The Hallanshankers are a six-piece band from Glasgow, Scotland, one of Bethlehem’s Twin Cities. They play music for ceilidh, as community parties are known in Scotland. Playing traditional music from Scotland and Ireland, and singing songs old and new, they love to see people getting on their feet and learning new dances with friends, families, neighbors and newcomers.
Like Palestinian dances, Scottish traditional dances are easy to learn and fun to do. You soon find yourself whirling around, laughing as you realize you've learned a new dance in no time at all. Teaching dances is a key part of the ceilidh and every band has a “caller”, who teaches the dances. And there are few better callers than the Hallanshankers’ Craig Smillie. His good-natured invitations, guidance and encouragement are hard to resist.
The Shankers have played across Scotland, and elsewhere in Europe, over many years. They share a belief that people from all backgrounds can find and celebrate their common humanity in the ceilidh. At ceilidhs, they often sing the words of
world-renowned Scots poet, Robert Burns, "for all that and all that, it's coming yet, for all that, that one to one the world over shall brothers (and sisters) be, for all that". For them, Bet Lahem Live is a place where the Palestinian struggle for human rights is expressed as a celebration of our shared humanity.