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The lands of our fathers – new festival celebrates links between Brittany and Wales

19 Apr 2022 3 minute read
The Chwoant Festival

A unique festival celebrating the geographic and linguistic connections between Brittany and Wales is set to take place next weekend.

The Chwoant Festival takes place at the Urdd Centre, Cardiff on Saturday the 23rd of April, and will bring together young people from Brittany and Wales in workshops and discussions

The festival will feature sessions led by journalists, film makers, podcasters, language festival organisers and radio presenters along with performers including a comedian, fest-nozou singers and a DJ, with a view to seeding future collaborations.

The festival aims to build on the many cultural links between Brittany and Wales and while Breton and Welsh are separate there are commonalities between them and the campaigns to build and maintain the use of the languages.

Brittany’s anthem Bro Gozh ma Zadoù is based on the Welsh anthem, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau. Both titles mean ‘Old Land of my Fathers’, and they share the same tune.

The organisers say Chwoant will offer participants the chance to fill in gaps in the shared knowledge of the Welsh and Breton cultures, exploring the similar linguistic context and the struggle to create, live and campaign through these languages.

Felix Parker-Price, one of the festival’s organisers, said “It’s time for the young people of these languages to come together to share and learn from each other and to forge links between both countries!”

The Breton group Ahez will be representing France in this year’s Eurovision competition, and two of the trio will be performing on Saturday leading a fest-noz.

Marine Lavigne started singing at a very young age in “festoù-noz , the traditional Breton dance parties. She met band co-singer Sterenn Diridollou in the Diwan high school in Carhaix, which was the only Breton-medium school at the time, and together they developed their passion for kan-ha-diskan, the traditional call-and-response singing which accompanies Breton dancing.

Marine said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Wales to take part in Chwoant Festival in order to learn and share with the Welsh. We’re really looking forward to performing live fest-noz too in the afternoon.”

Entry to the event is free, and everyone is welcome.  There will also be a live music gig at the end of the day. The Chwoant Festival takes place at the Urdd Centre, Cardiff on 23 April 2022 from 10:00 to 19:00.

A full line up for the day can be found here

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2 years ago

What has this comment got to do with the article?

2 years ago

sounds good but i could have done with a bit more notice to have been able to support it.

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