NEWPORT AND DISTRICT BRETON TWINNING ASSOCIATION
Over 20 years ago, in common with many other Welsh communities, a few individuals in Newport thought it would be an interesting and worthwhile venture to find a twin town in Brittany, the western arm of France. Given the shared cultural heritage and close linguistic ties - Breton and Welsh together with Cornish originated in the Brythoneg language - a search ensued to find a similar settlement to Newport and its nearby villages of Nevern and Moylegrove.
The neighbouring villages of Plouguin and Treouergat were chosen, located in Finistere in the north west of Brittany near Brest. They are near the coast have a similarly sized population, a large farming community and a keen interest in preserving their native language.
So, in 1993, the exchanges began. Many have taken place over the years with the early May Bank Holiday weekend being a popular date. Typically we alternate, one year we go to Brittany and the next, they come here. The trips are always great fun, are open to everyone, families, individuals, couples, and require no special knowledge of French or Breton!
In recent years, the towns have had a theme running through the exchange. It might be the roles of Welsh and Breton; the migration of people to and from our communities, or the special part the coast plays in our lives. There are always dinners, and plenty of music and dancing for the active! Recent high points have been a commemorative walk to celebrate 20 years of twinning, from Moylegrove to Fishguard,and then along the Breton coastline from Roscoff to Treouergat via Plouguin, in total a distance of about 125 miles. In 2013 we received a visit by from Gwalarn Uhel, a mixed choir with members drawn from our twinned communities in Finistere, which took part in three events in this area.
A vast amount of camaraderie and goodwill has built up over the years, resulting in friendships which sometimes prompt additional visits at other times of the year. The host family provides entertainment (much of it organised on a group basis), food and accommodation.
The trips are usually subsidised by the Association and are very affordable, depending on final numbers. The only other costs for individuals are gifts for the hosts, presents to bring home and incidental expenses. We hope you will decide to join us and add to the experience.
The Association is grateful for support it has received in the past from Newport Town Council, Nevern Community Council and the European Union, but most of its resources are obtained by its own fundraising efforts.
To get you started, here are a few words of English, Welsh and Breton:
Wales – Cymru - Bro-GembreEngland – Lloegr - Bro-Saoz
Greetings - Sut mae – SaludBest wishes - Hwyl fawr - Kenavo, kenô
Thankyou - Diolch - Bennozh Doue , Trugarez, mersi.Please - Os gwelwch yn dda - Mar plij.
Good health - Iechyd da! - Yec'hed mat Good night Nos da! - Noz vat !
How are you? ( with respect) - Sut ydych chi? - Mat an traoù ganeoc'h ?
How are you (familiar) - Sut wyt ti? - Mat an traoù ganit ? Who are you? - Pwy dych chi? - Piv oc'h
What is your name? - Beth ydy dy enw? - Pe anv out ?/Petra eo da anv ?
My name is - Fy enw ydy... - ...eo ma anv I don’t - Dwi ddim - N'on ket