A culture of peace at National Eisteddfod

IssueSeptember 2007
News by Delyn Harris, Arfon Rhys

This National Eisteddfod of Wales took place in Flintshire from 4 to 11 August. As usual, among the hundreds of stands was Pabell Heddwch - the Peace Tent.

Inside were displays, information, petitions and workshops from CND Cymru, the Welsh Centre for International Affairs and others.

Cymdeithas y Cymod, the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Wales, launched its new website www.cymdeithasycymod.org.uk.

Hiroshima Day, which falls during the Eisteddfod each year, was marked with an interfaith service in the Churches Together tent.

At the heart of the Eisteddfod, when crowning of the bard, the crowd is asked: “Oes heddwch? Is there peace?” They reply: “Heddwch. Peace”.

While cynics may point out there is precious little peace in a country making war on Iraq, bombing Afghanistan, and supporting oppressive regimes, there is a quiet culture of peace at work.

Youth organisation Urdd Gobaith Cymru sends an annual message of goodwill to the children of the world, while the nationalist political tradition in Wales is strongly anti-militarist.

A study of Welsh people who view themselves as internationalists found that many attributed their commitment to cultural diversity and solidarity with oppressed people to a range of Welsh traditions and institutions from the Urdd Gobaith Cymru and the chapel, to miners' solidarity.

Topics: Culture
See more of: Wales