Thanks to support from Bord Na Gàidhlig, and huge interest from Gaelic speakers across Scotland and around the world, February 2023 sees the second official global Scottish Gaelic language week; Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week), pronounced “Shach-keen na Gaaah-lik” (ch like loch), taking place through a series of in-person and online events.
With the overarching theme of Coming Together, Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023 will build on its 2022 success, by prioritising uniting people within their own communities. Seachdain na Gàidhlig connects people from all walks of life across the world to promote, use and learn Gaelic; through a coordinated network of activities taking place across Scotland and internationally, from 20th – 26th February 2023.
Shona NicIllinnein, Ceannard at Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Seachdain na Gàidhlig’s main funders, said: “We are delighted to support Seachdain na Gàidhlig again following on from the resounding success of its first year. This week celebrates everything about Gaelic – the language, the culture, the arts, music and heritage and we are very much looking forward to this year’s offering. The Small Events Fund Scheme will have enabled more groups to host their own events in their communities and we are hugely encouraged by the number of applicants. In line with the aims of the National Gaelic Language Plan, this week helps to promote and normalise the Gaelic language as well as contribute to wellbeing and creating and strengthening connections in Gaelic worldwide. Chì sinn ann sibh!”
Building upon the success of the inaugural 2022 event, Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023, organised by Scottish traditional culture and music organisation Hands Up For Trad, is launching a raft of new initiatives this year. To celebrate and promote the importance and use of Gaelic within both cultural and commercial landscapes, a new Small Grants Fund was introduced, awarding Micro-Grants of up to £500 to support initiatives both here in Scotland and abroad. Over 60 grant applications were received and checked by a Panel including Joy Dunlop, with Steven Kellow, Funding and Projects Officer at Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Arthur Cormack, Chief Executive Officer, Fèisean nan Gàidheal; and 30 funded projects being launched as part of the first batch of scheduled events.
Seachdain na Gàidhlig Director Joy Dunlop said: “We were blown away by the calibre of all the applications received and are hugely grateful to Bord Na Gàidhlig for awarding us extra funding to facilitate the Small Grants Fund. The volume of interest from all corners of the world proves that Gaelic has a global audience, something which is echoed through the numbers of people learning and speaking Gaelic internationally. For anyone else who would still like to hold their own event, please visit our official website www.seachdainnagaidhlig.scot, and utilise our free support resources.”
Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023 will be producing daily, online content across their social media, ensuring that geography is no barrier to participation. This mixture of in-person and online events will provide a world class platform for Gaelic speakers to connect with both physical and virtual communities worldwide; encouraging individuals, businesses, and wider community groups to get involved. Additionally, Seachdain na Gàidhlig is encouraging people to connect online by sharing posts, images and videos using the hashtag #SeachdainNaGàidhlig.
Simon Thoumire, Director of Hands Up For Trad, the Scottish cultural organisation that founded and runs Seachdain na Gàidhlig, said: “We are really happy that Bord Na Gàidhlig have supported this project, which fits with Hands Up For Trad’s aims of supporting Gaelic culture and language.”
Education is also being specifically targeted through Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023. To help teachers and young people engage with the initiative, comprehensive education packs have been created for schools, in partnership with educational publishing house, Twinkl. The activities and resources include class planners, suggested content and activities aimed at both primary and secondary levels for both Gaelic and English medium schools – ensuring that all children and teachers can get involved, whether they are fluent or just starting their journey with the language.
For all events & ways to get involved in Seachdain na Gàidhlig 2023, visit: www.seachdainnagaidhlig.scot
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