Good To Know

Article by Jeni Rizio:

Cats are the best people. I had adopted my rescue baby Nicki from a foster home in 2019, she is the love of my life. 

Back in September 2020 after watching a viral video of the weather presenter Liam Dutton pronouncing the train station name in Ynys Môn, I had decided to learn this beautiful language. The more I practiced, the more I fell in love with it. My mother’s side of the family historically has told us we were part Welsh in background, though we did not know how many generations back. I am also part Irish, half Italian and part German by background, living in a place called Utica in New York here in the United States, best known for the “Steamed Hams” Simpsons videos. Utica is closer to Canada than New York City in this vast state.

Learning to speak new languages has been a hobby of mine for some time; I speak seven languages, some better than others. I find speaking Welsh helps me cope with my brain disease. While hospitalized, I had spoken some Welsh during our mandatory biofeedback sessions. There before my eyes, I watched the tension go down on the monitor as I said some Welsh words. 

Learning about the oppression from the English trying to take away Wales’ identity by forbidding them to speak their own language had motivated me to learn it all the more. A self-taught musician and songwriter, I had felt it would be fun to write a song in Welsh. 

Cat videos are some of the most popular online. My kitty Nicki is my sweet daughter, so why not write a song expressing my love for her and beautiful Cymru. 

My hope is that “Dwi’n Dy Garu Di” inspires more people to try and learn Welsh. It is such a fun and poetic language. I practice every day, and encourage other people to try it.

To help me pay my bills – and hopefully have enough money to save up for a trip to Wales, I set up a tip jar online on a platform called Ko-Fi. I feel the name fitting because I love coffee almost as much as I love cats and the Welsh language. Https://ko-fi.com/artbyjenx Please tell a friend. 

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