On October 15th, 2019, people across Wales will be greeting each other with a Shwmae or Su’mae and encouraging people to give Welsh a go.

This is Shwmae Su’mae’s 7th birthday, a national celebration held on the 15th of October each year across Wales to celebrate the Welsh language, encouraging and giving people the confidence to start each conversation in Welsh. The day is being coordinated by the umbrella group ‘Dathlu’r Gymraeg’ (Celebrating the Language), but all events are organised at grassroots level by hundreds of individuals, groups, communities, institutions, organisations and public service providers across Wales.

Part of this year’s campaign is to encourace people to taste the Welsh language at all sorts of events from wine tasting to chatting over a cup of coffee. Your local Menter Iaith will be supporting the day by distributing resources including post cards including handy words and phrases to get you going. Contact your Menter Iaith to see how they can help.





We are very proud to announce that our second champion for 2019 is the Storyteller and National Eisteddfod Welsh Learner of the Year, Fiona Collins, originally from Hampshire, and now living in Carrog, Denbighshire. Fiona began learning Welsh in London, before continuing to learn once she decided to move to Wales. It was ‘hiraeth’ or longing that brought Fiona to Wales. Her mother was from Rhymney, a nurse who moved to a small hospital in Hampshire after working in London during the Second World War. Her father ran a pub opposite the hospital, and that is how her parents first met! Fiona is the first of her family to learn Welsh. She is a professional Storyteller and believes that to retell the stories of Wales, it was essential to have the ability to recount the stories in the Welsh language – “the lands legends through the language of the land” as she explains. Describing the importance of Shwmae Sumae Day, and her role as a champion, Fiona says:

“Shwmae Sumae Day encourages people to start each conversation in Welsh, and there’s no better way to give people confidence than by encouraging them to use every single word that they possibly can. I think everybody in Wales has a little bit of Welsh. We all know that ‘Araf’ painted on the road means slow down, and that ‘Maes Parcio’ is somewhere to leave your car! So, I always encourage people who aren’t Welsh speakers not to say ‘I don’t speak Welsh’, but rather to say: ‘I speak a little bit of Welsh’. In that way, they can acknowledge the Welsh that they DO have, even if it is only ‘road sign Welsh’”

Fiona would like to see more shops, small and large, encouraging their staff to greet everyone in Welsh on Shwmae Sumae Day this year, normalising the language and creating more of a celebratory feeling. She would also like to see more passion encouraged amongst school pupils who are already active in climate issues, to be passionate for their language too. On Shwmae Sumae Day this year, Fiona will be travelling to south Wales to support local activities there to celebrate and use the Welsh language;

“I have just received an invitation to go to Llantrisant on the day to support Welsh learning groups and the local Merched y Wawr branch as they celebrate the Welsh language. I’m looking forward to visit an area that is not familiar to me, and to meet other learners and those proud of their language.”

‘Diolch’ to Fiona for her enthusiasm and commitment to the Welsh language and supporting the Shwmae Sumae campaign this year. Contact swyddfa@dathlu.cymru for more information and assistance and see also our website www.shwmae.cymru for resources that can help you organise events for the day!