They say never talk about sex, religion and politics. Today we break this unwritten rule as we visit the Scottish Parliament, or at least we learn more about the place where politics takes place.
By Kim Laura Kühne
The Scottish Parliament as we know it nowadays opened its doors in 2004 and was designed by the Spanish architect Enric Miralles in partnership with the local Architecture firm RMJM. It is located across the street from Holyrood Palace and it's really close to Arthur's Seat. Inside the parliament you find a model of the whole parliament, where you can see that it basically looks like a branch growing from the extinct volcano to the parliament. This symbol means that it grows from the country for the people. In and around the parliament you can find a lot of symbols, for example boat-like shapes, which represent the history of Scotland as a maritime nation.
Inside the parliament there are also many forms of the saltire, the cross of the Scottish flag. They all have different forms as it shows a flag waving in the wind. There are many more symbols in and around the parliament, one I want to mention are the amount of windows. It represents that the parliament is transparent and open for everyone. That's why you can visit the Parliament 6 days a week. You can either explore the parliament on your own or book a guided tour. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays sessions are held in the parliament, which you can visit. If you intend to do so, you should book this in advance to make sure you have a seat.
Now that we are inside the Scottish Parliament, a few more things about it. The parliament consists of 129 Members of the Scottish Parliament, MSPs for short. Each MSP is usually a member of a party. At the moment, the following parties are represented in the Scottish Parliament: Scottish National Party (61), Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party (31), Scottish Labour (23), Scottish Green Party (6), Scottish Liberal Democrats (5) and 2 Independents. As you can see, the Scottish National Party is in power at the moment which is lead by Nicola Sturgeon, who is also the current first minister.
Have you ever visited the Scottish Parliament? What do you think about it? Also, let us know more about the parliament in your country. Where is it located? Can you visit it? Which party is in power? We are curious to hear how things work in different places.
Learn vocabulary and expressions while you communicate in English! Please feel free to comment on our posts or ask any questions