Want to be one in a million? Start with Shwmae and be part of a national conversation

With Shwmae Su’mae Day only days away and hundreds of events scheduled across the country and beyond, everyone can be part of the conversation.

Be part of something big by greeting each other in Welsh on Saturday 15 October. A single Shwmae or Su’mae could spur hundreds and thousands more throughout the year, making sure Wales is well on its way to reaching a million Welsh speakers.

 

 

Dathlu’r Gymraeg, the organisation behind Shwmae Su’mae, emphasises that the day belongs to everyone. The initiative has established firm roots in the past four years thanks to efforts at grass root level. Rebecca Williams, Chairwoman of Dathlu’r Gymraeg says:

“Diwrnod Shwmae Su’mae is a day to celebrate the Welsh language – and to maximise the opportunities to use it – by greeting people in Welsh at the beginning of the conversation, rather than thanking them in Welsh at the end!

The campaign has plenty of high profile supporters. Artist and former pop-singer Swci Delic will make sure the campaign gets noticed, using her trademark mix of vibrant colours and patterns.

Swci DelicSwci says:

“I’m thrilled to be a Shwmae Su’mae champion. I decided to help spread the word by doing what I love to do – paint. I wanted to create something special to celebrate this unique Welsh day.

“By starting every conversation with Shwmae or Su’mae (Hello, how are you), who knows where the conversation will take you?

“Celebrate the beautiful language!”

Residents of Swci’s hometown of Carmarthen will be in for a surprise on Friday evening, as the art is projected on to the town’s county hall. Postcards featuring the eye catching artwork will be available at events across the country on Saturday.

As Shwmae Su’mae Day falls on a Saturday this year, many workplaces, schools and colleges celebrate on Friday. This gives many children and young people the opportunity to celebrate twice. Some schools, including Pontypridd High School, will dedicate a full week to the occasion.

There is something for everyone;

  • Babies in Cardiff can enjoy the scenery whilst parents push prams and chat in Welsh around Roath Lake.
  • National Children’s Poet, Anni Llŷn, calls for schools to compete in a poetry competition.
  • Students at Bridgend College will make noise in Clogs Fit classes.
  • Balloons with special Shwmae messages will be released from Porthcawl Pavilion.
  • Coffee mornings from Wrexham to Caerphilly.
  • Awards for learners in Pembrokeshire.
  • A festival for learners in Llandrindod.
  • An evening of soup and song in Dolgellau.
  • Shwmae cocktails in Cardiff.
  • Bag a bargain from businesses offering a discount to customers who say Shwmae.
  • Full list on the events page.

Former Welsh Learner of the Year finalist at the National Eisteddfod and Shwmae Su’mae champion, Ashok Ahir, demonstrates that working in Welsh is good for business. He is a Director of PR company, Mela, who take pride in offering a bilingual service and are instrumental in the FAW’s successful Together Stronger campaign.

Ashok gives learners the following advice: Shwmae Ashok Ahir

“Take it one step at a time. Start with Shwmae, don’t worry about the rest of the conversation.
When I started I would often mix Welsh and English words. This is a normal part of learning that improves with practice.

“Shwmae Su’mae encourages people to use Welsh every day by showing how easy it can be. It’s an opportunity to gain confidence by speaking Welsh in an informal setting.”

Shwmae Su’mae Day is about communities coming together to say Shwmae in a way that is fun and inclusive. Owain Gruffudd, Chair of Mentrau Iaith Cymru, says:

“Please contact your local menter iaith to hear more about activities in your area.”

Contact details for all the mentrau iaith can be found on the Mentrau website (www.mentrauiaith.cymru/dod-o-hyd-i-fenter).