Eisteddfod in Jamaica
But first Eisteddfod in Wales:
Held during the first week of August every year, the National Eisteddfod is a celebration of the culture and language in Wales.
The festival travels from place to place, alternating between north and south Wales, attracting around 150,000 visitors and over 250 tradestands and stalls.
The history of the Eisteddfod in Wales can be traced back to 1176, with the modern history of the organisation dating back to 1861. The festival has been held every year, other than 1914, when the outbreak of the First World War saw it postponed for a year.
Traditionally a competition-based festival, attracting over 6,000 competitors every year, the festival has developed and evolved over recent years, and whilst the competitions form the central focus for the week, the Maes (site) itself has grown and developed into a vibrant festival with hundreds of events and activities for the whole family.
The Eisteddfod is the natural showcase for music, dance, visual arts, literature, original perfomances and much more. Encompassing all aspects of the arts and culture in Wales, it is an inclusive and welcoming festival, which attracts thousands of Welsh learners and those who do not speak the language as well as Welsh speakers every year. Translation services are available in the Pavilion and bilingual information is available. We also have a centre for learning Welsh on the Maes.
Described as Wales’ leading mobile regeneration project, Eisteddfod week is the highlight of a two year community project, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds from a different part of Wales every year.
With a mix of outreach work, lifelong learning and volunteering opportunities, the community project steers the preparations for the festival, giving local people a chance to make their mark on our national festival.
Most of Wales’ leading writers, musicians and poets have competed at the Eisteddfod, with many performers appearing on a national stage for the first time during the festival.
And reflections on Eisteddfod in Australia:
The Australian National Eisteddfod is the premier Eisteddfod held in Canberra, the Nation’s Capital, each year. The Australian National Eisteddfod has a rich history of participation in the performing arts as offers opportunities in a number of art genres.
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is a dynamic cultural agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. With a strong ‘Brand Jamaica’ flair and vibrancy, it has positively shaped the image of Jamaica by producing a sea of world class arts luminaries who continue to wow the international scene with their unmatched creativity and artistic prowess. Initially developed from Eisteddfod which was introduced around the 1870's to celebrate an anniversary of Queen Victoria, many Jamaican Schools still celebrate Eisteddfod.
Globalization has presented tremendous opportunities for its continued growth and development through strategic alliances, interplay with cultures and through the utilization of information communication technology modalities.
Being a thriving cultural force that develops, promotes, and preserves the creative talents of many Jamaicans, JCDC also has the formidable task of keeping alive the amazing intangible heritage of Jamaica that defines the core and ethos of Jamaica’s nationhood. To this end, its functions include:
• promoting cultural programmes throughout the island
• encouraging and organizing each year, independence anniversary celebrations and other events marking occasions of national interest
• stimulating the development of local talents through training, competitions, exhibitions, pageants, parades and other activities as the Commission may, from time to time, determine
• supporting the work of other agencies engaged in the implementation of community development programmes.
For over 50 years the JCDC has been the prime vehicle and the cultural cog for the nurturing of cultural excellence, patriotism and social hegemony. The pivotal role of this agency, therefore, in developing Jamaica into a cultural super state and the consolidation of “Brand Jamaica” is unquestionable.
The community forms a vital part in fostering cultural development. The community allows for the transcending of cultural norms and values that form the canvas for the preservation and proliferation of Jamaica’s rich cultural heritage. The cultural values that are promoted by the JCDC through the plethora of cultural programmes and initiatives, dovetail into its paramount role in strengthening the social capital of Jamaica. This epitomizes and accentuates a national strategy as outlined in the Vision 2030 Plan to “preserve, develop and promote Jamaica’s cultural heritage”.
Established in 1963, the JCDC was originally known as the Festival Office of Jamaica. In 1968 it evolved into the Festival Commission a burgeoning force for cultural development on behalf of the government. The Act of Parliament in September, Act 32 of 1968, broadened its mandate to encourage the annual Independence Anniversary Celebrations throughout the island, as well as to stimulate the development of local talents. In May of 1980, the Commission’s mandate was extended by another Act of Parliament (Act No. 8 of 1980), and with this, its name was changed to the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission. 1980 represented a paradigm shift in the agency’s functions and responsibilities.The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) is a dynamic cultural agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.
With a strong ‘Brand Jamaica’ flair and vibrancy, it has positively shaped the image of Jamaica by producing a sea of world class arts luminaries who continue to wow the international scene with their unmatched creativity and artistic prowess.