The language’s resurgence is part of a broader cultural protest that in recent years has seen Cornish-language films, the release of Album sung entirely in Cornish by Welsh singer Gwennoand the performance of the usual play with parts spoken in Cornish which were banned by the English monarchy and considered heretical in the 16th Century. Johns recently released a Cornish Cookbookalso.
But Cornish has many challenges to overcome, including a lack of qualified teachers and competitive funding needs in an area consistently ranked as one of the poorest in Northern Europe.
Mousehole, the traditional fishing village where my quest for the Cornish language began, is beset by a shortage of affordable housing due to overtourism and high levels of second home ownership. In the part of the UK where there are more than 22,000 people As part of the affordable and social housing registry, homes in Mousehole are often empty outside of the summer tourist season.
Broadhurst told me that Camborne, where she lives, is home to the largest food bank in Cornwall. 15,000 local families receive a monthly emergency food package. Poverty was rampant in Cornwall, a situation that led to a constant need for decentralization, or even complete independence in Cornwall, which in turn fueled the desire for a national language.
Broadhurst believes that Cornish can be an economic as well as a cultural asset. “We can develop jobs where learning Cornish is useful,” she says. “I would love if every pub in Cornwall had menus in English and Cornwall, and the bar staff could ask people what they want to drink in Cornwall, and people could say:”Pinta Korev” [a pint of beer, please]. That would be great.”
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