Saturday, 14th July, 2012.

A Proper Celebration!

     Up in The-County-Formally-Known as Cardiganshire, a big celebration started last night and tonight threatens to be even bigger.

It’s half-a-century since Cymdeithas-yr-Iath was set up to protect a promote the ancient language.   And those who’ve been involved in its work along the way still find it an uphill struggle.

Yes, of course, there have been – and still are – some fanatics who blame the demise of the Welsh language on every English person they come across.   But, in the main, the people of Wales are so kind when they encounter a learner such as I.

Indeed, it’s difficult to stop Welsh speakers from switching into English to be polite to me as I struggle along!

I’m grateful for the help I’ve had – and still am receiving – from ordinary, everyday folk.   Many other learners feel the same.

The Welsh language – we call it “Cymraeg” – is important in many ways.   It serves to make Wales more Welsh, for example, and that’s a bonus when it comes to our tourist industry:  visitors appreciate that they have come to somewhere which is “different”.   And Wales is certainly that!

Another – perhaps more important – point is that Cymraeg is not English.

That means that we are less easy to be manipulated and brainwashed by Mother England – and the US of A (which uses a form of English).   We are a nation:  a nation which needs to show its separate identity.

I know that most of our people are not, yet, Welsh speakers.   That should not stop them from doing as I – an incomer – and have a go at learning Cymraeg.

If you, dear reader, have never tried to learn the ancient and beautiful language, go on – have a try!

Much Ado About . . . Something

     Much is being made right across Wales about S4C being very deeply in the red.   And, being first-language English (or a form thereof), I’ve been approached by several incomers who say something like:  “If we can waste tax-payers’ money on keeping S4C going for a minority audience, we must have money to burn.”

Needless to say, most of those talking in those terms are the self-unemployed folk who’ve drifted in to our more rural areas where, they believe, there are no jobs and they can hobble (work and not declare it) to their hearts’ content.

There was much in the news this week about the BBC World Service leaving Bush House, where it’s been based since 1941, and relocated in Broadcasting House.   Both of these places are, you will note, in London, England.

Throughout its life, the World Service has broadcast in many languages to many lands across the globe.   Those broadcasts have been paid for by the tax-payers of what is now called the United Kingdom.

And none of the folk complaining about S4C being funded in the same way ever mention the World Service broadcasts.

Final Plug

     You may have been swayed by my first item to head to Ceredigion (that’s what it’s called these days) and join in tonight’s celebration of Cymdeithas-yr-Iath and Cymraeg, the Welsh language.

The location is at the largest concert-hall in Mid-Wales:  Y Pafiliwn in a little village called Pontrhydfendigaid.   The locals are a friendly bunch, there’s a Village Shop and two pubs.   And the bands and solo-performers are the cream of Wales.

What more could one wish for?   See you there tonight!

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About Archie Lowe

Though not born in Wales, I have lived and worked here for many years now. I love the place and love that mercurial thing "Welshness". I have been accused of being "a Taffophile" - which is pretty near the truth. The question I ask whenever some idea comes up for the whole of the UK is: "What's in it for Wales". I believe in an independent Wales and am so pleased that our Assembly is a big step on that road.
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