Brazilian explains why he took UK citizenship oath in the Welsh language
A Brazilian man, who was the first person to pass the UK citizenship test in Welsh, has now taken an oath in the language.
Dr Rodolfo Piskorski, who now lives in Cardiff, is now officially a British citizen thanks to a crowdfunding campaign.
He was able to complete the application thanks to the campaign that raised the £1,500 needed to pay citizenship fees.
Dr Piskorski, a Cardiff University lecturer, moved to the Welsh capital in 2013 to study for his PhD, and decided to start learning Welsh two years later.
At the beginning of the process to become a citizen he had to complete a the £50 multiple choice test, and he learned he was the first to pass the Welsh language version when he was given the results.
Although he has EU settled status through his Italian partner, he wanted to become a citizen because of uncertainty that was created by the UK’s exit from the European Union.
Following taking the oath Dr Piskorski said: “Today I became a British citizen officially. But I’ve been trying to find ways to affirm a Welsh citizenship. For example, I took my loyalty oath in Welsh.
“So today I’m not just gaining something, but I’m also starting to give something back. I want to participate in civic life as a new Welsh citizen
“In these difficult times, we must defend Wales and the Welsh language, especially during the census, and all of us must be heard.
“I’d like to thank everyone who welcomed me and encourage me to discover and learn Welsh. That’s important, as Wales was my way to become British.”
He added: “I want to thank everyone who supported and contributed to the crowdfunding campaign for my citizenship application.
“You were amazing in how you contributed what I needed in one week! you made this possible. You made a real difference to me. Obrigado a Cymru am byth.”
Heddiw, des i yn ddinesydd Prydeinig.
Neges diolch i bawb sy wedi gwneud hi'n bosib.
(Roedd hi'n wyntog iawn!) pic.twitter.com/xm2ayACZOu
— Rᵃᵈᵉᵏ 🏴🇧🇷🇪🇺 (he) (@BleddwganMiaren) March 25, 2021
He has previously spoken to Brazilian news and live entertainment programme, Metrópolis about his experience in Wales and with the Welsh language.
He said: “I already knew there was a minority language here, Welsh. Just like there are other minority languages in Europe, and I thought it was very interesting. It’s a very curious and different language.
“For me it’s a very young and fresh language as I live in Cardiff, the capital. There are many people who speak it and there are whole communities where it is spoken. There are many children who speak it.
“There’s a TV channel, radio stations, newspapers, websites. When you have that much social structure through the medium of a language, that language is considered stable.
“The government wants to reach a million Welsh speakers by 2050. I think right now there must be some 500,000. Any child in the country can attend a Welsh medium school, there are Welsh classes for refugees when they arrive here, so there is a lot of effort to keep the language alive.”