Shwmae Day is a day where everyone is encouraged to start every conversation in Welsh, aiming to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all regardless of Welsh language skill levels.
The Council held an event on Friday 14th October at Abergavenny Hub in partnership with Menter Iaith Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen and Monmouthshire (BGTM), an organisation that works in the local community in many ways to create opportunities for people to use Welsh, to celebrate the day in the community. There was Welsh language story time for children under 5, Shwmae colouring resources, information about local Welsh classes through Coleg Gwent and information about Welsh medium education, all enjoyed with Welsh cakes from the Market Bakery to help everyone celebrate in style.
Shwmae Day was first celebrated in 2013 to promote the idea of starting every conversation in Welsh with Shwmae (meaning “Hi there”), being celebrated annually since. The aim of the events are to show that the Welsh language belongs to us all regardless of Welsh language skills.
Although Shwmae Day is an annual event, the council work throughout the year to promote and project the Welsh language. A census in 1991 showed that just over 1,800 people spoke Welsh in Monmouthshire. But in the most recent Welsh population survey, over 14,800 people in Monmouthshire speak Welsh.
Cllr. Turdor Thomas, Monmouthshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Social Care, Safeguarding and Accessible Health Services, said: “It is fantastic that the Welsh language is regularly being celebrated in our communities. It is so positive to see the number of Welsh speakers in Monmouthshire is increasing, and that there are more opportunities for learning the language across the county.”
For more information about the Welsh language in Monmouthshire, please visit: Monmouthshire and the Welsh Language – Monmouthshire