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Fèis Tir A’ Mhurain Committee Member, South Uist


A MESSAGE OF POSITIVITY AND HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF GAELIC


Gàidhlig is my language. It means home to me; it is a major part of my identity and my culture.
Speaking the language has always given me such pride, it is something I am and always will be
immensely proud of. Gàidhlig means a lot to me because it is something that my parents passed
onto me. I am lucky to have gained such a high level of fluency from my Granny through all the
years that I have spent with her listening to her talk, as well as hearing the language out in the
community so often.


It means such a great amount to me as it is not only the language of me and my family, but of my
ancestors before me, which leaves me with a very strong connection to the island, the people and
to the language itself. Gàidhlig is such a major part of our history and is something that is majorly
important to us as a community and as islanders.


Gàidhlig has always been an interest of mine between learning all the different phrases and
discovering old Gàidhlig words and their meanings. To me Gàidhlig is powerful. Personally, I find it
easier at times to express things in the Gàidhlig than I do in English. I find that poems, plays,
stories and songs are always extremely moving and capturing when portrayed through the
medium of Gàidhlig.


Gàidhlig has already given me so many incredible opportunities, from making films for Film G to
attending Fèis Tir A’ Mhurain. Through my entire primary years, the Fèis gave me the chance to
speak Gàidhlig more and use it through the arts, and has led me to be able to join the committee
and give other children that same opportunity that I had as a young child. One thing that I am sure
of is that it will bring many more amazing opportunities in all the years to come. Gàidhlig has
always been one of my passions and is what I am wanting to go to university for, as I would like
my career to be in Gàidhlig.


I would like to see Gàidhlig not only continue in Uist but to grow. In my opinion, to see the
language grow and in order to keep it alive we have to accept changes in the way we speak it and
we need to keep a strong Gàidhlig presence in the community.


Just like many other languages, the vocabulary and the grammar are being created. I think that it’s
important we move on with the times while also holding onto the importance of some of the
words and phrases passed through many generations.


I think we should aim to have more opportunities to use Gàidhlig in our employment and in
situations out of our homes.


I would personally like to see more and more young people using Gaelic, and using it as their daily
language with their friends as well as their families. I would like to see an increase in Gàidhlig on
social media and more opportunities to use the language in modern settings.


I think that it is important for the education sector to allow for more immersive learning in order to
ensure the richness of the language found in Uist is kept for many generations to come. We need
to ensure that we keep the language getting stronger and keeping it alive for many more years.
I think that we need to encourage more and more people to learn the language and I would like to
see more opportunities for support to be given to learners.

It is important to me that this island continues to use the language and that we stay away from the
mindset that Gàidhlig is dying, because when that mindset is accepted then that is when we will
lose the fluency and natural spoken language.

PLANA GÀIDHLIG AIR LETH AIRSON A CHOIMHEARSNACHD AIR FAD


FIONA MACVICAR


Thàinig na daoine a th’ air cùl iomairt ùr – Plana Gàidhlig Uibhist còmhla air an 19mh là den Mhàirt
gus bunait a stèidheachadh airson na tha iad ag ràdh a bhith ‘na inneal-atharrachaidh’ airson na
Gàidhlig agus Uibhist.


Chan eil Planaichean Gàidhlig ùr, ach tha sgioba na pròiseict air a bheil e an urra ri leasachadh
Plana Uibhist soilleir gu bheil an obair seo gu math diofraichte bho na chaidh roimhe.
Thathas ag ràdh gu bheil Plana Uibhist ‘ar-a-mach’, leis gu bheil e dha-rìribh air a
chumhachdachadh bhon talamh suas – is mar a dh’innis aon neach-uidhe:


“Chan ann mu dheidhinn buidhnean corporra is poblach a tha seo a’ cur riaghailtean sìos, tha e
mu dheidhinn coimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig làidir, ghnìomhach a’ cur an cèill na h-iarrtasan aca
fhèin.”


Tha am pròiseact Plana Gàidhlig Uibhist air a stiùireadh leis an Oifigear Leasachaidh Gàidhlig Joe
MacNèill, a dh’innis do Am Paipear carson a tha am Plana seo eadar-dhealaichte bho chàch:
“Tha planaichean Gàidhlig, mar a tha fios againn, gan ullachadh le ùghdarrasan poblach ann an
Alba. Tha iad sin cudromach anns an roinn phoblaich airson Gàidhlig a chleachdadh nan obair
làitheil. Le plana sgìreil, tha cumhachd agus dùil aig coimhearsnachd Uibhist a thaobh mar a bu
chòir Gàidhlig a leasachadh gus am bi a’ Ghàidhlig ri fhaicinn agus ri cluinntinn air feadh Uibhist.”


Thuirt Iain Mac a’ Mhaoilein, Stiùiriche Leasachaidh aig Bòrd na Gàidhlig, ri Am Pàipear:
“Air feadh na coimhearsnachd Ghàidhlig san fharsaingeachd, tha daoine a’ coimhead air an obair
seo le ùidh a’ sìor fhàs. Chan e a-mhàin gu bheil mòran spèis ann don dòigh anns a bheil Uibhist
air tighinn còmhla gus Plana coimhearsnachd a chumadh, ach tha fìor dhòchas ann cuideachd air
na dh’fhaodas an deagh obair seo a lìbhrigeadh.


“Tha comas aig an obair a thathar a’ dèanamh anns a’ choimhearsnachd, agus às a leth, a bhith
brosnachail agus tha mi làn dùil gun toir e buaidh air leasachadh na Gàidhlig anns na
coimhearsnachdan Gàidhlig anns na bliadhnaichean ri teachd.”


Thuirt Shona Masson, Oifigear Foghlam Gàidhlig, aon den fheadhainn a bha an làthair aig
tachartas a’ Phlana:
“Tha mi a’ smaointinn gu bheil e air leth cudromach fios a bhith againn gu bheil tòrr obair mhath
air a dhèanamh mar-thà gus faighinn chun na h-ìre seo. Gun teagamh tha dùbhlain ann. Tha
taigheadas ceangailte ri atharrachaidhean ann an cànan is cultar na Gàidhlig; tha trioblaidean
còmhdhail a’ bagairt air. Chan e naidheachd a tha seo dhuinn ann an Uibhist – tha fios againn dè
tha a dhìth agus dè tha sinn ag iarraidh atharrachadh.”
“Bidh an rud a tha math dha na raointean leasachaidh seo math don Ghàidhlig aig a’ cheann thall.
Feumaidh sinn dèanamh cinnteach gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig aig cridhe de tòrr den obair sin; chan
urrainnear a dìochuimhneachadh, tha i air leth cudromach.”
“Tha e gu math furasta a bhith air ar bogadh sìos leis na dùbhlain, ach feumaidh sinn an dòchas
fhaicinn. Tha an cunnart bho na dh’ fhaodadh tachairt mura dèan sinn rudeigin ro mhòr, agus
chan e suidheachadh a tha sin a tha duine againn airson fhaicinn. ”


Bha Christina Mhoireasdan, Oifigear Ath-shluaigh aig Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, soilleir gum
feumadh a’ Ghàidhlig a bhith air a faicinn ann an co-theacs chùisean agus chothroman nas
fharsainge:
“Tha e sgoinneil gun urrainn dhuinn uile suidhe còmhla agus beachdachadh air planaichean, ach tha feum againn air a’ bhun-structar an sin gus taic a thoirt dha; taigheadas, còmhdhail, cùram-
chloinne is msaa, tha e uile ceangailte ri chèile. Airson Gàidhlig a shoirbheachadh, feumaidh sinn daoine a bhith an seo aig cridhe a’ chùis. Feumar aithneachadh a bhuaidh làidir a tha aig feartan
bhon taobh a-muigh air a’ chànan.
Tha e soilleir gu bheil tòrr obrach ri dhèanamh, agus gu bheil cothrom aig mòran bhuidhnean
beagan uallaichean a ghabhail orra airson a’ chànan adhartachadh agus taic a thoirt dhi.”


Bhruidhinn Eilidh NicIain, Oifigear Leasachaidh aig Taigh Chèarsabhagh, air càit am bu chòir dhan
obair tòiseachadh:

“Is e an rud a tha cudromach gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig air a bruidhinn le daoine aig an taigh, anns a’
choimhearsnachd, anns na bùthan agus na h-àiteachan dhan tèid iad, agus gu bheil daoine a’
faireachdainn comhfhurtail agus comasach air sin. An toiseach, feumaidh sinn aithneachadh gu
bheil trioblaidean ann, fiù ‘s ann an Uibhist, chan eil a’ Ghàidhlig cho làidir ‘s a tha sinn ag iarraidh
a bhith. Tha e na mhisneachd dha-rìribh a bhith a’ faicinn na tha de dhaoine an sàs sa Phlana, ach
cuideachd a’ bruidhinn air am beatha dachaigh fhèin, am foghlam aca fhèin, dè bu toil leotha
fhaicinn.”


Bhruidhinn Joe MacNèill air cho cudromach sa tha e ruighinn a-mach chun a h-uile duine sa
choimhearsnachd bho gach seòrsa beatha agus chuir e cuideam air gur e com-pàirteachadh
farsaing sa choimhearsnachd an ath cheum: “Tha beachdan gach neach sa choimhearsnachd
cudromach do Phlana Gàidhlig Uibhist agus tha sin dha-rìribh am prìomhachas.”

Dè bhios dùil againn ris

Fiona MacVicar

Seachdain na Gàidhlig airson an treas uair, agus a-rèir choltais, tha an sgioba an dùil ri tachartas nas motha na bha aca roimhe. Thèid a’ chiad seachdain cànain nàiseanta an Alba a chumail eadar 19mh is 25mh Gearran 2024, 

‘S e ‘Do Chànan, Do Chothrom’ cuspair na seachdain agus tha sgioba Seachdain na Gàidhlig ag amas air  cuid le Gàidhlig, luchd-ionnsachaidh agus a’ chuid gun Gàidhlig gu bheil cothrom ann dhaibh uile. ’S urrainn dhaibh uile pàirt a ghabhail san t-seachdain ann an dòigh a bhios freagarrach dhaibh fhèin. Tha dòchas ann gun gabh daoine sealladh air an t-seachdain, air a’ chànan cuideachd agus an cànan mar phàirt chudromach dem beatha. 

Airson a’ chiad turas, thathar a cuir seiseanan air-loidhne air dòigh do sgoiltean airson an dà chuid clasaichean Gàidhlig agus Beurla.-Thathas an dùil gun deàn mòran sgoiltean bho air feadh Alba (gu h-àraid às na h-eileanan)oidhirp clàradh air son seo. 

Fhuair 53 tachartas ann an 17 sgìre comhairle  maoineachadh am bliadhna tro mhaoin nan tabhartasan beaga, le taic bho Bhòrd na Gàidhlig. Ach, chan ann dìreach dhan fheadhainn a fhuair taic-airgid a tha Seachdain na Gàidhlig- tha eagraichean na h-iomairt airson dèanamh soilleir gu faod a h-uile duine pàirt a ghabhail ann.

Ged a bhios tachartasan a’ gabhail àite air feadh Alba, agus cuid ann an Uibhist fhèin, bi rudan air-loidhne a bhios fosgailte dhan a h-uile duine aig a h-uile ìre fileantas. Tha an sgioba mothachail gu bheil coimhearsnachd beòthail air-loidhne, agus le ‘Latha Abairt na Gàidhlig’, thèid aig daoine an abairt a chlàradh air-loidhne agus a sgaoileadh air na meadhanan-sòisealta leis a

hashtag  #LathanahAbairtGhaidhlig no #SeachdainnaGaidhlig2024, gus cuid a bhrosnachadh no airson abairt ùr ionnsachadh. 

Dh’ innis Shona Nic a’ Mhaoilein, Neach-taice Rianachd agus nam Meadhan-Sòisealta aig Seachdain na Gàidhlig:

“Air an treas Seachdain na Gàidhlig, tha ‘Do Chànan. Do Chothrom.’ againn mar chuspair, a’ toirt suil air luach na Gàidhlig ann am beatha dhaoine agus air na dorsan a bhios i a’ fosgladh. Tha sinn an dòchas gun comharraich daoine seo ann an iomadach diofar dhòigh, a fhreagras air na coimhearsnachdan aca fhèin, agus a bheir cothrom do dhaoine aig gach ìre fileantais agus de gach aois pàirt a ghabhail ann an seachdain air leth prìseil. Tha sinn air ar dòigh cluinntinn gu bheil buidhnean ag obair air plana Gàidhlig do dh’ Uibhist, ann an sgìre a bhios ag obair gus a h-inbhe agus a cliù a thogail agus a bhios ga cumail aig cridhe chùisean làitheil. Tha sinn an dòchas gum bi Seachdain na Gàidhlig na cuideachadh gus aire dhaoine a tharraing chun iomairt aca agus gum bi taic aca bho dhaoine is bhuidhnean air feadh nan Eilean Siar.”

Faodaidh duine sam bith a tha airson pàirt a ghabhail an tachartas acasan a chur ri prògram na seachdaine tro leabhar-latha oifigeil aig: https://seachdainnagaidhlig.scot/events/.

Thuirt Ealasaid Dhòmhnallach, Ceannard Bhòrd na Gàidhlig: “Tha Bòrd na Gàidhlig glè thoilichte taic a chumail ri Sheachdain na Gàidhlig tro Mhaoin nan Tabhartas Beaga a-rithist am bliadhna. ’S e prìomh amas a’ Phlana Nàiseanta Gàidhlig ùr cleachdadh na Gàidhlig a mheudachadh agus tha Seachdain na Gàidhlig a’ cruthachadh diofar chothroman gus Gàidhlig a chleachdadh tro ghnìomhachdan a tha gu math tlachdmhor. ‘S e deagh dhearbhadh a th’ ann an Seachdain na Gàidhlig gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig beò agus air a cleachdadh ann an dachaighean, coimhearsnachdan, sgoiltean agus àiteachan obrach air feadh na h-Alba – mar sin gabh pàirt ann agus bi mar phàirt de seachdain a  bhios, a-rithist, air leth tarraingeach agus spòrsail.”

Uist nominees line up

Chaidh sgioba beòthail agus tàlantach ainmeachadh airson 21mh Duaisean Ceòl Traidiseanta na h-Alba aig MG ALBA a tha a’ taisbeanadh na tha de thàlant ann an saoghal ceòl traidiseanta na h-Alba.
Fans of the genre were able to vote for who they think deserves to take home each prestigious award, with the winners announced at the annual glittering awards ceremony at Caird Hall in Dundee on Saturday 2nd December 2023.

Le cànan is ceòl aig cridhe nan eilean, chan eil iongnadh ann gu bheil a leithid as na h-eileanan air an ainmeachadh airson na duaisean urramach a tha seo. Tha na duaisean seo a’ sealltainn an luach a thathar a cuir air na tha a h-uile duine air a’ gheàrr-liosta air a choileanadh fad bliadhna.
Le ath-bheothachadh drùidhteach air a’ ghnè, a’ ruighinn luchd-èisteachd nas fharsainge le fèisean is tachartasan ùra a’ tighinn am bàrr bliadhna às deidh bliadhna, tha na duaisean – air an cur air dòigh leis a’ bhuidheann ‘Hands Up For Trad ‘– a’ seasamh mar theisteanas air tarraingeachd leantainneach an t-saoghail.

From new events and festivals making history to the country’s best bands and composers, the successful nominees represent the past, present and future of a world traditional Scottish music and are located all over the country.

OPINION

John Joe MacNeil

Ceannard, Ceòlas

How could there be a world without Gaelic?

A few weeks ago, on an unusually warm September evening, I headed to Stoneybridge beach for a walk.  It was a particularly stunning evening with the glow of the sun setting to the west, the sound of the crashing waves filling up the silence of the deserted beach and the whisper of the wind whistling through the marram grass.

As I journeyed across the edge of the water, I started to reminisce about childhood days.  The image of me walking the Tràigh Mhòr in Barra with my grandfather in search of cockles came into my head.  He would often pass on many stories and traditions as we walked the length of the beach.  He would every so often stop, search for cockles, grasp two together and after expertly opening them up, eat them straight from the shell.  An experience which I closed my eyes to with distain.  Nonetheless, a tradition and an important tradition of his generation.  

Traditions are central to a way of living and of understanding the land, the sea and the surrounding environment.  They give us a sense of belonging and connect us to our intergenerational heritage whilst providing us with continuity.  Traditions are not only of the past, but they are also of the present and the future, and for us, murmuring through all of these, is Gaelic. 

Gaelic is simply not just a beautiful language; it is a way of living, it is our cultural identity, it connects us to our environment and climate, it is the lens to the past and the key to the door for our sustainable future.  Gaelic encapsulates our very being and allows us to see the world with such magnificent vision.

I often spend a long time looking out on the horizon watching the sky as it changes – the colours, the moods and the shapes.  Distracted by the glistening sun setting to the west that evening, I started to move my thoughts to the negativity I hear about the language and our traditions – perhaps the changeable horizon is an interesting metaphor for us to visualise.  Of course, people are welcome to their opinions.  However, more often than not, the negativity surrounding the language is through fear and the lack of understanding of the history, the injustice, the political and economic narrative, the beauty and intricate meaning of each word and phrase not comprehendible in any other language, and the cultural significance of the language.  I could go on.  The apprehension by some not to allow others to view the world through a non-English lens, to me, is difficult to comprehend and is unacceptable.  

Positivity always outweighs the minority of negative views that exist.  Yet, positivity requires work and commitment from each and every one of us regardless of where we are on our language learning journey.      

Those of us with fluent Gaelic, whether from birth or whether learnt, must use our language. Let us not be afraid to use it at every opportunity and let us not be afraid to continue to learn more about our language and its culture.  I frequently think that our biggest fault is that we are too kind – a stunning trait in us islanders and Gaels.  Whilst it is important to be hospitable, we cannot always sacrifice our language and our culture.  We must always remember that English is the dominant language.  It is everywhere.  It will never be at risk of leaving our shores.  Let us also not be afraid to pass on our culture, our traditions and customs to help shape the future generations of Gaels.  We must be proud that we have been given such a gift.  I used to hear a cailleach in our village use the well-known saying – ‘there’s always tomorrow’.  Tomorrow is permanently on the horizon, but we must all act now and take our responsibilities seriously to allow for the next generation to experience what we take for granted.  How could there be a world without Gaelic?   

If you are on your learning journey, firstly, thank you.  You are a beacon of hope.  Keep going and the more you learn, the more you will experience the joy of the language and all it brings.  There is always support near at hand.  Take every opportunity to use what you have learnt to build your confidence in speaking the language.  Do not be shy and remember that we all make mistakes.  Fluent speakers – let us remember to be patient with those learning and help them along the road.    

If you have not started learning Gaelic, there is always today.  There are plenty of people and resources out there to support you on your journey.  You do not need to commit to fluency but perhaps try to take the first steps on your own voyage of discovery.       

We also must respect those who do not wish to learn the language.  There are many reasons for this.  We Gaels, new and old, should not have to ask for mutual respect, remembering that we need to flex our language and its intertwined culture to allow it to flourish and not just become a language of the history books.     

As the sun begins its final descent for the day into the calm still waters of the Atlantic and my footprints are washed away by the impeding waters, I look back across over to the far side of the beach.  I hope that somewhere among the sand that my imprints remain and that one day, in many years to come, someone will walk across these shores feeling the passion and pride that I feel to be a Gaelic speaker.  I hope that whilst the wind continues to whistle through the marram grass, the next generations hear our language, our culture and our traditions – a language written in the wind.    

‘Gur truagh a’ Ghàidhlig bhith na càs,

On dh’fhalbh na Gàidheil a bh’ againn;

A ghineil òig tha tighinn nan àit’,

O, togaibh àrd a bratach.’