As normal in the first week of August (and Lúghnasa didn’t pass unnoticed, either, despite my crazy work commitments) a big welcome for the return of the most important cultural festival in Wales, the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru or National Eisteddfod. From WalesOnline:
“The National Eisteddfod will be a “huge boost” to the Welsh language in the Vale of Glamorgan, according to First Minister Carwyn Jones.
“The National Eisteddfod is an important event for us as a nation,” said Mr Jones. “It’s one our finest arts and cultural festivals, and provides us with an opportunity to celebrate our culture, our heritage, and our language. The fact the National Eisteddfod is being held in the Vale will be a huge boost to the Welsh language in the area.”
Mr Jones pointed to growing number of Welsh-medium schools in the Vale as proof of the region’s passion for the native tongue.
He said: “The Welsh language is an important and defining characteristic of Wales. It belongs to all the people of Wales – Welsh speakers and non-Welsh speakers alike.
“The Vale has seen a substantial increase in the number of Welsh speakers in recent years.
“This is largely due to the Welsh-medium education. For example, the percentage of seven-year-olds in Welsh-medium education in the Vale has risen from 10.9% in 2001 to 13.7% in 2011.
Yet he added: “The challenge, however, is to go one step further and provide opportunities for children and young people to enjoy using Welsh outside school. Earlier this year, we launched our new Welsh language strategy – ‘A living language: a language for living’.
“It focuses on helping people to use Welsh in everyday life, including through new technology and social media. The future development and survival of the language will need fresh ideas and must be owned by each and every one of us in Wales.”"
Meanwhile the Independent newspaper carries some equally welcome Glamorgan-related news after a period of electoral misfortunes for Welsh nationalism.
“Labour went down to a landslide defeat against Plaid Cymru in the latest council by-elections.
Plaid’s Ian Johnson triumphed at Buttrills, Vale of Glamorgan County, south Wales, on a huge swing since the main polls just three months ago.
The Labour loss at Vale of Glamorgan follows last week’s defeat by an independent at Stoke-on-Trent…
Plaid Cymru gain from Lab. Swing 12.3% Lab to Plaid Cymru.”
- Arts: National Eisteddfod 2012 is a must-visit, says Elfed Roberts (walesonline.co.uk)
- Independence? What has ‘The Union’ ever done for us?(1) (celynwales.wordpress.com)
- Militant Versus Supplicant (ansionnachfionn.com)