Aoibhneas oirthearach

Tugadh an teideal ‘Cathair an Chultúir’ ar Dhoire i mbliana. B’fhéidir gurbh fhearr ‘Cathair na gCultúr’ a thabhairt ar an bhaile. Bhí seó den scoth i Sráidbhaile na gCeard i lár Dhoire Dé Domhnaigh seo caite chun an Bhliain Úr Shíneach a cheiliúradh. Bhí cearnóg an tsráidbhaile dubh le daoine. Tá ceannbhrat gloine os cionn na cearnóige anois. Mar sin de, is féidir imeachtaí a bheith ar siúl faoin aer, olc maith an aimsir. Ach ní raibh foscadh de dhíth Dé Domhnaigh: bhí an ghrian ag soilsiu an lá ar fad. Bhí cuma ghalánta ar an áit, le laindéir Shíneacha agus maisiúcháin gheala thart timpeall na cearnóige.

Bhí éagsúlacht iontach sa tsiamsaíocht: Damhsa an Dragúin, Damhsa na bhFeanna, Damhsa na Ribíní ón tSín. (D’fhoghlaim na páistí sa lucht féachana Damhsa na Ribíní). Bhí lámhchleasaithe ann; bhí gleacaithe ann; bhí taispeántas ealaín comhraic ann; bhí taispeántas Tai Chi ann. Bhí deis againn bia Síneach a bhlaiseadh. Tháinig an tOirthear agus an tIarthar le chéile: bhí ceoltóirí agus damhsóirí Gaelacha ar an ardán chomh maith le ceoltórí agus damhsóirí ón tSín. .

Bhí Harmony Ensemble, grúpa Síneach/Albanach ag seinm. Ghlac siad páirt i bhFéile an Imill i nDún Éideann. Bhí meascán ina gcuid ceoil - ceol Síneach, ceol Albanach agus ceol Éireannach. Chan an t-amhránaí Fong Liu i Sínis agus i mBéarla. Chas sí amhrán de chuid Robert Burns i gcanúint na hAlban!

Cuireadh tús leis an cheangal idir ceol Síneach agus ceol Gaelach sna 1980í nuair a thug na Chieftains cuairt ar an tSín – an chéad ghrúpa ón Iarthar a sheinn ar Bhalla Mhór na Síne.

Seo Bliain na Nathrach: tosóidh Bliain an Chapaill ar an 31 Eanáir 2014. Ach do dhéantóirí bórgaraí, tá Bliain an Chapaill ann cheana féin, ar ndóigh.

Eastern delight

Derry has been given the title ‘City of Culture’ this year, but perhaps it would be more appropriate to call the town ‘The City of Cultures’. There was a first rate show in the Craft Village in the centre of Derry last Sunday to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The village square was packed. There is a glass canopy over the square now. So you can have outdoor events there, whatever the weather. But we did not need shelter on Sunday: the sun shone all day. The place looked great, with Chinese lanterns and bright decorations all around the square.

There was great variety in the entertainment: the Dance of the Dragon, the Fan Dance, the Ribbon Dance from China. (The children in the audience learned the Ribbon Dance.) There were jugglers there; there were acrobats; there was a martial arts display; there was a Tai Chi demonstration. We were given an opportunity to taste Chinese food. East and West came together: there were Irish musicians and dancers on the stage as well as musicians and dancers from China.

There was music by Harmony Ensemble, a Chinese/Scottish group. They have taken part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They perform a mixture of Chinese, Scottish and Irish music. The singer Fong Liu sang in Chinese and in English. She sang one of Robert Burns’s songs in the Scottish dialect!

The connection between Chinese and Irish music was first made in the 1980s when the Chieftains visited China - the first Western group to play on the Great Wall of China.

This is the Year of the Snake: the Year of the Horse begins on the 31 January 2014. But for companies making burgers, the Year of the Horse has already begun, of course.

Nóta meabhrúcháin : Osclóidh Éigse Cholm Cille i gColáiste Mhig Aoidh anocht ar 7.00. agus rachaidh sí ar aghaidh amárach. Cead isteach saor in aisce.

Reminder: Éigse Cholm Cille opens tonight in Magee College (7.00.), and continues tomorrow. Admission is free.