.

The school likes to teach the children about cultural events within the UK and St Andrew is also celebrated in Romania so it was “only appropriate to teach the children about him as well”.

According to legend, St Andrew Christianised the territory that is today Romania in the 1st century AD. The legend has been accepted as fact by both the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Romanian state.

In 1997, St Andrews was named the patron saint of Romania while November 30 was made a public holiday in 2012. 
The National: Students learning Auld Lang SyneStudents learning Auld Lang Syne (Image: Ross Woodhouse)

Woodhouse was “amazed” at how many of his students only knew about England and were not aware of other countries in the Union or of the UK. They were not aware of Scottish traditions until being taught by Woodhouse. 

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He said: “The children have really taken to learning about Scotland and they are very enthusiastic about learning more about it.

"They all have different motivations whether that be going to study or work there one day, or just having a general love for the country through the various media they have consumed at home - we get the students to watch authentic content from the United Kingdom.”

The teacher from East Kilbride has also began teaching his students some key Scottish vocabulary and traditions and has even showed them how to cross their hands and sing along to Auld Lang Syne. “They really enjoyed it", he said. 

Woodhouse further commented on the importance of teaching and sharing Scottish traditions on an international level as well as at home: “I think it is important to share Scottish traditions because we have a strong national identity with a rich culture which a lot of people outside of the United Kingdom find incredibly fascinating.

“I also think that more and more people are starting to understand the individuality of the UK countries and that our contribution as Scots is really important.

“My students used to say England when they meant the UK or any of its countries, but now they tell their parents off if they say I’m from England.”

Lorna Slater, Co-Leader of the Scottish Greens shared a St Andrew's Day message.

The MSP said: “What would St Andrew, the traveller and adopted Saint of many nations beyond Scotland, have made of it all?

“Of how the bonds that so often bind us, being used by others to try and keep us apart. Or of how our cacophony of voices, loud and free and true, face being silenced by authoritarian regimes.

“No matter the accent, it is the voices and acts of kindness in these challenging times that we should focus on. In how we help those new to our shores, those born and bred, or simply travelling through.

“From the challenges surrounding the cost of living, to democratic choice; from the climate crisis faced by communities to wondering what is happening hundreds of miles away; we can all help each other by being prepared to listen, to be kind and to use our voice for good.

“So, this St Andrews Day, let's be wise, let’s inspire, let’s listen and let’s choose our words wisely, whatever accent we have."