Monday, July 2, 2012

My First Tattoo

That is a headline that will have my friends and family reading this blog post.  Yes, I did my first tattoo.

The last day we were in Moncton, New Brunswick, Gary went golfing at the Par 3 course at the campground.  He was playing by himself and came up on a slow threesome that was, in turn, being held back by a very slow foursome in front of them.  Rather than trying to play through two groups, he accepted an offer to join the threesome.  They were from the Atlantic Provinces and upon hearing that we would be moving next to Nova Scotia, they had some travel suggestions for us.  Gary said one guy spoke with a bit of an accent and was somewhat hard to understand, but he had said that we just had to go to a Tattoo – that it was one of the grandest traditions of Nova Scotia.  We had heard of tattooing shows where many tattoo artists would gather at a convention center and perform their tattoo artistry.  It was never something we ever thought we would attend, but if it was a Nova Scotia tradition………….  Gary investigated it a bit.  The Tattoo would just happen to be running for its one and only week of the year in the city of Halifax during the time we would be camping there.  So, off we went.

It seems there are multiple definitions for “tattoo”.  In addition to the definition of “marking a person with an indelible design by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin”, there are also the definitions of “an evening drum or bugle signal recalling soldiers to their quarters” and “an entertainment consisting of music, marching, and the performance of displays and exercises by military personnel”.

My first Tattoo was the latter kind, the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo:

Halifax Nova Scotia

Tattoos are of British heritage.  The most famous Tattoo of the world is held annually in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Nova Scotia is probably the most British of the Canadian Provinces.  After all, Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland.  (But it only became very British after it was very French, and the British ran out all the French, but that is another story).

The Nova Scotia Tattoo is a true spectacle.  We were very fortunate to find out about it and to be able to attend.  There were performance groups from Canada, Estonia, France, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States.  The majority of the performers are military and police troupes.  But they are supplemented by a large contingent of local musicians, singers, and dancers.  And there was also a tribute to Queen Elizabeth on her diamond jubilee of service and memories of the Titanic and War of 1812.



That’s it, I experienced my first tattoo and I can’t imagine that I will ever experience any other kind.

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