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Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru – Oireachtas Náisiúnta na Breataine Bige

The people of Wales have been marking the celebration of their native language and culture in this year’s Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru or the National Eisteddfod of Wales. For the last week festivities focusing on literature, poetry, art and music have been held in Wrecsam (Wrexham) with nearly 150,000 people in attendance. As the BBC reports:

‘Organisers of the National Eisteddfod say they will look back on the Wrexham event with “pride and happy memories”.

Attendance figures for the final day of 18,151 were up 4,500 on the final day in Ebbw Vale in 2010.

Total attendances across the week were more than 9% higher at 149,692.

Aled Roberts, chair of the local executive committee for the Wrexham event said: “It has been a very happy week here in Wrexham, and we have been very lucky with the weather most days.”

He added: “It was great to see a winner in all the main ceremonies during the week – and all of these winning for the first time, and all these winners and their stories have added to the friendly atmosphere of the week.”

Mr Roberts said 4,500 local people took advantage of a buy-one-get-one free scheme at the start of the week and he was “delighted” so many local people attended with a number returning during the week.’

The very positive media coverage of the Eisteddfod has not been matched of course in England’s Britain’s national (and nationalist) media. From the right-wing Express:

‘THE BBC sent more than 200 staff to cover the National Eisteddfod of Wales, a bigger team than was dispatched to Wimbledon.

Despite being in the midst of major cost-cutting, the corporation sent 238 people to cover the singing and cultural festival which ended yesterday.

The figure was revealed as the broadcaster slashed other services, including coverage of Formula 1 motor racing, in an attempt to find savings of at least 25 per cent.

The resources used to report the week-long festival from the Maes in Wrexham, north Wales, rank it alongside the BBC’s other main outside broadcasting operations.

Figures for 2010 show that the corporation sent 185 staff to the Wimbledon tennis tournament, which was watched by 29.3 million people, 274 to the Glastonbury music festival and 292 to the World Cup.’

Horror of horrors. The BBC expending the same sort of resources on the national festival of Wales as on England’s Britain’s holy of holies, tennis at Wimbledon. No mention of the millions spent by the BBC on a recent royal jamboree by the Express hacks of course but hey, that’s a celebration of English British culture: that’s different.

But there is a reply:

‘John Osmond, director of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, insisted that the number of BBC staff involved should be seen in the context of the cultural importance of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

He added: “There’s nowhere else in the European Union that holds an event of this size, range and scope, and certainly not in relation to a minority language.”’

On a side-note check out the web presence of BBC Cymru. The webpage of a media company serving a Celtic nation in a Celtic language. Then have a look at RTÉ in our free and independent Celtic nation. Pathetic.

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