Thursday, March 05, 2009
Lowen Dydh sen Pyran (Happy St Piran's Day)
It's late, I've been swim training and I ache, ache, ache. I should have a Jamesons in one hand and a stiff drink in the other but I wanted to wish my blog buddies a "Happy St.Piran's Day." This, I realize, will mean little to most of them so read here and inwardly digest for the low down on the Saint with the stone from the surf.
On one hand, the increased attention that St.Piran's Day is getting in the media has me feeling like I do when I buy another Saint's (Valentine's Day) card for Sea Nymph. There's something contrived about it. Like watching coverage of St.Paddy's Day in New York when I was stuck in a factory in Ireland working my arse off.
On the other hand - the one that will shortly be holding a drink - I read a letter in the West Briton today from a woman called Demelza who claimed that the Cornish language is dead and that any attempt to speak it, encourage it or take it seriously is a waste of time. Demelza is a very Cornish name so perhaps she might think of changing her name to the Anglicised place name that it originates from? According to Demelza, we'd be better off learning French, German or Russian. Her tone reminded me of another type of "West Briton" - a term used (variously) to describe those "following British popular culture, while appearing embarrassed by or disdainful of aspects of Irish culture such as the Irish language or Gaelic games".
Like St.Piran, I'm another Irishman grateful to have found a home in Cornwall. There's a vibe here that's beyond my abilities to describe but let's say it sits well with my cultural sensibilities. Moreover, I reckon many of my English friends who've moved here have picked up on this too. It's an inclusive thing, this life on the Celitc fringe. Chill Demelza, chill.
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