Gioann March Pòlli: «Finalmente anche la Cornovaglia ha il riconoscimento, da parte del Regno Unito, dello status di “Minoranza linguistica”. Un dato importantissimo soprattutto per noi, esponenti di minoranze linguistiche e locutori di lingue regionali che presto saranno quasi scomparse. Il cornico era scomparso senza il quasi. E il suo caso dimostra che se c’è la volontà da parte delle genti, anche una lingua morta può resuscitare.
Ma allora perché – nel nostro caso – attendere di morire? Non possiamo davvero pensarci un po’ prima?
E chi continua ancora a lamentarsi di noi che vogliamo “far rivivere i dialetti”, e continua a blaterare di “battaglie antistoriche”, sarebbe bene iniziasse una seria riflessione su quella che VERAMENTE è la modernità.
Tutti dicono: serve l’inglese, altro che dialetti… E chi l’inglese ce l’ha come lingua di Stato che fa?
Buona meditazione a tutti.
Cornish recognised as national minority group for the first time
Move means people of Cornwall will have same rights and protections as other Celtic groups in Scotland, Wales and Ireland
The land to the west of the Tamar river was a jubilant place to be after the government announced that the Cornish are to be recognised as a national minority for the first time. Dancing was promised on the streets of Bodmin, poetry (in Cornish, of course) was being recited – and a fair few pints of good old Cornish being downed in celebration.
“I think it’s a very important day for Cornwall,” said Bert Biscoe, an independent councillor and a long-time campaigner for the status. “Up to now we have been an invisible minority. This makes us visible. We’ve long been regarded as an eccentric add-on. I think this gives us an opportunity to gain more dignity, more respect.”
The announcement came from Whitehall, more than 200 miles away. The chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, said it meant Cornish people would be classified under the European framework convention for the protection of national minorities in the same way as the UK’s other Celtic people, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish.
Alexander said: “Cornish people have a proud history and a distinct identity. I am delighted that we have been able to officially recognise this and afford the Cornish people the same status as other minorities in the UK.”
The communities minister, Stephen Williams, said: “This is a great day for the people of Cornwall who have long campaigned for the distinctiveness and identity of the Cornish people to be recognised officially. The Cornish and Welsh are the oldest peoples on this island and as a proud Welshman I look forward to seeing Saint Piran’s flag flying with extra Celtic pride on 5 March next year.”
Alexander was visiting Bodmin on Thursday to join the celebrations. Biscoe said: “Bodmin has a habit of breaking out in spontaneous dance. I’m sure there’ll at least be a skip in the step of most of the people of Cornwall today.”
After the celebrations are over, the politicians – both in Cornwall and on a UK level – will work out the ramifications of the status. Biscoe said it would help Cornish bodies when they applied for grants from UK organisations. It might, for example, be easier for Cornish groups to apply for arts funding for specific Cornish projects. Biscoe said it should also make health statistics relating to Cornish people clearer.
The grand bard of Cornwall, Mo Fuller, welcomed the news with a Cornish phrase: “Gwyn agan bys” – meaning the world is a wonderful place. “We have been working for this recognition for our nation for years. We understand how distinctive our culture is, the world outside doesn’t always.”
Fuller, a retired teacher, said it was particularly good news for the young people of Cornwall. “I’ve been brainwashing children for 40 years about Cornishness and I sometimes think they didn’t know what I was going on about. To be recognised like this is important for them. It means they’ll be able to tick the box for Cornish in the next census with pride. I’m as high as a kite. I’m in my Cornish tartan and will be having a great day.”
The development may earn the Lib Dems some credit in Cornwall, one of their heartlands in recent years but a place where the Tories will hope to make gains at the next general election. Last month, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister, said the government would be investing a further £120,000 into the Cornish Language Partnership to promote and develop the language.
The North Cornwall Lib Dem MP Dan Rogerson was keen to make a political point out of it, saying: “Today’s announcement means that the Cornish will finally be recognised as one of the constituent peoples of the UK alongside the Welsh, Scottish and Irish.
“It will also make sure that public institutions take account of Cornwall’s unique identity. Despite the fact that the last Labour government said that the Cornish couldn’t be recognised in this way, Liberal Democrats in coalition government have made sure that the Cornish people, and our traditions, culture and heritage, now have the same status as everyone else.”
The news does not mean that Cornwall is breaking away from Britain, but it was welcomed nevertheless by Mebyon Kernow, which is campaigning for a Cornish national assembly.
Its leader, Dick Cole, said: “This is a fantastic announcement for Cornwall. I am absolutely delighted that the government has recognised the Cornish people as a national minority and it is great to see that all the Celtic peoples of these islands – the Cornish, Irish, Scottish and Welsh – are now afforded equal protection under the framework convention.”
The leader of Cornwall council, John Pollard, said he was surprised and delighted at the recognition. “National minority status will not initially bring any additional funding or powers to the council or to Cornwall. We will need to work with partners to make this clear to people in Cornwall. However, there are obviously significant benefits for Cornwall in being included within the framework convention, which is worth celebrating, and I pay tribute to all those who have worked tirelessly over many years to achieve this status” .
What the status means
Cornwall council says the announcement means the Cornish will be afforded the same protections as the Welsh, Scottish and the Irish. The main aims of the framework convention, which was first ratified 15 years ago, is to ensure that the rights of national minorities are respected by combating discrimination, promoting equality and preserving and developing the culture and identity of national minorities. Three previous attempts to include the Cornish in the framework convention were unsuccessful; the last attempt was made in 2011.
According to the council, inclusion in the convention will:
• Recognise the distinctiveness of the Cornish and enhance the UK’s reputation as a country that celebrates and supports the diversity of its inhabitants.
• Further the economic interests not just of Cornwall but of the UK as a whole.
• Help strengthen the confidence of Cornish young people that they are encouraged to identify with their cultural identity, and that this is valued by the rest of the country.
• Help strengthen the “Cornish brand” and provide a mechanism whereby the Cornish can establish and strengthen links with other groups accorded similar status across Europe and around the world.
• Create stronger links between communities and a greater understanding of shared values to help create more vibrant communities than can shape their own future.