Announcing Shwmae Sumae champions 2017!
Over the past five years, Shwmae Sumae Day has called on champions across Wales to help promote the national day of celebrating the Welsh language, held annually on the 15th of October. These champions encourage the act of starting each conversation in Welsh, as a means of normalising the language, amongst their networks and communities.
We are very proud to announce that our first champion for 2017 is Siôn Tomos Owen from Treorchy, in the Rhondda. Siôn is a TV presenter for S4C’s programme, ‘Pobol y Rhondda’ (People of the Rhondda), a cartoonist, artist and writer. His 2016 book ‘Cawl’ published by Parthian is a mix of poetry, drawings, comics, short stories and musings on modern life in the Rhondda. The book also bridges cultural topics in an inclusive way, including Welsh and English language use in the south Wales valleys. Although having been brought up in a Welsh speaking homestead (his dad having learnt Welsh) and attending Welsh speaking schools in the area, he is nevertheless adamant for the need to normalise the Welsh language in the valleys.
Siôn says: “The main reason that Shwmae Sumae Day is important to me is because it is a campaign to normalise Welsh language use through its promotion, not through force. As someone who lives in the south-east valleys, I remember as a pupil, many other pupils rebelling against the language because there was a feeling that it was being forced to be used in school. This tied up to a feeling amongst some against education in general which they then related to the language. I truly believe that there’s a need to promote the language so that it is not seen as just a language of education for children and young people learning it in school. I think that we have to show the younger generation that it is a language to be used daily in everyday life.”
“I want to promote Shwmae Sumae Day on and around the 15th of October this year by using social media platforms and creating a number of pieces of art, poetry and cartoons to raise awareness.”
Diolch to Siôn for supporting the campaign this year! We hope that there’ll be a number of activities and support in Treorchy and across the south-east valleys. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and assistance! See also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help you organise events for the day…!