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CELTIC-L  December 1998

CELTIC-L December 1998

Subject:

Re: Greetings from Spirit Tree!!

From:

mike brown <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

mike brown <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 21 Dec 1998 12:54:10 +1100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

[Jacquelyn wrote:]
>Oh, you're absolutely right. You wouldn't want "outsiders" to know anything
>about the Celts, they just might have different points of view that would
>actually help.....They might even challenge Celts to put their money and
>time where their mouths are. Bad, very bad.

I take it from this response that you *are* one of those academics who claim
to know more about our culture and history than we do. If so, I think you
and your academic friends need to hear and understand our view before you
earn the right to challenge us.


>While I agree that mass propagation of "Celtic" culture is little more than
>a commercial enterprise, and often bares no resemblance to the Celtic
>cultures, the interest that supports these ventures is in earnest.

The only 'interest' supporting these ventures is the bank interest gained
from making a profit out of them.


>I firmly
>believe that these are opportunities to educate others about Celtic
>culture....In other words, an opportunity to put our time and money where
>our mouths are. It is frustrating, to say the least, when someone announces
>that the Druids built Stonehenge, that Celts are pagans, that there is no
>such thing as art in the Celtic tradition (this piece of wisdom from a pH
>in Art History), and of course, my favorite, there are no modern Celts


It is equally frustrating to be told that: modern governmental policies do
not impact on our cultures, and when it is admitted they do impact on us -
it is then claimed that they impact equally on English regions, that the
'British' media have the mandate (by population numbers) to concentrate on
one or two areas only, that we shouldn't have equal language rights on par
with the use of 'English' etc. etc.



> but unless I
>want to run around crying about their ignorance, I have a responsibility to
>go over that facts

That you do indeed.


(well, as far as poor humble non-Celt is possibly able
>to understand the facts. It's a disability from birth, you know. God just
>didn't love me enough to let me be born a Celt---I think I have Celt envy.)

Methinks thou doth protest too loudly...
Seen on a belt-buckle in a leather-ware shop recently: 'British born, Welsh
by the Grace of God'. Seriously though, I don't think anyone is claiming
that you have to be a "Celt" to study Celtic culture or have a valuable
opinion about it. I'm sure that most of the history found on ancient Celtic
civilisation has been discovered by non-Celts. This information is of great
merit, and its importantance in relation to giving us an understanding our
heritage is immense. However, my point is that too often anthropologists and
academics investigate a culture with the 'spectacles' of their own culture
on. They rarely seem to acknowledge that their 'mind-set' is different from
the culture they're investigating, and so judge the culture they're
researching with the value-judgements etc. of their own culture. I will try
to give you a brief, albeit generalised example:

An Englishperson's (an American's mind-set would be reasonably comparable-
with 'ethnic' exceptions of course) cultural mind-set is one of freedom and
powerfulness. They have at one time ruled over half of the Planet. All their
immediate neighbours have felt the yoke of their domination. Their language
is one of the most popular spoken languages today and is growing in global
importance. All the seats of power in Britain are/were in their Country (ie,
Westminister and the Crown). They have rarely had anything to fear from
their neighbours and 99% of the symbols of this are seen en masse in their
neighbouring countries land (eg, castles built NOT to keep their neighbours
out, but as stepping stones to eventual conquest) etc.

Now, what of the Welshperson's mind-set? They live in a Country with a tiny
population of 2.5million. They were their neighbour's first colony after
their kings and princes were killed by said neighbours. They have survived
culturally and linguistically against tremendous odds after their neighbours
implemented punitive laws both forbidding the use of their language and from
taking seats in office. The natural resources (eg, coal, men, slate etc.) of
their land have been exploited when needed, and dumped when not. Their
survival is not yet assured, and modern laws still have someway to go before
there is parity between their language and their neighbours language. Their
whole nation is represented in parliament by 38 MP's compared to their
neighbour's 500+ MP's(is this democracy or what!?!!!!) etc. etc. etc. ad
nauseam...

So you see, our mind-set can never match the mind-set of the ordinary
English or American person (who can afford to be magnaminous about our
culture's survival, simply because it's not their culture that's under
threat). Furthermore, when we hear academics criticise and undermine our
current political struggle as being only something as inane as
'English-bashing', and who then go on to tell us how we should be ever so
grateful that they are "fond" of our languages... Well, I don't know. Maybe
I am wasting my breath if such people can't make the necessary 'mental'
gear-shift of trying to understand our perspective without becoming all
defensive and sensitive.



>How many times have we gone to "festivals"
>and kept out mouths shut when merchants and groups spread mis-information.
>I'm guilty. The last event I attended published information announcing
>Galacia was the 7th Celtic nation and Gallego was the 6th Celtic
>language---I didn't DO anything but shake my head and walk away. That means
>I'M the one to blame for hundreds of people thinking Gallego-Portugese is a
>Celtic language!

Can't offer a comment here as I know sweet f.a. about Galacia etc.

>So the long and short is, I don't think we should turn people away from the
>great enlightenment offered on this list. Especially not if it means
>ridiculing children.

Would that be the same definition of "children" when it comes to protecting
them from drugs, age of consent (hetro or homo) etc., but are "adults" when
they commit a crime?

Hwyl -- Mike.

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