Super Furry Animal’s Cian Ciaran talks about why Welsh matters and hits back at Cardiff Council for letting Welsh children down.
For Cian, the Welsh language is part of everyday life. “I was brought up bilingually. My mother learned Welsh as she’s from Armagh. I use it daily with my family and friends and I speak it to my 16-month-old son,” he said.
But in 2000, the Welsh language was no private matter anymore. Super Furry Animals released a Welsh-language album, titled Mwng, which landed on number 11 on the national charts.
In the past, Cian noted the move was political and the message was loud and clear: Welsh is not a mythical language.
Now, Cian has decided to once again speak about the issue, after the council turned down Plaid Cymru’s motion to build a new Welsh Medium School.
“Language is a crucial feature of national and personal identity. It should not be seen as a problem and the council should do more than the minimum required,” he said. “I don’t think they are doing enough.
“Cardiff has a long history of this, Butetown and Tiger Bay is infamous. I think it was the first free black community in the western world and it should be proud of it!”
“The council have identified a number of sites to sell to private house developers, if they can build homes they can also build schools. Where there’s a will there’s a way. It’s political will that’s stopping us, not the lack of space.”
“Not affiliated with any party”
Last month, Cian signed up a petition calling for a Welsh Medium School to be built in Grangetown.
“I am not involved with Plaid Cymru or affiliate with any party,” he said when asked about the petition. “I am speaking out for what I believe in as do many others.”
“[the] Welsh language should be something that should be cherished, nurtured and celebrated,” he said.
“The Welsh Not was used in the past to try and beat the language out of the Welsh nation and succeeded in some part, Cardiff I believe was 80 percent welsh speaking at the turn of the last century,” he added.
The petition has since gained over a 1000 signatures and many have promised to keep pushing for the new school in the area.
Cian, who has urged other to sign the petition, sounds determined to fight the battle.
“This article is part of bringing more awareness to what it at stake and to the fight ahead,” he said.
“We need people to understand the importance of bilingual education and the benefits it brings to Welsh and non-Welsh speakers alike. This isn’t something that should only be seen as a minority issue to satisfy the few.
“I think we could look to Catalonia as an example, to try and learn from. They are trying to undo what Franco did to their language and it seems to be working there. Not only does it promote your culture but it helps in education and the development of children something that in turn will benefit the country and society as a whole,” he added.
“Welsh has a part to play to give equal opportunities for all our children and for future generations to come.”