Showing posts from 2023

The AIDS Crisis and the Welsh LGBTQIA+ Community

(Chapter excerpt from Luke Blaidd's undergraduate dissertation, "“What drove the development of Welsh-language LGBTQIA+  terminology 1972-2022?”)  On the 4th of July 1982, Terrence Higgins passed away from AIDs-related complications at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. Originally from Pembrokeshire, Higgins had left Haverfordwest due to feeling alienated for his sexuality and sought a new life in the English capital. It was there while working at gay nightclub Heaven, Higgins collapsed and was promptly admitted to hospital. He eventually succumbed to pneumonia and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy — these would later come to be recognised as complications from an AIDS infection. Higgins himself would come to be identified as one of the first people to die of AIDS-related illness in the United Kingdom. The HIV and AIDS awareness charity Terrence Higgins Trust was founded by close friends of Higgins in his memory. During this period, it was largely informal LGBTQIA+ termin

Halloween Traditions in South Uist

A Photo of Fuarag South Uist has long been celebrated for its Halloween traditions, so splendidly captured by folklorist Margaret Fay Shaw in the 1930s. But what of those traditions today? And what do the shifting seasonal customs of children tell us about contemporary folk life? I remember the first Halloween in South Uist when I was visited by children. The initial group were welcomed inside to each give a performance – this year’s Mòd Gaelic song, a joke or the like – before getting their sweeties ( recte  candy). A later group knocked at the door yelling “trick or treat”. I was lucky, in retrospect, that no children came with masks on. Those who do, remain silent until their identity is guessed by the adults. Having only recently arrived in the island, I would have had little chance at identifying the children correctly. We would have been there all night, and no one would have got their sweeties. The strategic diversity utilised by the children in attaining their sweeties presents

100 years of Celtic Studies in the Netherlands

  ‘100 years Celtic in Utrecht’, art made by Merel Reintjes This year, the International Congress of Celtic Studies (ICCS) was organised by Utrecht University. That was  because this year marks the centenary of the study of Celtic languages and culture in Utrecht (the Netherlands). The first Dutch professor of Celtic, Anton Gerard van Hamel, established the Chair of Celtic Studies in 1923.  Since then, a lot has happened. Celtic studies have a well-established place in education and research in the   Netherlands right now, but this wasn’t always the case, as we have known some turbulent times. After every   time that the study of Celtic languages was threatened to disappear over the past 100 years, we managed to   survive and even thrive. But how did that happen? Why do we have the opportunity to study Celtic languages   and culture in the Netherlands (of all places)? Even though Celtic has been studied in Utrecht for 100 years, the Celtic languages have been studied in the   Low Count

Fionn Folklore Database

For this month's blog post, we're going to be taking a look at the  Fionn Folklore Database , giving a brief introduction to it and some of its features and how I, as both a researcher and a social media assistant for the database, use them to my advantage.  First off: As a disclaimer: I do receive financial compensation for my work on the Database, with me being paid on an hourly rate. That being said, for this post, I have deliberately chosen not to use any time tracking services and to avoid any compensation. This is me writing this as someone who is on the database at least once a week, has genuinely found it useful, and wants to help other researchers at all levels get something new out of it, not just for the sake of propping up a project I'm writing on.  So, what is the Fionn Folklore Database, what does it contain, what does it do?  The Fionn Folklore Database is, per its own social media blurb, "a  trilingual database  connecting people with c. 3,500  folktale