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Community come together in Merthyr to celebrate the Welsh language and culture

Kathy Jones from Learn Welsh Glamorgan
Diwrnod Shw’mae Su’mae Day is held on 15 October every year to celebrate the Welsh language and culture. At Cyfarthfa Park in Merthyr Tydfil, the community came together to celebrate this day at their biggest annual event so far. 
Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council received a £10,000 National Lottery grant to deliver a series of cultural events, including Diwrnod Shw’mae Su’mae Day. Later in the year, they will arrange a Welsh Christmas Fair, to provide the local community with an opportunity to come together and have the chance to practise a little, or a lot, of the Welsh language. 
The Diwrnod Shw’mae Su’mae event is run jointly by the Local Authority and local Welsh language partners and its mission is to inspire and encourage everyone to use any Welsh they have and embrace basic phrases like “Shw’mae?,” “Bore da,” and “Sut wyt ti?”. Learn Welsh Glamorgan, Menter Iaith Merthyr, The College Merthyr Tydfil and the Welsh Rugby Union were just some of the groups taking part. They shared how Welsh can be used and celebrated in our everyday lives.  
Children from local schools entertained the audience with Welsh songs, along with Erin Edwards, from Trelewis. Do Re Mi Canu kept the younger children busy with a sing-along and dancing session, whilst local businesses and groups offered produce from stalls in the grounds at Cyfarthfa Park. 
Councillor Michelle Symonds, Merthyr Tydfil Council’s Welsh Language Champion, was delighted to see so many people at the event. She told us: “This is an essential event within the calendar to promote, raise awareness and enhance the use of the Welsh language throughout our County Borough. I’m proud of this ever-growing celebration and commend the hard work of key partners and supporters who work tirelessly to make it happen.” 
The Welsh Language Commissioner, Efa Gruffudd Jones, who was present at the event, said, “It was lovely to be at Cyfarthfa Park celebrating the Welsh language. It was great to see so many children and young people present and such a buzz around the Welsh language in Merthyr. Thanks to the National Lottery for supporting this event.” 
Awel Haf Jones, Welsh Language Officer at The National Lottery Community Fund, said, “We had a great day celebrating Diwrnod Shw’mae Su’mae Day in Merthyr Tydfil and seeing the local people’s enthusiasm for the Welsh language. The National Lottery Community Fund in Wales works bilingually; more than half our staff are fluent Welsh speakers or are learning. Customers are welcome to contact us and apply for a grant in Welsh or in English and we will always communicate in the language they choose.”