A crowd of 30-40 Cracovians gathered at Klub Re last night for a reason that may seem unusual in Poland: to celebrate the life and works of Robert Burns, regarded by many as the national poet of Scotland, on the 257th anniversary of his birth.
Burns, who lived just 37 years from 1759 – 1796, is famous for songs and poems such as “A Red, Red Rose,” “Scots Wha Hae,” and “Auld Lang Syne” – the second most sung song in the world after “Happy Birthday to You.”
Traditionally, admirers celebrate annually on or around the bard’s birthday with a supper of haggis, a traditional Scottish dish made from sheep innards and lauded in verse by Burns. Indeed, the attendees at the Re had a chance to try it after it was properly introduced and christened by host David McGirr.
The diverse international crowd, though many perhaps were not being familiar with the writer’s work before, seemed to enjoy the food and the accompanying ceremony and toast. Afterwards, a few of Burns’ poems were even read on stage by a Pole, a Scots-Pole, and an American.
The event was part of David’s regular “Expats & Friends Get Together” held on the last Thursday of every month at various venues around the city and promoted by the Krakow Expats Facebook group.