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Dydd Gwyl Dewi / Saint David's Day - Helen's journal and online home
In which an old dog attempts to learn new tricks.
Dydd Gwyl Dewi / Saint David's Day
We didn't actually have the AS-level maths class last night because only one other student turned up. This was partly due to the fact that we'd had to change the night because G had to go to a meeting in Bangor on our usual Tuesday night.

Anyway, while we were waiting around in the construction department to see who would turn up, we discovered that they had all sorts of activities planned for today. Firstly it is World Book Day as well as Saint David's day, so there was a display of Welsh books I could browse while waiting. :) One by Bethan Gwanas looked interesting, called Gwrach y Gwyllt it seems to be based on a local legend about a witch. As I wrote a short story based on the same legend (didn't sell), I couldn't resist ordering it as soon as I got home. I'm interested to see what she has done with it.

Secondly, they were doing their own version of Gareth Malone's "Choir" project by getting someone to come in and get the construction lads singing. They didn't do too badly. Here they are on Youtube singing the Welsh national anthem.

[Cross-posted from Dreamwidth by way of a backup http://heleninwales.dreamwidth.org/33066.html. If you want to leave a comment, please use whichever site you find most convenient. Comments so far: comment count unavailable.]

Current Mood: amused amused

10 comments or Leave a comment
veronica_milvus From: veronica_milvus Date: March 1st, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
Gareth would be proud!
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: March 1st, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Indeed! I hope his programmes have genuinely done something to revive choral singing amongst people of all ages because I really enjoyed it at school. In fact it was one of the few things I did enjoy about school.
From: cmcmck Date: March 1st, 2012 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I speak fluent French and some Italian, but given the rest of my background, I really ought to try learning some Breton, Rom or Yiddish!

My SiL is Welsh. She's a Taff haling from Newbridge and another mining family like ours and she's anglophone (it always interests me to see the Welsh grammatical structures at work in Wenglish.

Our old folkie friend Jerry the bus must be the only tone deaf Welshman in captivity! :o)

heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: March 1st, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Breton is not unlike Welsh. It's sort of like Welsh with a French accent. :) I remember putting my foot in it once at school when I asked one of the Jewish girls who had said something about language lessons if she was learning Yiddish. "Hebrew!" she replied haughtily. And yet there was a very interesting radio programme about a man who had rescued books and documents in Yiddish which gave a valuable insight into the history of Jews in Germany, so to lose Yiddish is to lose access to all that.

Why does language always have to be so complicated?
From: cmcmck Date: March 1st, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
That part of my family was Latvian Jewish so it would have been Yiddish.
sartorias From: sartorias Date: March 1st, 2012 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: March 1st, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
For young men learning to be bricklayers and carpenters, they didn't do too badly. :)
blackberry44 From: blackberry44 Date: March 1st, 2012 10:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved that.

I don't know why it is, because I am not Welsh and I don't understand the words, but that always makes me cry.
rymrytr From: rymrytr Date: March 2nd, 2012 06:19 am (UTC) (Link)

I didn't understand a single word, but I did hear their Patriotism, their pride and that made long for a "family" and a need to hug someone!

Although it is said that there is Welsh in my heritage, the name Rice (rhys), may also be what the uneducated ear of the Ellis Island official heard when an immigrant said "Royce" in a cockney like, accent.

I can't establish that part of the family any better than I can, the American Indian or the one Jewish G G Grandmother Issacks. The only direct link that is not in question is the 1846 arrival of the Kahler (Koehler) group from Bavaria & Grandfather Payne from Ireland. Then there is the Wise group, the Wisdom group and G G Grandfather Davison, from ???

So, I'm proud to say that I am American born, from the State of Oregon! :o)
heleninwales From: heleninwales Date: March 2nd, 2012 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Here is a fairly literal translation of the first verse and chorus. There are other translations that have been made regular so the song can be sung in English, but that usually involves some changes to the meaning.

Mae hen wlad fy nhadau / The old land of my fathers

The old land of my fathers is dear to me,
Land of bards and singers, famous men of renown;
Her brave warriors, very splendid patriots,
Shed their blood for freedom .

Wales, Wales, I am faithful to my country.
While the sea remains a wall to the pure, most loved land,
O may the old language [ie Welsh] endure.

Regarding your ancestry, it seems to me that it is splendidly American because it represents all the diverse people that went to make up such a dynamic country. :)
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