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Remembering 2021: Patagonia bar posts beautiful rendition of Calon Lan to celebrate Welsh landing

29 May 2023 2 minute read
Welshman Michael Downey singing Calon Lan with locals at Bar Espana in Patagonia

As Nation.Cymru continues to celebrate its birthday, we have been looking back at some of the big hitters of each of the last six years – this, from 2021, when music celebrates the links between Wales and Patagonia…

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.”

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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

That was nice…my brother is planning a trip through Argentina and will visit Y Wladfa, I will send him a link to this heart-warming little clip…

James William Soares Jones

I very much like telling passengers in my Boston, Massachusetts USA taxi about the Cymru in Argentina. Is it a story about “reverse hiraeth”…where people had to leave home to protect their culture from erosion?

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