Culture

Patagonia bar posts beautiful rendition of Calon Lan to celebrate Welsh landing

28 Jul 2021 2 minutes Read
Welshman Michael Downey singing Calon Lan with locals at Bar Espana in Patagonia

Today marks the day on July 28th, 1865 when Welsh settlers arrived in Argentina aboard the Mimosa tea-clipper.

Around 160 emigrants were on the boat that left Liverpool two months earlier with the aim of creating a new settlement, ‘Y Wladfa’, where their language, culture and faith could flourish.

Every year on this date the Gwyl Glaniad, or Welsh Landing Festival, is celebrated in Patagonia.

To celebrate the landmark date Bar Espana, which is in the Patagonian province of Chubut, shared a video of locals singing a stirring version of Calon Lan, with Welsh traveller Michael Downey.

The traditional Welsh song is sung in the video in Welsh and Spanish.

Today, some 50,000 Patagonians can claim Welsh ancestry and the language is still spoken in parts.

The Welsh are credited with opening up the barren terrain of Chubut Province, making farming possible and helping the region to prosper.

Special place

Back in 2015, then First Minister Carwyn Jones travelled to Patagonia to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Mimosa landing.

Speaking at the time he said: “The descendants of Welsh settlers in Argentina have a special place in the minds of people in Wales and the reverse is also true.

“I hope this lasts long into the future and I look forward to cementing and celebrating the links that still exist, despite there being 7,500 miles between us.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
18 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Llewelyn
Llewelyn
1 month ago

Prehaps us North walians from the Llyn and Snowdonia should find a new Wladfa. We are being pushed out by tourists and jet skis – regardless what language we speak.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Llewelyn

Jet skis a significant problem in Snowdonia?

defaid
defaid
1 month ago

Parch a chariad i blant y paith.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

I visited Y Wladfa a few years ago. It’s an experience I recommend. It’s great hearing Welsh spoken with an Argentinian accent. I recommend a visit to Gaiman, paned o de a ‘torta galesa’ (Welsh cakes – very different to ours though) in the Welsh-style cafes and a visit to the Museum in Gaiman. Gaiman is where Wales meets the ‘old west’ – you will see what I mean if you visit. Signs in both Spanish and Welsh. Trelew also has some interesting chapels and a Welsh school although it is not as Cymraeg as Gaiman. The Mimosa monument on… Read more »

Elvey MacDonald
Elvey MacDonald
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

One clarification. Despite the claim of the excellent local museum, Mimosa’s contingent never slept in the caves which, according to the testimony of two of the pioneers, were excavated at a later date.

Arfon Jones
Arfon Jones
1 month ago

Where was this bar? Puerto Madryn?

Gruff Williams
Gruff Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  Arfon Jones

I think it’s Dolafon

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

Da iawn a diolch i bob cantorion yna. It is impossible to overemphasise the importance of the Mimosa pioneers and the survival of Yr Wladfa to Wales. They had obstacles galore to overcome, ond, fel ni, “yma o hid”.

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Welsh Colonialism at it’s finest! Da iawn!

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Chris

Yes nasty us. We settled in a country and DIDN’T displace / murder / rape and rob the local population, then steal all their stuff and fence it in the “British” “museum”

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago

In my humble opinion, the Patagonians were the best singers in that song. Arm hairs on end and a manly dampness in one eye (probably dust). But a touching reunion of the descendants of Iberia

Last edited 1 month ago by #1Chris
Jack
Jack
1 month ago

“The Welsh are credited with opening up the barren terrain of Chubut Province, making farming possible and helping the region to prosper.” – After the Argentinians had cleared the native population and opened it up to white settlers. This was textbook colonialism.

#1Chris
#1Chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Jack

Oh okay. This quote from an article suggests you are wrong but who am I to judge?
“ The Tehuelche people had to live with Welsh immigrants who, since the second half of the 19th century, began to settle in Chubut: the relations were generally harmonious between the two groups. In 1869, Chief Biguá recognized the need to defend the Welsh against a potential attack from Chief Calfucurá.”

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
1 month ago

I visited y Wladfa many years ago in 1981 when I was in Argentina, great experience to speak Spanish and Welsh. Everyone was very kind to me because I was from the old country 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Allan Brown
Allan Brown
1 month ago

Welsh settlers ethnically cleansed indigenous population

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
1 month ago

Argentineans and their government are very proactive in protecting and promoting the various different cultures, identities and heritages which make Argentina such a beautiful melting pot…

…unlike the occupied islands to the south which Westminster insists can only have one type of people (illegally) dictating their present and future.

Y Wladfa, Yr Ariannin – Las Malvinas, Argentina!

jones barry
jones barry
1 month ago

I visited Trelew in 1961

David
1 month ago

The older Patagonian fellow has a wonderful voice, keeps in tune and follows the rhythm. Excellent!

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.