NEXT weekend sees the quarter finals of what is turning out to be an enthralling Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Eight nations will be lining up against each other in the four ties- and eight national anthems will be belted out with pride and passion before each game.
In a world so obsessed with rootless globalism and trans-national institutions, the singing of national anthems at such sporting occasioms seems almost like an act of resistance.
An overt expression of the deep human attachment to a specific nation, a homeland, a culture, which is almost off-limits in the progressive liberal worldview so dominant in education, media and entertainment today.
Interestingly, Wales is unique amongst the eight nations whose anthems will be sung on Saturday before a worldwide audience of millions of viewers.
‘Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau’ is the only one of the eight anthems which puts its main focus on the preservation of a language.
It bears vivid testimony to the historical importance of the Welsh language to the Welsh identity itself, and the survival of that minority identity living cheek to jowl with the behomoth of England next door.
England, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Japan, South Africa and France’s anthems all have their own merits and their own appeal to their home supporters of course.
But there’s none of that indefatigable Welsh pride and passion for a native language in their particular anthems.
And what an incredible stage this weekend for the people of Wales to tell the world of their desire and intent to keep Cymraeg as a living and flourishing language for the future.
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau is acknowledged as one of the most moving national anthems of all.
Probably only matched by the Croatian national anthem, ‘Horvatska’ which was actually sung on Welsh soil last night in an European Championship soccer qualifier in Cardiff.
Croatia’s rousing anthem’Our beautiful Homeland’ pays homage to the nation’s landscape, its rivers, its mountains and trees and the Croat’s deep emotional ties to the land.
But even the epic Horvatska doesn’t mention its language.
Wales’s unique honouring of its national language in its anthem deserves to be highlighted in the build-up to the big game against France on Sunday
O bydded i’r hen iaith barhau!
Let’s ensure that our language endures!
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