Cape Breton’s Féis an Eilein Goes Virtual, Puts Concerts Online

Many of us are missing the opportunity to travel to Cape Breton this year, especially to Féis an Eilein, which is celebrating its 30th year despite the coróna-bhioras (COVID-19).

The weeklong event in August is a highlight of the Gaelic year in Nova Scotia. The féis, held on Eilean na Nollaig or Christmas Island, is the first to be held outside Scotland.

But don’t despair. Even if you can’t go to the féis this year, the féis can come to you.

Féis an Eilein has gone virtual, like many events, and its concerts are available on the organization’s website, and through its YouTube channel. They’ll bring Cape Breton into your own home.

First up, Aug. 18, was the Mòd nam Fìdhlearan, the Fiddler’s Court concert.

Second, on Aug. 19, Cèilidh nam Pìobairean, the famous Piper’s Cèilidh.

Keep an eye out for other programs from Féis an Eilein.

Corona-bhìoras: Scottish Gaelic COVID-19 Resources

Screen Shot 2020-05-04 at 5.30.43 PMDè a th’ ann an corona-bhìoras agus carson a tha a h-uile duine a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn?

What is the coronavirus and why is everyone talking about it? If you have children (and if you don’t), this book from Gaelic-language publisher Acair may help answer those questions.

https://documentcloud.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A3019baea-1e4e-4834-8af4-9583360faeb3

The Scottish Government has published information on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Gaelic here.  You can download a “staying safe at home” leaflet in Gaelic here.

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Bithibh faiceallach, bithibh sàbhailte, bithibh slàn a h-uile duine.

Be careful, be safe, be well everyone.

An Naidheachd Againne: Prospects for Gaelic in 2030; Carina MacLeod interview

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The latest edition of An Naidheachd Againne (“Our News” or “The News At Us”) is available to members of An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA). The quarterly newsletter — now in its 26th year — is a leading source of information in and about Scottish Gaelic around the world, published by our association in North America. Most of the articles, news stories, columns, and features are bilingual, with some features, such as the serialized fantasy novel, Sgoil nan Eun, published only in Gaelic.

Th2019-12-06_Alba2030_BannerPice Spring 2020 issue starts with “Alba 2030 : Buaidh is Piseach / Prospects for Gaelic in 2030,”an important article by Dr. Wilson MacLeòid (McLeod), professor of Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh. In December, about 60 people, MacLeòid included, gathered at the Scottish Parliament to discuss where they expected or hoped the language would be at the end of this new decade. There are few opportunities for concerned Gaelic speakers to gather together in this way, he notes. Here’s an excerpt:

“Chan eil e idir furasta fàisneachd a dhèanamh a thaobh na bhios an dàn don Ghàidhlig san àm ri teachd Anns na 1950an bha mòran eòlaichean glè dhubhach mu chor a’ chànain, agus iad an dùil gum biodh i marbh am meadhan an 21mh linn. ….

.. It is by no means easy to make predictions about the future prospects for Gaelic. In the 1950s many observers were very pessimistic about the outlook for the language, with some predicting that Gaelic would die out by the middle of the 21st century.”

Fortunately, the status of Gaelic is in many ways much more secure in the early 21st century. But is it sustainable? That’s a question MacLeòid addresses in this issue’s lead article.

Other articles and features of this issue of An Naidheachd Againne include reviews of recent books, including Dr. Michael Newton’s “The Everyday Life of the Clans of the Scottish Highlands” and John Murray’s “Reading the Gaelic Landscape,” an interview with Carina MacLeod, the Gaelic-speaking comedian and actress from the Isle of Lewis, and information about the 2020 Grandfather Mountain Gaelic Song and Language Week, scheduled for July 5-10 in North Carolina.

As always, there’s information about upcoming events, online learning resources, interesting websites, grammar and conversational Gaelic, and more. To receive the newsletter, simply join ACGA, following the link on this website. The cost for an annual membership, which includes four issues of the newsletter, is only $35. If you’d like to review back issues, visit our free archive.