Hello again, friends…. after a brief period away from shouting my mouth of at various unsuspecting victims….
I think it’s important when learning a language that one might incorporate the whole culture of the peoples who use said language. Unfortunately (from a personal perspective), the language I had chosen to learn takes much of it’s ‘diverse’ linguistic culturisms from Pagan/Christian rituals and ‘holy’ traditions.
Around this time of year the Christian faith, I think, begins to ‘welcome’ in Lent. Now I definitely should have chosen a different word than ‘welcome’ to describe Lent’s arrival – I mean who welcomes giving anything up…. Unless it’s smoking or drinking. Yet I digress….
Being a fluent Welsh learner (primarily fluent when on the wrong side of a Guinness or three) I felt it important to learn the names for these traditions and beliefs in Welsh – even though I choose not to celebrate them. Shrove Tuesday, for example, translates as ‘Dydd Mawrth Ynyd’. It was then, for a borning yet interested linguist as myself, essential for me to find out the origin of this term. ‘Ynyd’ derives from the Latin ‘initio’ meaning to start or to begin (drop suffix, i>y, t hardened to d). This amused me as this date considered the holy gateway to a festival of giving stuff up (Lent) is referred to in my mother tongue as a beginning!
So, religion lovers, how’s about we consider this as my pre-Easter message. Let’s sack off the silly act of giving things up and begin taking things up. I’m of course not referring to things like drugs and alcohol etc, but something nice…. like learning Welsh. Why should modern peoples of a world community be plaguing ourselves with the burden of not eating another bloody chocolate bar when we could all do something good and useful with our lives? If I were to sympathise with Christian belief I’d say that Jesus has already been through this period of having ‘nothing’ for 40 days and nights so we don’t have to. Like we don’t have to be crucified, perform ‘miracles’, or have a comet in the sky when we’re born! Diolch yn fawr, Iesu (Jesus).
Cychwyn…. Initio…. Begin….!
And what better way to start doing new stuff than with a smiley face 🙂