Monthly Archives: May 2013
The month of May in Nova Scotia is Gaelic Awareness Month, or Mìos na Gàidhlig. For me, every day is Gaelic day, but if you speak Gaelic and live in Halifax, May is a busy month! In May 2013, the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, the viceregal representative in Nova Scotia of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, held a reception in honour of Mìos na Gàidhlig at his official residence, Government House in Halifax. Take a look inside Government House with me in this post, including some surprising Gaelic touches.
Although Gaelic-speaking ministers and priests were once plentiful in Nova Scotia, only a precious few church services now take place through the medium of Gaelic each year in the province. One of them is the annual ecumenical Gaelic service held in Cape Breton each May in conjunction with Gaelic Awareness Month in the Province of Nova Scotia. In this blog post, describe the May 2013 service.
Celtic Life International, which is based here in Nova Scotia, published my article on the use of Gaelic in Disney/Pixar’s film “Brave” in their Spring 2013 issue. The online version also includes a sidebar with the interesting transatlantic history of the Gaelic song “Tha Mo Ghaol air Àird a’ Chuain” which was featured in a trailer for “Brave”. I’ve also created a free YouTube playlist with real examples of how Gaelic was used in the film, including a trailer. The playlist features introductions and analyses that expand on some of my points from the article.
My chapter on Nova Scotia Gaelic, published in the book Celts in the Americas, describes the current state of the Gaelic language and the Gaelic community in Nova Scotia, based on a year of informal participant observation; applies the latest tools and concepts from the sociology of language (Fishman’s GIDS), applied linguistics (the expanded GIDS and ethnolinguistic vitality) and linguistic anthropology (language ideology, language socialization, communities of practice) to assess just how endangered the Nova Scotia Gaelic community is; determines how effective current and recent revitalization efforts have been; and makes recommendations about revitalization priorities for the near future from an advocate’s point of view.
A group of Nova Scotia Gaels smuggled a wool blanket into a downtown Halifax shopping mall — you won’t believe what happened next! Learn this one weird trick for feeling proud of your minority language and culture!
Farmer’s Dairy released some new ice cream flavours for summer 2013. The names of the flavors were inspired by distinctive cultural, culinary, and natural features of Atlantic Canada. The first one that grabbed my attention was “Fiddler’s Reel Brownie” – a “blend of ooey-gooey fudge brownies and thick marshmallow swirl, wrapped in a rich chocolate ice cream. A reel treat for taste buds.” Thinking about the short Nova Scotia Gaelic film “Fiddler’s Reel” and Nova Scotia’s Gaelic culture, I got to wondering what it would be like if this ice cream had a trilingual label in English, French, and Gaelic?