Archif Dyddiol: 18 Chwefror 2012

fel y moroedd: y ffilm

Wedi cael y sgriptiau, roeddwn i eisiau gweld La Vita è Bella unwaith yn rhagor. Felly fu wrth smwddio crysau’r gŵr y bore ‘ma. Cymerodd llawer mwy o amser nag arfer i orffen y gwaith wrth reswm! Ffilm hyfryd heb os – y stori, y sgriptiau, yr ac… Parhau i ddarllen

Ifan Morgan Jones: Achub yr Iaith Gymraeg

Saunders LewisYn dilyn nodi pen-blwydd 50 mlynedd darlith Tynged yr Iaith, Saunders Lewis, mae’r rhithfro, y radio ac S4C wedi bod yn ferw o drafodaeth ynglŷn â dyfodol yr iaith. Ymysg yr heriau sy’n wynebu’r iaith sydd wedi bod dan drafodaeth… Parhau i ddarllen

Blog Aneirin Karadog: Erthygl i Cambria Magazine


Singing from the heart

(a review of the film ‘Kan ar Galon – Bro Gozh ma Zadou’ by Aneirin Karadog)


As a half Welsh and half Breton man who speaks both languages, I was intrigued to receive this dvd which explores the Breton national anthem and its origins. The half hour long documentary by Mikael Baudu, a respected and experienced journalist and filmmaker in Breizh (Britanny in Breton), is available to view in both Breton and French so is accessible to a wider market than Breton speakers alone.


The opening scenes tell us that Brittany and Cornwall share the Welsh national anthem and have quite similar lyrics, which immediately raises questions in the viewer’s mind. How and why is this the case? From which country  does the anthem originate?  Is it recognised nationally or by mere factions within the three Brythonic Celtic nations? I hoped that the next half hour’s viewing would answer these questions.


Baudu’s film opens with Bro Gozh Ma Zadoù being sung by thousands in the Stade de France in 2009 when two Breton teams, Rennes and Guingamp battled each other in the final of the French Cup.  With Gwenn ha du flags creating a current of Breton nationalism to go with the flow of the national anthem, and none other than Alan Stivell himself there to lead the singing, never before had the national anthem, and indeed the Breton language, been allowed to breathe so freely in the centre of Paris. French newspapers carried Breton headlines and although one team had to lose on the day, all Breton people present in the stadium and viewing the game at home felt that something bigger had been gained.


To explain the significance of this moment, if people think that the Welsh language is still on the edge and faces an insecure future, then Brezhoneg (the Breton language) is on such a thin ledge that its existence hinges on chance encounters between two Breton football teams in the final of the French cup.


In Brittany, there exists a strong pride in being Breton with its rich musical and gastronomical heritage, but there is also a passive acceptance that the principal nationality is French. The French unitary state has succesfully quashed efforts at devolution, but the fight for the Breton language’s survival goes on, through initiatives such as Breton medium schools (skolioù Diwan), which have received next to nothing in funding from the French state, and mayoral efforts in various towns and villages in Breizh to use the language in official settings and events.


With that context in mind, let’s return to the content of the film and whether or not it succesfully answered my questions about the origins of the anthem. I’m glad to say that it did, as it took me from  Wales with the Eisteddfod and its Gorsedd, to Cornwall and Brittany where similar institutions were established. Through the medium of talking head interviews with several people, including members of Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain, we are told that the original Welsh verison of the anthem, Hen Wlad fy Nhadau, was written by Evan James and his son James.


The Bretonisation of the Welsh anthem came about through William Jenkyn Jones, a Welsh  Protestant missionary in Quimper.  Jones influenced the composer of the Breton version of the anthem  François Jaffrennou, later known as Taldir as he was annointed in the welsh Gorsedd. The Cornish version of the anthem, Bro Goth Agan Tasow, was then tranlated by Henry Jenner, a Cornishman with connections to Brittany and the Welsh Gorsedd, thus creating a Brittonic triumvirate of shared culture.


One interesting point that Baudu makes is that the anthem has proven its worth as a uniting force in Cymru, Kernow and Breizh alike. The Welsh love to sing it before a rugby game, at the end of concerts, eisteddfod ceremonies, and down the pub when the wheels are well oiled.  The people of Cornwall take pride in singing it as they fight for any kind of acknowledgment of their national identity from Westminster, and as they seek to rekindle the flame of the Kernewek language.  The people of Breizh are not only binded through it in the final of the French cup, but also at times of crises in their recent history – in the nazi camps as well as in public meetings to condemn the polluting of the coastline caused by the Amoco Cadiz oil spillage in 1978.


The shared anthem is therefore a quirk that reminds us of the ties between the Brythonic Celtic countries, a link that is often forgotten by many. 


If there is a criticism to be made of the film, I would say that framing of the camera shots on many of the talking heads leave a lot to be desired, but perhaps this was the intended style. On the whole, an enjoyable half hour, though you will need to have a grasp of either French or Breton to be able to view the film.  One more thing, don’t be alarmed if this film is goves you your first glimpse of the Breton folk rock band, Tri Yann – not all people in Britanny have  mad bleach blond hair and a sboran in the form of a crab! Mad tre!

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Asturias yn Gymraeg: Moliannwn

Roeddwn yn gallu gwynto’r gwanwyn pan ddihunais i. Rhyw newid bach yn yr aer, fel petai pethau byw eraill ar fin deffro. Does dim llawer i’w weld eto; pan es i am dro i lawr ar hyd glan yr afon roedd ambell i lygad Ebrill a llu o grafanc-yr-arth (lle na droediodd arth ers blynyddoedd […] Parhau i ddarllen

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fel y moroedd: araith y milwyr

O’r diwedd dw i’n gwybod beth mae milwyr yr Almaen yn gweiddi ar yr Iddewon tra oedd Guido’n rhoi cyfieithiad mwyaf rhyfedd yn y ffilm, La Vita è Bella (Life is Beautiful.) Wrth gwrs y cewch chi ddychmygu i ryw raddau drwy’r amgylchiadau, ond roeddwn … Parhau i ddarllen