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Scots in Manitoba await results of independence referendum
Published Thursday, September 18, 2014 4:41PM CST Last Updated Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:00PM CST
Is it the end of era or the beginning of a new one? From the United Kingdom to Manitoba, Scots around the around world are glued to television sets as Scotland heads to the polls in an historic referendum – Should Scotland be an independent country?
Piper Evan Maydaniuk plays with passion, yet has no Scottish blood or ancestry. Despite sporting the proud MacLeod tartan, his background is Ukrainian.
"I think it's awesome. I love learning new cultures and I've kinda taken this one on as my own, so I think I'm a Scot, at heart," he said.
Maydaniuk said Scotland differs so much from England, he supports the "Yes" campaign.
"I've always seen Scotland has its own identity and such as strong culture. It makes for it to be a different entity altogether, in my opinion.”
But Manitobans with Scottish heritage don't all agree with the piper.
Tony Grogan grew up in Scotland. He says Scotland separating could be a devastating end to a 300-year-old political and economic partnership.
"I would mark 'No,'" he said. "I am very patriotic Scottish. In my heart, I would like to see Scotland on its own, but honestly, I do not see any way Scotland can manage on its own."
Grogan is frustrated expats haven't been allowed to cast a ballot in the referendum, so all he can do is watch and wait. According to the St. Andrews Society of Winnipeg, about one third of Manitobans have some Scottish ancestry.
In Scotland, more than 4.2 million people had registered to vote, 97 per cent of those eligible, including residents as young as 16 years old.
The polls have closed and vote counting is underway. The final result on the independence vote is expected sometime around midnight in Manitoba.