Next month the 2019 National Eisteddfod comes to Conwy in North Wales. Kicking off with the traditional opening concert on the 2nd August, this event lasts until the 10th and is set to attract around 150,000 visitors. As usual, Wales International will have a stand at the Eisteddfod to welcome all of our Worldwide Welsh friends but this year, we have something different to share! Read on to find out more.
‘Eisteddfod’ can actually be traced as far back as 1176 – though the modern history of the organisation dates back to around 1861. Since then, the Eisteddfod festival has taken place every August, with the exception of 1914 due to the outbreak of the First World War.
Originally starting out as a competition-based festival, around 6,000 competitors would attend every year and now the event has a special place in the heart of Welsh people both within Wales and around the world, with people travelling from all over to attend. The National Eisteddfod the largest events in the calendar conducted through the medium of Welsh and it is, essentially, a celebration of the culture and language in Wales. Wales International attend every year and we are always keen to champion new things for our members.
There are different competitions for brass bands, for solo tenor singers, for Welsh learners; each competition has a different set of rules and there are prizes to be won. For more information about the types of competitions you can see at Eisteddfod, click here.
As well as performances and competitions, the Eisteddfod has over 250 trade stands and stalls sharing the best local Welsh arts, crafts and products as well as access to more information around Welsh services, organisations and businesses. Wales International have a stand, so come and say hello if you’re at Eisteddfod this year. We’ll be happy to chat to you about what we do, why we do it, and how you can join our international family! You can find us across stands 410-412.
During the Eisteddfod, we have our usual annual events which we would love you to join us! These include our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 8th August at 10.30am which is open to all members (you can sign up to be a member here), as well as our annual lecture “Cymru, Llundain a Llanwrst” with special guest Ifor Ap Glyn at 2pm on Thursday as well.
We are also launching some events at Eisteddfod for our worldwide Welsh family to enjoy:
The Wales International’s Music Panel will take place on Monday 5th August at 1pm. Renowned artists Lleuwen and Nesdi Jones will be interviewed by our President, and Welsh Tenor, Rhys Meirion.
Lleuwen, a Welsh jazz singer, has just been on tour following the release of her latest album, Gwn Glân a Beibl Budr. After her panel with us, Lleuwen will be performing in y Ty Gwerin at Eisteddfod (3.45pm).
Nesdi Jones, from Criccieth in North Wales, is a singer and rapper. She performs in 4 languages: Welsh, English, Hindi and Punjabi. That’s no small feat, and a lot of her language skills are self taught. Her interest was peaked after school trip to Delhi almost a decade ago, and her career has blossomed since then.
We are honoured to have such distinguished guests joining us to discuss all things Welsh music!
The Wales International’s Welsh Learner Panel will be on Tuesday 6th August at 11am. It features Aran Jones, Neil Rowlands and Eiry Miles.
Aran Jones is the founder of Say Something in Welsh (otherwise known as SSiW) and one of our proud ambassadors (read more about our ambassadors here). He is passionate about Wales and the Welsh language and has set up an internationally recognised language learning community!
Our second guest, Neil Rowlands, is a Welsh learner from South Wales and runs the Parallel.Cymru, an online magazine that offers articles about Wales and Welsh life bilingually with side by side Welsh and English.
We are also excited to welcome Francesca Elena Sciarrillo, 2019 Urdd Eisteddfod ’s Welsh Learner of the Year. Francesca studied English Literature at Bangor University and her family are from Italy, although they now live in Mold. Francesca speaks Welsh fluently and is keen to share her experiences.
Our final guest, Eiry Miles, works at the National Centre for Learning Welsh and is currently creating new Welsh language courses for adults.
We are pleased to welcome all of our Welsh Learner panel guests and can’t wait for their take on Welsh language learning.
Our stand will also have a fresh new look as well, including an area for families to enjoy some child-friendly activities including a children’s quiz to learn about Wales & the world and a chance to win international resources donated by Atebol.com. So please do pop by and let us know if you are attending by joining our Facebook events. And of course, share on social media using our hashtag #WorldwideWelsh!
Not a member yet? You can find all sign up information here to be part of our international family