@aran Happy to be involved. I can’t tell you how much I wanted to be there, but couldn’t. I’m even more sad I wasn’t there after reading your post!
O, ia, siwr… I agree about the many small groups aspect of this! I know that many Welsh Societies in the states are struggling to keep up numbers in their individual groups, even while those who participate remain as passionate as ever. Speaking for the Welsh Society of Oregon, I know that we’d love better connections with other societies and Welsh groups in North America.
Thanks for the English link, Toffidil
Reading “Global Welsh” prospectus, they are saying all the proper things and seem organized and enthusiastic. I agree their emphasis is sharing their enthusiasm for Wales to promote inter-global business. I have to say, I like their attitude and approach. From their prospectus:
Our research and scoping study shows that there is a keen appetite and enthusiasm among stakeholders in Wales and in key markets across the globe for a global community of Welsh people. We’ve built a mechanism to engage with Welsh people and friends of Wales; an online space to connect, communicate, celebrate and inspire. Learning from the exemplars of diaspora engagement across the globe, we’re creating a space for those passionate about Wales to gather, organise, celebrate or give back to Wales, if they have the propensity to do so.
I think at some point in the future, it would be beneficial to reach out to them, to see how both groups can share resources/connections creating synergistic growth. I think it’s important to get ourselves organized before reaching out to external groups unknown to SSiW. That’s my opinion.
@aran - Dw i’n barod i helpu neu ‘Yes, shhh.’
I’m here, Aran - 'dw i’n 'ma! I know a lot of people in the Welsh/NAFOW community here because of my years of involvement with Côr Cymry Gogledd America, so I can possibly be of help in that way . . .
I’d be interested in being involved. I really wanted to be there, limited Welsh and all. It sounds like a lot of fun. There’s no one here that I know of that speaks Welsh.
Thanks for tagging me! I used to be on the board for Cymdeithas Madog, and I know they’re also struggling to maintain momentum and activity. I’m happy to do what I can to help via the inter Webs!
Fantastic - lovely to ‘see’ you all!
Okay - my gut instinct is that having a place to talk is the most important first step - and I’m not sure if that should be here or in our company Slack.
What do you reckon? Shall we have a Slack test drive and see how it compares in terms of ease of use and feeling of connection?
I’m also thinking that it would be good for us to start trying to list out the main problems facing Welsh-related communities/societies over there - and then can maybe help guide us in the direction of figuring out practical stuff for SSiW to try and do?
Shwmae Aran -
I’m on the board of Cymdeithas Madog (North American Welsh Studies Institute) here in the US - and would love to be a part of the conversation moving forward. (check us out: madog.org) We’re constantly looking for new ways to find learners in North America and connect with advocates and teachers in Wales. Since we offer a week-long language camp every summer, this is very pertinent to our interests! We’ve had a video on Hwb back in the day all about the cwrs we offer and how there’s plenty of learners over here who wish they had more opportunities to use the language and tell others about it.
Let me know how I can help!
Brilliant - very aware of Cymdeithas Madog - fantastic to have a point of contact with you. I’m sure there’s a bunch of specific stuff that we could and should be doing together…
I’m going to give it a couple of days for everyone to have had a chance to sing out, and then I think maybe we run a quick test of the environment over on Slack, and see what we reckon is the best way forward for comms - Court has already suggested a monthly hangout of some kind, which I think could be a great way to keep the momentum going - and then we can start drilling down into ideas and implementation…
Some of us will need a tutorial on Slack . . . (how to access, how to use, etc.)
Hello , im popping in to say I’m enjoying reading all of the conversations and feed back about the North American Festival of Wales. The board of the Welsh North America Association and local volunteers work so hard behind the scenes each year to create a vibrant Welsh experience. Everyone, including the involvment of SSiW made the festival in DC very memorable.
You mentioned creating a list of North American Welsh organsations. You might start by going NAFOW.org, there is a list of dozens of Affiliated Welsh Organizations (AWO) listed along with contact information. The link www.thewnaa.org/awo-directory.html. will get you there.
Many thanks to Aran for his participation, not only did he give several seminars, he made himself visible and available the whole weekend for mini SSiW Meetup.
Great share - thank you very much indeed for that - it was hugely, hugely impressive how much work you’d all put in, and it was an overwhelmingly successful and memorable result…
I think one of the first things for us to think about once we’ve got a comms channel up and running here - however that works out - will be to start to go through those NAFOW links, so that anyone who’d like to suggest ways in which we could help will be able to do that directly…
I was glad to read this interesting and useful post which appears to be a reply to me but I think it is more likely to be a response to Aran.
My interest in and links with North America (expanded through SSiW) are extensive, but I have otherwise little to contribute to this exciting thread, so I’ll “butt out” but keep watching from the sidelines.
I’m over here in Huntsville, Alabama. Do you know if there is anyone over in this part of the country that speaks Welsh? My Welsh is very limited, but I’m learning.
@Allison - I know Rob Davis & his wife live in Huntsville and are very accomplished Welsh speakers. They’re also part of the Welsh language group here in the US called Cymdeithas Madog (madog.org) - we have a week-long Welsh language course every summer, you should check it out! I can ask Rob if it’s ok if you contact him if you like?
That would be great. Thanks.
In my opinion before we have a Slack meetup, I think we should define exactly what the goal of this…whatever it is…is. Everyone has great ideas but can we take them and give an explicit focus to shape how we move forward? If we generate two or three options, we can vote on them in this forum. This is my attempt to distill the ideas into one specific statement.
Acknowledge there exists an immense passion for the Welsh language, culture and history beyond the Welsh borders. Acknowledge there exists globally hundreds of distinct and separate groups trying to maintain and grow their connection to Wales. Acknowledge most of these groups are isolated from one another. To that end, we propose to create a centralized location, a “Fforwm Cymreig” for all groups to bring together their passion for Wales, to form new connections, strengthen bonds and share information. Who knows what amazing things will occur when this many people are connected!
That’s my idea…add to it, re-build it, make it better or scrap it.
My grandmother on my father’s side of the family had a maiden name of Maddox. Isn’t it a form of Madog as well?
I love your enthusiasm! I’ve always been a fan of thinking big…
I think there are some interim steps that we need to move through on the way to being able to support that kind of vision.
I’d like to see us:
talk regularly with our American/Canadian learners to find out more about what’s happening over there, and what we could do to help - here, or Slack, plus monthly hangouts perhaps
identify some easy wins where SSiW can do something or provide stuff that will make a worthwhile difference over there, so that we can all see that the talk leads to action
focus on ways to bring more people into the fold, and work to support existing social and online structures (one of the reasons I think we need this step before trying to build a forum is that ForumWales matched a lot of the points you make, and yet didn’t stay afloat)
I’m not seeing a tidal wave of ‘Yes, let’s Slack!’ just yet - so I may have to keep nagging you all about that… For now, I’m going to set up an American/Canadian section under ‘Welsh’ on this forum, and see if we can start drilling down a little further into some of these issues…
Do you folk have any easier way of saying American/Canadian?!