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Last Updated: Friday, 8 October, 2004, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Gaelic festival hits right note
Musicians
The Mod celebrates Gaelic music and culture
Scotland's annual celebration of Gaelic culture has got under way.

The Gaelic festival, the Royal National Mod, is being held in Perth this year and will host competitors and visitors from across the globe.

It started back in 1892 and celebrates the Gaelic language and culture through music, dance, drama, arts and literature.

The competitive event has grown in popularity to become the second biggest festival in Scotland.

The Mod, the governing body of which is An Comunn Gaidhealach, attracts visitors and competitors from all over the UK - as well as Australia, Canada and the US.

It will feature competitions involving fiddlers, pipers, solo singers, ceilidhs, choral and instrumental music, poetry, art, story-telling and drama.

The festival - a promoter of the Gaelic language - has received a boost from a parliamentary bill which aims to secure the future of the tongue by giving it official recognition.

Dying language

The measure, which should pass into law by next summer, would also place a responsibility on public bodies to promote its use.

Councils would have to take account of any guidance on Gaelic-medium education from the Brd na Gidhlig quango.

The proposals follow concern about a fall in Gaelic speakers and criticism that the government has historically failed to support it.

The language is spoken by fewer than 60,000 people across the country, according to official figures.

The unveiling of the new legislation came a day after Prince Charles expressed his support for the battle to save the language from extinction.

On a visit to Scotland's only Gaelic college on the Isle of Skye, Sabhal Mr Ostaig, he said it was a miracle the language was still being spoken at all.


SEE ALSO:
Ministers unveil new Gaelic law
28 Sep 04  |  Scotland
Plans to protect Gaelic
10 Oct 03  |  Scotland
Funding boost for Gaelic
13 Oct 01  |  Scotland
Gael warning to ministers
22 May 02  |  Scotland
Gaelic targets a new generation
16 Mar 02  |  Scotland


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