Lovers of Yiddish, the language of Sholem-Aleichem’s original Tevye stories, will appreciate the Eisteddfod, the huge youth festivals in Wales that feature literature, music, dance,

eisteddfodprifand theatrical performances and competitions, promoting creative expression in the Welsh language — which is spoken today by less than one-fifth of the population of Wales, according to the 2011 UK Census. That amounts to 562,000 people — twice as many as the estimated current number of Yiddish speakers worldwide. Perhaps the young people from Ystalyfera/West Glamorgan were making a musical gesture of solidarity when they performed on the last day of the regional Eisteddfod in Caerphilly in May (which drew more than 88,000 people). In the “Music Anthology” category, they presented this rousing medley from Fiddler on the Roof — in Welsh. They have no trouble pronouncing ”L’chaim!’

ht: RokhlKafrissen and Eve Sicular


2 thoughts on “Traddodiad!

  1. And my daughter, who attends a Welsh medium school, is one of the 562k. It’s a number that is growing with the popularity of Welsh medium education. But it isn’t without a struggle. Like Yiddish – both in language and culture – Welsh is seen by some as dying. Why bother, some say angrily, keeping it alive by forcing it onto bilingual street signs, into state publications, into our schools? Save your money. But the trend seems to be reversing as a new generation embraces the language and making sure that Wales doesn’t become just another English county. It’s a fierce fight and one that has raged for centuries. I’m happy you mention the Urdd Eisteddfod on your site. Diolch Professor! Wela i chi! P.S. The school provides the Welsh education. I provide the yiddishisms so the ten year old can verbalize any frustrations at school without getting into trouble. No one seems to understand what to make of “schmendrik.”

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