Why the National Eisteddfod matters to everyone

By Mick O'Reilly   |   Editor   |
Saturday 6th August 2022 11:00 am
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Eisteddfod Ceredigion 2022 Tregaron
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RIGHT now in Tregaron, thousands of people from every corner of this country of Wales, have gathered to celebrate all things Welsh.

This national cultural gathering had been postponed because of coronavirus, and judging by the enthusiasm with which houses and streets, fields and communities, villages and towns have been bedecked in bunting and greetings, signboards and other forms of greetings, shows that our love for the week-long event is as strong as ever.

The importance of the Welsh language in spoken and written forms, in literature and poetry, in song and story, cannot be understated.

Celebrating our musical heritage in our national tongue is vital in creating a strong national identity. Any event or movement that celebrates and promotes Welsh needs to be encouraged.

In Birmingham, our Welsh athletes and cyclists, swimmers and sportspeople from most disciplines are participating in the Commonwealth Games.

The medals keep coming — a reminder of the abilities and skills nurtured in this land. It may be small but there’s a competitive fire that sees our Welsh sporting heroes outperform others from lands far richer and bigger than ours.

Both the Eisteddfod and the Birmingham games are reasons to celebrate our Welshness. Alas, however, it appears as if the only thing that matters to London-based broadcasters are the performance of England’s female footballers. Maybe the BBC director general is unaware that Wales is a separate nation with its own football team, its own language, its own culture.

Ironic that of nations from the corners of this island that are competing in Birmingham, Wales remains the only one without a national holiday.

For all of the words generated by Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak in their campaigns to become the next leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of this United Kingdom, there are few, if any, offered for the people of this nation.

Were it not for the Eisteddfod and the wonderful performances of our sporting heroes, we might be forgiven for feeling forgotten this summer. Or that Wales doesn’t count.

That’s all the more reason to ensure we do everything in our power to celebrate Wales —and all things Welsh.

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