Dec 17 2009
Pic: MOD Falkirk
|Gaelic is a unique vehicle for passing Scottish understanding from one generation to the next, First Minister Alex Salmond said on the 10th October as he prepared to formally launch the Royal National Mod 2008 in Falkirk on that evening. The Scottish Government announced their support for the Gaelic language.|
The Mod is Scotland’s premier Gaelic festival, celebrating Gaelic language and culture, which will today be strengthened with the announcement of more than £2.7 million funding for a range of Gaelic education measures.
The First Minister used his address to announce:
- Support for a Gaelic Parents Advocacy Scheme to promote Gaelic education and provide support for parents
- £2.6 million to assist local authorities with the renovation and construction of dedicated Gaelic schools in the next two financial years
- Extended funding for the Gaelic Teacher Recruitment Officer based at Bord na Gaidhlig
- £70,000 to support a Youth Scheme that will create employment opportunities for young Gaelic-speakers
Looking forward to the official launch the First Minister said:
The Gaelic language is a vital way of seeing and understanding Scotland. It contains the symbols and metaphors, stories and landscapes, that help define Scotland’s unique culture and history. As an essential part of our life, lore and language – Gaelic provides a valuable vehicle for passing Scottish understanding from one generation to the next.
That is why the Scottish Government is committed to promoting Gaelic education, and why I’m delighted to announce more than #2.7 million of funding to support the development of this strand of our cultural matrix. This money will help young learners by supporting parents, schools, teaching and youth training.
This year’s Mod provides a vibrant example of the enjoyment that can be found in Gaelic learning, with people of all ages competing across a range of disciplines including Gaelic Music and Song, Highland Dancing, Instrumental, Drama, Sport and Literature. Tonight’s launch gives a taste of the talent on show.
For talented Gaelic-speakers this is an exciting time, with a newly launched Gaelic language channel BBC Alba, the Fàs Centre established at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig to attract and support cultural enterprises, and a Gaelic Language Plan being developed. There should be no limit to the ambitions of modern Gaels.
With Scotland’s Year of Homecoming fast approaching, I hope we can harness some of our Gaelic ambition to encourage even more people to travel to join us in Oban for our Homecoming Mod in 2009. As an opportunity for Gaels and non-Gaels to renew old friendships as well as forging new ones – the Mod is the perfect way to reconnect with Scotland, in any language.
The Mod is organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach (The Highland Association) which was founded in Oban in 1891 and which has HM The Queen as its Patron.
Attending the Mod opening ceremony will be President of Comunn Gaidhealach John Macleod, National Mod Convener Janet Macdonald, Falkirk Provost Pat Reid, Convener of the Mod 2008 Local Committee Angus MacDonald, and Deputy Premier of the Legislature of Nova Scotia Angus MacIsaac.
Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail was first held in Oban in 1892. It is the Scottish Gaelic community’s annual festival celebrating their language and culture, and is mostly competition-based. An 8-day festival with a strong language emphasis, it attracts around 1200 competitors, focussing on junior competitions at the beginning of the week and adult events at the end of the week, culminating in the awarding of Gold Medals (Non-trad and trad) for solo singers and the Lovat & Tullibardine trophy for the top choir. The current Bàrd (Martin MacIntyre) is serving a 3-yr term of office. The Mòd is comparable to the Welsh National Eisteddfod. In the course of the week, around 20,000 people attend the Mòd and it is estimated to bring up to £2m in economic benefit to the host area, at an off-peak period in the tourist season. Future Mòds will be in Oban (2009), Caithness (2010) and Stornoway (2011). The host area for 2012 will be announced at this year’s event.