Friday, July 13, 2007

Eisteddfod afterthoughts

As we drove home from Llangollen yesterday, Clare was observing how the British folk dance tradition was so weak amongst young people, compared with that of other countries. It's not 'cool' or fashionable, and thus not popular. Places where folk dance tradition remains strong are places where loss of identity is still being struggled against, where a kind of cultural patriotism is inherited and valued. Here and there it is still being taught and transmitted, in Wales, Scotland, Ireland - though I'm not so sure about England. Some of the Eastern European groups had travelled by coach for most of a week to be able to dance for their country, even if they didn't win a prize. Their pride and delight was evident. We've really lost something very precious about ourselves in the continued effort to be a world leading nation in political, social and cultural innovation. I don't think we are healthier for this loss of local identity, merely dissatisfied, listless.

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