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Gaelic family in name victory/ Buannachd son teaghlaich a-thaobh ainmeachaidh

Iain Lom na Ceapaich | 24.06.2003 19:41 | Anti-racism | Culture | Gender

Gaelic speaking family protest and win the right to register their daughter's name in Gaelic after refusal from the Registrar General.

The MacBhoille family of Lochalsh have won their fight to name and register their daughter in the indigenous language of Scotland, which is still spoken by many in their community.

The Registrar General based in Dun Eideann/Edinburgh at first refused to recognise the name 'Aoife NicBhoill' on the grounds that it was a foreign language. This is not only a case of blatant racism against speakers of a minority language, it rases gender issues too. The prefix 'Mac' (son of) is common in Gaelic derived names around the world. The prefix 'Nic' (daughter of) while still being used daily in Gaelic seems to pose problems for the Anglicised Edinburgh establishment. 'NicBhoill' is written in its original Gaelic form and has been translated as 'Boyle' in daily English useage.

After protests by Gaelic activists and sympathetic media coverage, the Registrar General backed down. It comes at a time when the Labour Scottish Executine are finally showing signs of giving Gaelic some form of official and legal status in it's own land.

Ruairidh MacChoinnich of Edinburgh-based punk band 'Oi Polloi' said that it's time that more anarchists started learning and using Gaelic in a positive step against the globalisation of American Englaish which is threatening indigenous cultures throughout the world. Anarchists and sympathisers should "not only learn the language but reclaim it for ordinary Scots by using it on official forms and by defacing English-only roadsigns".

Those sympathetic to the ongoing campaign can write with their views to:
Peadair Peacock MSP,
Parliamaid na h-Alba,
Dun Eideann,
EH99 1SP.

Bidh buaidh againne! Suas leis a' Ghaidhlig.

Iain Lom na Ceapaich
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