What’s happening to all the Welsh societies in America?? After attending a number of Celtic festivals, all within 100 mi of Washington D.C. A small group of us (with Welsh backgrounds) noticed an almost lack of Welsh supporters. So we decided it might be worth wile to form a local (to Frederick MD) Welsh Society. We started doing some research to identify what was out there, and what we found was that a lot of the web links for groups near us were dead and the groups were gone. So with the thought of, why not, we chartered our group state wide, and became the Maryland Welsh Society. The second thing we noticed in our research was that most of the Welsh groups seemed to be tied to a church, and there activities were focused on Choir singing. Yes, we know that seems to be a big thing is Welsh culture. Not that we had anything against that, but it just wasn’t out thing. We were more interested in the other things of Welsh culture, Food, drink, dancing (Morris), and pre Christian history.
My question is since this seems to be a radical departure from the typical Welsh Society in America, are we going to be receiving grief from the rest of the Welsh society (here in America and in Wales itself).
Were still developing our web site, and planning next year’s activities, we plan to be at all the Celtic Festivals in the DC/MD, VA and PA area next year.
Roger - clearly you misread what I said.
I did NOT suggest that 'the internet helped created the problem'. Rather, I said that the internet (via sites such as AmeriCymru) could offer a solution to the problem. My actual quote was: "It seems then, that AmeriCymru may offer a partial solution – to both factors. The mobile youth can belong to such a mobile society and ‘meet’ members in the virtual sense – wherever their laptop (or more modern gizmos) may find them".
I said that people's mobility (which had begun before the internet) may dissaude them from joining any localized group - such as the 'Welsh Society of AberCwmScwt' - once they move from 'AberCwmScwt', their physical association with those people becomes severed. My actual quote was: "Through that mobility, they may have less likelihood to want to become ‘attached’ to anything. So, attracting members from a mobile society to a ‘rooted’ organization may be contributory to the difficulty and decline that we are seeing."
What evidence is there that the internet isn't 'being used by the younger generations to find the information and organizations that could provide the solution?' ? On the contrary, I think the answer to the question I posed in the last paragraph of my prior post may well show that they ARE using the internet - and ARE joining internet-based groups - but still decline associating themselves with those 'local' groups that are rooted in the pre-21st century ideas and populated by the individuals you previously described. Mobility adds to that problem.
Not trying to start an argument (Celtic people never disagree, LOL!). Maybe I didn't read into your statement what you meant.
But yes, I do see the internet as a problem in general with the younger people. Without question the internet does provide the greatest access to information (both good and bad) that mankind has ever seen, IF the internet is used to find information.
Is "social networking" as it actually occurs on the internet actually SOCIAL NETWORKING? "I'm sitiing at a computer in the library typing this, in a few minutes I am leaving for an appointment.....etc., etc. I could have used the time spent searching for answers!
But the "Problem" is not limited to the internet and that was the reason I mentioned the young woman asking me where to start looking for information when we were within a physical stone's throw of the University of Rio Grande library. And no, she did not realize we were standing in the center of "The University of Rio Grande"!
How many people in the United States are aware of that university's purpose as stated in its charter? (Purpose: To provide an education to those who migrated from the home country which would help them meet the new challenges they would face in this country.)
I will argue that simply joining an interest special interest group is not the same as joining an actual group of people with a common interest. Cyber communications lacks the awareness of what is taking place around us while we are communicating with another via the internet.
Example: One of my biggest problems is that when I am on the internet I start on one topic but am thinking of many related bits and pieces that relate directly to what I am saying. Can't put it all down on cyber paper at the same time unless the "listener" has the time and ability to hyperlink my "extra" thoughts to obtain the full meaning behind what I have stated.
Physically meeting with others and willingly admitting to others that you are of Cymreig heritage is a major part of the problem "lack of interest" in my home area. Just too many older people are letting that "social slur" stop them from letting themselves be known to others of like mind and purpose and it has carried over to the younger set.
If the "Irish" can walk up to someone and "let it be known"... well, that's a bit unlike our people but at least we shouldn't be afraid of our ancestry. RCR
(Got to leave for an appointment....)
I DO wish people would read what is said - and not infer that something else was said - or that something else was 'meant'. I said what I meant and meant what I said. One may disgree with the premise or suggestions, but please let's make sure to not misquote or read in something that isn't there.
RCR - don't worry, you are not alone in that boat! BTW - I attended one of the outdoor events at Rio Grande about 15 years ago when I lived just across the river in WV.
Quote "I was embarrassed when I told her to look in the direction I was pointing, the University of Rio Grande's library was less then fifty yards from where we were standing. I really wanted to ask her if she had any idea what makes Rio Grande "different" then other universities in the United States!"
Well I guess I'm stupid because I have no Idea what you mean.
Ok the internet can only help but it needs info.
Did anyone read what I said!
Please address my points.
Understandable. Most people living in the United States seeking help in regards to their Cymreig connections, especially those living in the state of Ohio, are not aware of the University of Rio Grande's non-US charter. It is no secret, articles on URG appear in newspapers now and then.
I am aware of that I, by nature, tend to "hold back" on detail. I do it on purpose.
Excuse: I am involved with several local historical societies and during my presentations I employ the the "plant the seed" tactics in order to encourage those who have a real interest in the presented subjct to do some light research on their own.
I wasn't taught to do so, "it" was in me when I walked in the door.
Why: Telling someone what they should be thinking leads directly to the attitude we see today in regards to heritage societies.
Partial explaination: We Americans of the Baby Boomer generation, when told to do somthing by our elders, would ask "Why?" We were told "because that is the way is is done", or "Because I said so". Looking back there is no question in my mind that our elders DID NOT have an answer, but they had been deprived of many things as they grew up.
That lead to the typical Baby Boomer's general disinterest in heritage societies and other activities which we associated with our elders. We were determined to grow up in our elder's image.
In some areas that attitude did work, but in other areas it did not. At some point we Baby Boomers replaced the term "ask" with the term "challange".
I blame my generation and the Depression Generation for Generation "X's" unwilling to listen to anyone.
However, and I have stated this before, Generation "Y" is asking questions but they have no guides help lead them to the answers they seek.
I also stated before that the real reason Cymreig heritage societies are failing can be seen by looking into a mirror.
Doug, it looks like you may have identified a niche that hasn't been addressed. Personally, I won't be upset if you don't concentrate on choral singing and church services. Do you have a working website yet?
Okay, now I get the references to the University of Rio Grande. I was wholly ignorant of the Madog Center for Welsh Studies but then I do not live in the USA! It was all a bit cryptic before.
I DO live in the US, and had nary a clue, so don't feel bad!
Tod, It is pronounced RYE-o Grand by the way.
Its Welsh founders chose that name only after having several previous applications rejected by the State of Ohio saying their submission was already "taken." Exasperated, someone said they had seen a newspaper headline with the "Rio Grande" in it and said, "Surely that name isn't taken?" It wasn't. But no one knew how to pronounce it.
"RYE-o Grand" is also the home of the Bob Evans restaurant chain and the Evans farm which started it all.
Alrighty then - good to know!
Sad to hear of the demise of some of the Welsh Societies over there. I happen to play in a Welsh Folk band called Jac y Do (name taken from Jackdaw) and we are quite busy here in South Wales. We have released 4 CDs of traditional and original music. Not Choir music but up tempo folk/rock! Two fiddlers, two guitars, banjo,bass,keys and drums We also specialise in holding a "Twmpath" which is a Welsh folk dancing evening. We perform at Weddings and Birthday parties and have performed on numerous ocassions in the National Eisteddfod. We have performed in Mineapolis in the shopping mall there a few years ago with the Welsh Tourist Board where Wales was "put on show" so to speak. We have also performed in Toronto in the Welsh caravan festival where we won the Band of the Festival award. We've also played in Spain, Hungary, France, Brittany, Ireland and Belgium in major festivals.
Good luck with your work over there Doug. Hope you can get those Welsh Societies moving again. All the very best.
I am so glad that you asked this question. During the time I was working, in LA, I would get up at 4a.m. to go to work in a hospital in West LA. Then
about 6 time a year I would drive 2.5 hours to get to Santa Barbara with my prepared programme for the Welsh Society . I wrote a few songs for them, we started some very basic language songs, I prepared some history and explanations of the Mabinogion AND I wrote a nrewletter
4 times a year. I refused to take care of the tea or milk. When I became ill and had to give up, I could find no-one to take care of the tea pots and of course no one took over the club.
One thing I will tell you is that no one brought their daughters to join the club. With this kind of apathy, what can you expect??? Shanne Cano