New: Pobol y Rhondda Pobol y Rhondda


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New: Pobol y Rhondda

Sion Tomos Owen sy'n cyfarfod y cerddor John Asquith, sy'n crwydro'r byd gyda'i waith. Sion Tomos Owen meets musician and linguist John Asquith who travels the world conducting ...


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-Shwmae!

-I'm Sion Tomos Owen, a Rhondda boy.

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-I love it here. It's full of

-possibilities for artists like me.

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-I always look for different ways

-of portraying the valley in my work.

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-During the series, I'll speak

-to lots of interesting people.

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-I'll paint pictures reflecting

-what the valley is really like.

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-I'll put them together

-to create a large new map...

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-..of the lives

-of the Rhondda people.

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-I'm painting a new map

-of the Rhondda.

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-The map is in seven parts...

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-..each one representing

-a different part of the valley...

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-..and with a specific theme.

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-Today, I've returned to the

-Rhondda Heritage Park in Trehafod...

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-..for a very good reason.

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-Battling is the theme of this map.

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-I was going to call it Protest...

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-..but battling covers protest

-and the way we live to an extent...

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-..because we're still

-battling in our lives.

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-It's important to find time

-to clear the head too.

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-For me, there's nothing better

-than heading for the mountain.

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-Are you still enjoying yourself?

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-Are you still enjoying yourself?

-

-It's harder than I remembered!

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-Today, my friend Gethin Down and I

-are going up Penpych mountain...

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-..in the highest part of Rhondda

-Fawr to see the place at its best.

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-Geth, we're here at last,

-on top of Penpych mountain!

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-We came up from Blaencwm.

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-We can see all the way down

-to Blaenrhondda.

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-Penpych has three corners.

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-The corner we're standing on now

-is right in the middle.

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-All that separates Blaencwm

-and Blaenrhondda really...

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-..is the fact they've gone around

-the mountain.

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-You're from Blaenrhondda.

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-I am. My old house is down there.

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-I lived there for about 20 years.

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-One of my most vivid images

-of home...

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-..is coming off the train

-and looking up at this mountain.

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-It's not a high mountain.

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-It might be tough to climb

-but it's not high.

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-You can look down on Treherbert,

-Tynewydd, Blaenrhondda and Blaencwm.

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-It looks down on the area.

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-I don't think so, but a lot

-of people say it's rough up here.

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-If you know the place...

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-If you know the place...

-

-Have you met me?!

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-If you come here, it's so quiet.

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-If you come here, it's so quiet.

-

-It's not rough at all.

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-People can say that about anywhere.

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-It's quiet

-and it's a close-knit community.

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-I was going to ask about any rivalry

-between Blaencwm and Blaenrhondda...

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-..but they're so close together.

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-The only rivalry was when the

-Labour Club was open in Tynewydd.

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-One room was for Blaencwm people to

-drink, one room for Blaenrhondda...

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-..and another room

-where everybody went to dance!

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-Like West Side Story!

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-Like West Side Story!

-

-Yes!

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-There was a time when I never

-I planned to leave the area.

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-My love for my home is very deep.

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-But just in terms of employment,

-of my job...

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-..it made more sense

-to move closer to the capital city.

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-But I intend to come back

-when I'm older.

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-If you live in higher parts...

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-..or in these little cul-de-sacs

-off the main valley...

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-..the roots are very deep.

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-It's a close community,

-like a close family too...

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-..because of the remote location.

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-A couple of years ago, I started

-studying tai chi and kung fu.

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-Anyone who takes these seriously

-they become a part of their life.

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-They have to take them seriously.

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-They almost become

-ingrained in a person's bones...

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-..because it affects the way they

-think, move and live their life.

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-I passed my black belt in kung fu

-about two weeks ago.

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-Gosh. Congratulations!

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-Gosh. Congratulations!

-

-Thank you!

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-I was shattered after it.

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-I was shattered after it.

-

-How long does it take?

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-I had a written test

-a couple of days before it.

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-An exam?!

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-An exam?!

-

-Yes. I had to write an essay too.

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-The test took about four hours,

-which is actually quite quick.

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-It can take eight hours

-but thankfully it didn't...

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-..because I was on my knees

-by the end!

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-Physically, it was one of the

-toughest things I've ever had to do.

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-As you're an instructor now,

-why don't you teach me?

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-Though it'd look awesome

-to do tai chi up here...

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-..maybe we should look for a

-more suitable place in Hopkinstown.

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-Follow me, grasshopper!

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-First, I have another appointment.

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-Radio Cymru are recording an episode

-of Hawl i Holi in the Rhondda.

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-Thanks to my Twitter rants, I've

-been offered a place on the panel.

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-First, I got a team talk

-from none other than Dewi Llwyd.

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-Are you happy with the questions?

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-Are you happy with the questions?

-

-Yes. Definitely.

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-So, no swearing.

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-So, no swearing.

-

-Oh, I didn't know that.

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-We'll be fine.

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-You can interrupt or whatever.

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-So... How's Mam?

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-Good. She says hello.

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-Good. She says hello.

-

-Tell her I say hello back.

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-I hope you enjoy it.

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-Good evening. We've travelled to the

-most famous valley in South Wales.

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-We're in a village called Llwynypia.

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-Tonight, the people of Rhondda

-get the chance to ask questions.

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-Sion Tomos Owen.

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-Welsh is treated

-as a second language...

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-..even though

-it's a devolved matter.

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-Welsh is treated as second-class.

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-I've worked in schools

-all over South Wales.

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-We're scraping the barrel

-for resources.

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-What is the language situation

-by the time you get to your age?

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-How about your peers?

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-The Welsh speakers

-tend to be eisteddfod-goers.

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-They sing in choirs.

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-The perception is...

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-..that Welsh is spoken

-by musical and eisteddfod-types.

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-That's why speaking it socially

-is so important.

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-People find it weird

-when I speak Welsh to my brother...

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-..when we go to the pub.

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-Since presenting the first series

-of Pobol Y Rhondda...

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-..parents my age

-who have small children...

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-..switch to speaking Welsh

-to their children when they see me.

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-That's something.

-It's where it begins.

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-Speaking Welsh needs to be

-normalized outside education.

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-What would your reaction be if

-Donald Trump was elected President?

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-I take it you wouldn't be happy,

-Sion.

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-No. As a cartoonist,

-it would be fantastic!

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-I'm just glad

-I don't live over there.

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-What's the link

-between Blaenllechau, Ferndale...

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-..and some of Europe's

-greatest opera houses?

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-The answer

-is musician John Asquith...

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-..who's equally at home

-in any of them.

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-John, thanks for welcoming us

-to your home.

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-Are you from the Rhondda?

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-No. The family history

-is quite complicated.

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-One branch comes from North Wales,

-another from England...

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-..and another from Russia.

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-A broad spectrum.

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-A broad spectrum.

-

-Yes.

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-I've lived in Yorkshire, London,

-Russia itself and in Hungary.

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-But I always like

-coming back to Blaenllechau.

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-It's great.

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-I had friends in Ferndale,

-the other side of the valley.

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-Early one June morning...

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-..I was driving over the mountain

-and I saw a view over the valley.

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-I saw a house. This house.

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-I decided that it was the house

-I wanted to buy.

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-I work with opera companies.

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-Perhaps more importantly,

-I conduct choirs too...

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-..in Argentina, Hungary,

-Russia, Poland.

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-I love travelling the world.

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-John also conducts a choir

-in his home patch.

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-There's a choral tradition

-in the valley...

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-..but there isn't for opera.

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-So what's it like

-mixing opera with choral singing?

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-I conduct Cor Meibion Morlais

-in Ferndale.

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-The Morlais choir

-sings lots of operatic works.

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-Singing in an opera or in a choir

-is the same art form.

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-The skill involved is the same.

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-Did you study Music at university?

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-No.

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-I studied modern languages -

-Russian and French.

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-Also, Welsh language legends

-and romances in the Middle Ages.

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-The Dream of Rhonabwy, The Four

-Branches of the Mabinogi and so on.

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-Do you think

-you can teach anyone to sing?

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-Yes...

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-..but they must be open

-to the language.

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-They shouldn't compare

-one language to another.

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-# Rhyfelgyrch Gwyr Harlech

-Men of Harlech #

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-To sing properly...

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-..you have to know

-where to produce the sound.

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-After that,

-every language is possible.

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-It's almost like

-you learn a singing accent.

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-That's it. Yes. A singing accent.

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-# Gorfoleddwn yn ei alaeth #

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-It's a matter of listening,

-listening, listening.

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-After that,

-the correct sound will come.

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-# Cymru fo am byth! #

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-In part two, I'll talk to the winner

-of the Urdd Eisteddfod Chair...

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-..about his poem to the Valleys...

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-..add more faces to the map...

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-..and join Gethin in the dojo.

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-.

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-Subtitles

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-Subtitles

-

-Subtitles

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-Injustice.

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-"Like an accidental tattoo

-on a drunken night

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-"This place was scarred

-deep into its flesh

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-"It wasn't my fate

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-"It wasn't my choice to wake up

-to a valley of graffiti and gum

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-"Where crows sit upon

-the pubs, chapels and shops"

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-That's part of the poem that won

-the 2016 Urdd Eisteddfod Chair...

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-..for Gwynfor Dafydd.

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-He composed it as a response

-to an item on the BBC News website.

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-We're at Clydach lakes.

-The scenery is beautiful.

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-It's a contrast to your poem

-which is based on an article...

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-..entitled The Unbearable Sadness

-of the Welsh Valleys.

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-Is that what spurred you to do it?

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-Is that what spurred you to do it?

-

-Definitely.

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-The article showed that we in the

-Rhondda have experienced injustice.

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-In the 1980s,

-coal mines were closed down.

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-The heavy industries came to an end.

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-Since then,

-there's more poverty in this area...

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-..than other parts of Britain and

-there's unemployment and depression.

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-I wanted to portray the injustice

-experienced by people in the poem.

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-But it's not a criticism

-of the people.

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-If anything, it praises them.

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-It shows a core strength that

-belongs to the people of Rhondda...

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-..to fight against these

-tough conditions that we live in.

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-Was it a fair article?

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-Did the poem try to add to it

-or fight against it?

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-It's difficult.

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-I ask in the poem "are we

-your people or your hostages?"

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-I almost challenge the Valleys

-and I pose a question.

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-Do the mountains that surround us

-imprison us or keep us safe?

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-There's a feeling that if

-you've been born in the Valleys...

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-..you're almost fated

-to live there all your life.

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-It's how people feel -

-"I'm a Valleys boy."

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-That's a quote from the article.

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-That's a quote from the article.

-

-May I translate another poet?

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-"It is just fluke and accident

-that I live within her confines"

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-"The place tonight

-is as still as God

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-"As it is every day

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-"Its progress stopped

-and shutters down on all the shops

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-"Rows and rows of locked doors

-hissing

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-"Where once there was a welcome

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-"Tonight, there is a community

-in the dump playing dead

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-"An old, grey place gathering dust

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-"An old home

-in a lonely, empty desert

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-"Because to the valley came shackles

-where once there were ties."

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-It's undeniable that there is more

-poverty and unemployment here.

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-The article is correct in that way.

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-However, it doesn't paint

-a full picture...

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-..of the people and the spirit here.

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-So what's your message of hope

-in the poem?

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-The community has to come together

-and challenge the establishment...

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-..for a fairer community...

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-..where we receive investment

-rather than cuts and more cuts.

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-What the Valleys needs is more jobs.

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-"But hear the drum beating loudly

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-"Between the bodies

-which fed the earth with their blood

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-"Which today is a seed

-for the young

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-"Who will grow from the anger

-beneath their feet

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-"Poverty sullies our roads

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-"Poverty which follows a postcode

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-"The fate is the same

-both sides of the border

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-"We are all counting the cost"

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-You mentioned jobs.

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-We're on the site

-of the old industry - the mines.

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-They won't come back.

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-However, this is now a place to eat

-and to come for a walk.

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-The way forward for the Rhondda

-might be to build on its history.

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-Definitely. As you said, coal

-isn't coming back, and that's good.

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-I'm not suggesting they should.

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-But this place

-is testimony to the fact...

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-..that you can sustain

-community spirit and create jobs...

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-..from the ones that were lost

-when the mines shut.

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-So there's hope for us all.

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-From one poet to another,

-good luck for the future.

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-Yes, there's plenty to discuss

-in the poem.

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-It raises valid points

-about the valley's future.

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-I also need

-to think about the past...

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-..as I return to my map

-in the Heritage Park.

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-Every person in this mural

-is based on someone real.

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-The miners

-are from the famous picture...

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-..of the street in Tonypandy

-packed with colliers.

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-The banner was carried

-by the wives and sisters in Maerdy.

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-So many untruths have been told

-about the people of Rhondda.

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-We've been portrayed

-as unemployed scroungers.

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-These pictures

-show that we are fighting.

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-We want things to change

-and to get better.

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-We've been doing it for centuries.

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-Asking for a kung fu lesson

-sounded like a good idea earlier.

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-But when I go to meet Gethin in

-Hopkinstown, I'm not quite as sure.

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-Geth!

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-Geth!

-

-Shwmae!

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-This is mental!

0:18:240:18:25

-Welcome to Little China

-in Hopkinstown.

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-It doesn't seem like

-we're in Hopkinstown!

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-Have you got your kit?

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-Have you got your kit?

-

-Yes.

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-Wow!

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-This place is great, but I'm worried

-that this is Gethin's chance...

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-..to get me back

-for years of leg-pulling.

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-We're going to have an overview

-of the art of tai chi and kung fu...

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-..and how you train your mind

-during the sessions.

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-OK. Well, train my mind!

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-I always say to push your shoulder

-forward as much as you can...

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-..and relax.

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-Without doing anything to your back!

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-What you do is this.

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-Like this.

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-What are you teaching your body?

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-You're teaching your hands to move

-in different ways. In and out.

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-You'll find every kind of block

-you'd ever do in this exercise.

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-Breathe in.

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-Go to the left.

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-To the right.

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-Look up.

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-Look down to the ground.

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-Breathe in.

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-Put your left hand first

-just below your belly button.

0:19:580:20:01

-Then move your left foot

-towards your right.

0:20:010:20:04

-That's the warm-up.

0:20:080:20:10

-All that's left now is

-come on then!

0:20:100:20:14

-Come on then!

0:20:140:20:16

-What do we do now - fight or what?

0:20:170:20:19

-What do we do now - fight or what?

-

-Why not?!

0:20:190:20:20

-Some people

-are too ready to hit someone.

0:20:210:20:25

-Others aren't ready for that.

0:20:250:20:28

-So just touch

-because the movement's the same.

0:20:280:20:31

-We're just going to do this.

0:20:310:20:33

-You touch with the other hand.

0:20:330:20:35

-And again. And again.

0:20:350:20:37

-You're going to do the same.

0:20:370:20:39

-This is like watching Baloo

-on The Jungle Book! This is silly!

0:20:400:20:44

-Stop there.

0:20:440:20:46

-Again. Stop.

0:20:460:20:47

-I'll explain what happens.

0:20:480:20:50

-I'm taking your balance.

0:20:500:20:52

-The easiest way if you did this,

-as a beginner...

0:20:520:20:56

-..is to hook rather than grab.

0:20:560:20:59

-Then you move forwards.

0:20:590:21:01

-From here, I step in.

0:21:010:21:02

-From here, I step in.

-

-Aargh!

0:21:020:21:03

-I step in.

0:21:040:21:05

-I'm now going to push you down.

0:21:060:21:08

-Down! Then pull you forwards.

0:21:080:21:11

-Tap!

0:21:140:21:15

-So, if you want to try it,

-this is what you do.

0:21:200:21:23

-You block first of all.

0:21:240:21:27

-If you're taking the arm back

-to hit again, you do this.

0:21:270:21:31

-So, you do this.

0:21:320:21:34

-You touch first, hook, then pull.

0:21:340:21:37

-I know the rest!

0:21:370:21:38

-So, like that.

0:21:400:21:41

-Pull.

0:21:410:21:42

-Step in with that leg.

0:21:430:21:45

-Push me down.

0:21:460:21:48

-Now, you push with your hip

-to the left.

0:21:480:21:51

-More force.

0:21:520:21:53

-Then pull me over there.

0:21:540:21:56

-Quite simple.

0:22:010:22:02

-Quite simple.

-

-A lot of fuss.

0:22:020:22:04

-Now that I've succeeded

-in putting Geth on the ground...

0:22:040:22:08

-..he's determined to get revenge

-and show who's boss.

0:22:080:22:11

-Aargh!

0:22:280:22:30

-Aargh! Stop!

0:22:300:22:32

-Tap!

0:22:320:22:33

-That's your first lesson.

0:22:340:22:37

-This is one of my favourites so far.

0:22:470:22:50

-Because Battle

-is the title of the drawing...

0:22:510:22:55

-..some bits aren't tidy,

-there are fists everywhere...

0:22:550:23:00

-..and the faces

-are just splodges of paint.

0:23:000:23:04

-It's worked out

-exactly how I wanted.

0:23:050:23:08

-It's blocky. It's angry.

0:23:080:23:10

-I'm chuffed with it.

0:23:100:23:12

-S4C Subtitles by Testun Cyf.

0:23:360:23:38

-.

0:23:380:23:39

Sion Tomos Owen sy'n cyfarfod y cerddor John Asquith, sy'n crwydro'r byd gyda'i waith. Sion Tomos Owen meets musician and linguist John Asquith who travels the world conducting choirs.