Entries for the Gorsedh Kernow Awards are now open

Joanna Varanda

Cornish culture appears to be set to face severe difficulties in the next five years, and its biggest opponent is the Cornwall Council. Their recent budget plans do not seem to include support of the Cornish language, or even an overall interest in keeping the Cornish spirit alive and well.

Fortunately, Grand Bard Merv Davey has vouched to keep reminding the Council that “respecting, promoting and capitalising on Cornwall’s distinct cultural identity is also part of the Council’s business.”

Dr Davey was also the host of last year’s Gorsedh Kernow Awards, which aim to encourage people of all ages to share their creative skills, whether through art, sports, Cornish studies or even community service.

This past year also saw the creation of a new society on campus, which could contribute to the much-needed support of the local culture: the Cornish Celtic Society. Although focusing on Cornwall, other Celtic nations have not been forgotten.

Their range of events is also quite broad. So far, the CCS has promoted themed movie nights (complete with Whisky tasting!), talks with historians and other experts, language lessons, or even pop-up Cream Teas in The Compass. They have a few surprises lined up for next term which will definitely be worth checking out!

With a focus on Wales, Scotland, Brittany, Ireland, as well as Cornwall, the CCS aims to provide all Falmouth and Exeter University students with a small insight into Celtic history and mythology. And membership is not at all restricted to those that identify themselves as descendant from the Celts, but to all that are curious about this ancient people which span through so many countries, such as Portugal or Spain.

Much like the Cornish Celtic Society, the Gorsedh Kernow Awards are also open to all that would like to celebrate the Celtic spirit, no matter their origin or age. One of last year’s Creativity Awards went to the comic-book style story Men-An-Tol, submitted by Falmouth University student Joana Varanda and illustrator Tânia A. Cardoso. Both artists are Portuguese, and theirs was the first original comic-book story to have been written in the Standard Written Form of Cornish.

Entries are now open for Adult Awards, Competitions, and Young People’s Awards for those aged under 18, until Saturday the 31st of March 2018. The submissions can range from traditional arts, to literary entries or even new media technologies, as long as they recognise and celebrate Cornish cultural activity. More information and entry details can be found at http://gorsedhkernow.org.uk/awards.html.

The Cornish Celtic Society is affiliated with the FXU. Their aim is to provide an opportunity to get together with like minded people to explore and better understand the culture, language, history, and mythology of all the Celtic Nations. Find them on Facebook or Twitter at
facebook.com/groups/CornishCelticSoc or @FXU_Celtic_Soc