New day, new language?! (What’s ‘birthday’ in Estonian?)

Some 23 years ago to this very day, I did something (quite unintentionally) to my mother that made her despise me for the rest of her life…. I am of course joking, although I bet her giving birth to me wasn’t quite as painless as sleeping in a pile of fluff! Cheers, mam!

But my blog today bears no real interest in the fact it’s my birthday, more on the other significant events that share this very day. In the past, when my birthday actually did mean something more special to me than it does now, I have had to move aside and play second fiddle to other events. Thankfully these ‘nasty’ events aren’t too nasty – such as Red Nose Day and Mothering Sunday on occasions – but still, to me as a young lad, they’d stolen my day! Bloody thieves!

Thanks (I think) to Wikipedia I’ve been able to find out who else shares this fine day as their birthday. For example, Nicholas Anelka (former Liverpool footballer), Sir Michael Caine (British actor) and Albert Einstein (some kind of physisist, I’m told?!). Also, a young lady in one of my year 7 classes persuaded me to give her one of my birthday biscuits (thanks, Mel, by the way) as it’s her birthday too. I also remember a lad in my year at school and an old lady who lived near my taid (grandfather) years ago. So, plenty of us then!

But I was more interested in the day as a day of celebrations. Aside from being π (Pi) Day in the United States, Wikipedia also informs me that in Estonia it’s ‘Mother Tongue Day’ today. It was rather nice for me as a self-confessed, amateur linguist to know that at least somewhere on the planet, a tiny country is paying some attention to languages. On a personal level, my mother tongue is English – so I guess it would be going against Estonian folklore and tradition to teach Welsh today…. Should I just go home?
So being my special day AND linguistic’s special day (in Estonia, at least), here’s a poem from the man (born on this day in 1801) who made this day a little different in Estonia, Kristjan Jaak Peterson, the founder of Estonian national literature:

Kas siis selle maa keel
Laulutuules ei või
Taevani tõustes üles
Igavikku omale otsida?

Cannot the language of this land
In the wind of incantation
Rising up to the heavens
Seek for eternity?

What a lovely thing to read on your birthday…. or any day for that matter. It kind of whispers hope for Welsh for me too. Hyfryd.
Time to smile, I guess – and after all, we haven’t yet reached the ‘Ides of March’ so enjoy this day while you can!

Smiley birthday face 🙂


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