Over 100 events to be held as Gaelic language goes global with new festival


A week-long global festival will include live music and storytelling sessions, film screenings, gin tastings and distillery tours, virtual kitchens, a shinty tournament and a scavenger hunt game.

Seachdain na Gàidhlig (World Gaelic Week), which runs until Sunday, includes a mix of in-person and virtual events, as well as a social media campaign.

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People around the world are invited to post videos speaking in the language using the hashtag #SeachdainNaGaidhlig.

World Gaelic Week was launched when the tourism agency revealed that there had been a 74% increase in the number of people visiting Gaelic-related content on its website over the past four years.

Events and talks will focus on the huge popularity of the language-learning website Duolingo, which attracted over 560,000 people in the first year of Gaelic inclusion, the economic benefits of business and tourism industry embracing the Gaelic language and culture, and plans to hold the Royal National Mòd in Perth for the first time in 18 years.

Initiatives launched throughout World Gaelic Week include a series of events for people with dementia and memory loss, a new ‘e-Cèilidh’ book drawn from the cultural heritage of the Western Isles featuring performances by students, and a new educational file. to help teachers introduce Gaelic to the classroom for the first time.

Highlights of World Gaelic Week include a daily chat show hosted by festival director, host and singer Joy Dunlop, virtual cooking workshops hosted by Lewis-based Coinneach MacLeod, who has come to prominence thanks to its alter ego on social networks, The Hebridean Baker and the screening of the first cinematic documentary made entirely in Gaelic.

Singer and entertainer Joy Dunlop is director of the first World Gaelic Week festival.

Among those attending the events will be singer and Outlander star Gillebride MacMillan, Mull Gaelic Choir, filmmaker Alasdair Satchel, musician Ron Jappy and Tiree Distilleryl.

The festival was initiated by traditional arts group Hands Up For Trad and supported by national arts agency Creative Scotland.

Hands Up For Trad director Simon Thoumire said: “By shining the spotlight on the champions and bringing together everyday Gaelic speakers, learners and beginners, we will generate enthusiasm and adoption. to highlight the use and benefits of our culture and language.”

Dunlop, a former Royal National Mòd gold medalist, said: “We are absolutely delighted with the response to Seachdain na Gàidhlig at such a busy time.

The ‘Hebridean Baker’ Coinneach MacLeod was born and raised on the Isle of Lewis.

“People have been busy creating their own ideas and events to include in the extensive program, supported by free online resources, learning materials and guidance on our official website, where visitors can also find links towards tickets for all events.”

Shona NicIllinnein, chief executive of the Gaelic language agency Bòrd na Gàidhlig, which is also funding the festival, said: “This initiative which brings together people from business, education and communities around the world to use Gaelic.

“Seachdain na Gàidhlig will increase connections within the Gaelic community in Scotland and abroad, raising the profile of the language and increasing well-being, while contributing to the National Plan for the Gaelic Language goal that more people use Gaelic more often and in more situations.”

Tiree Distillery, the makers of Tyree Gin, will take part in the first World Gaelic Week.

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