Friday, November 27, 2009

Friends and Family

For this year's Bloomington Celtic Culture Weekend, we're hoping to get a lot more of the "friends and family" crowd to join us- afterall, the people who are most likely to want to learn Irish are probably not that far away from us. I've been recruiting friends to learn Irish for quite some time, but I recently decided to turn the focus on family members. To be able to throw a "le do thoil" or a "go raibh maith agat" into an interaction with friends or family can definitely go a long way in a short period of time.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hurling Shirts Coming Soon!

We've been working on shirts for the IU Hurling Club and their fans. Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, we'll be able to roll out our design and begin selling them online. The proceeds from the shirts will go to the IU Hurling Club to support their mission and Gaelic sports at Indiana University.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Welcome to our Blog!

Dia daoibh!

I'm glad that you found our blog. We'll be using this to facilitate open discussion about Celtic activities as well as give you a more in-depth look at what we do. First, I'd like to tell you how we started. Then, I'll tell you where we're going. Finally, I'll tell you what you can do to get involved with Indiana Celtic Community.

The seeds of our organization are in the memories of those who enjoy visiting Ireland and those wanting to learn Irish Gaelic. I spent quite a bit of time looking for someone to study Irish with, and found Micheál Rua who gave me a great foundation. It wasn't long after Micheál and I shelved our weekly study sessions. Micheál sent me information about the Irish language weekend (or deireadh seachtaine) in Madison, Wisconsin. I went back and forth over whether or not I could go, and then decided it was a good idea. While in Madison, I had a great time learning Irish and meeting new friends. Dineen who coordinates the weekend does an excellent job. At the weekend, I seemed to be the only person without an Irish group. This theme continued to surface at the deireadh seachtaine in Milwaukee the following year. This concern was also loosely coupled with the question, "when are you going to have us come to Indiana?" I would just say, "I'm working on it," whatever that means. In addressing the concern that I was sans group, Dineen said, "well, he's going to just have to start his own group."

A couple of failed attemps later, we began having weekly Irish language group meetings at a local restaurant called The Runcible Spoon. I started pulling things together to take a stab at our first deireadh seachtaine in Bloomington, Indiana. With the great help of Muireann, a Notre Dame student, I had a basic plan for Deireadh Seachtaine Cultúr Ceilteach or Bloomington Celtic Culture Weekend. In order to keep all of this organizing and finances out of my personal chaos, I created Indiana Celtic Community with the help of Mary from our Irish language group. We opened up our accounts, got a P.O. Box, and launched the website. In executing our first deireadh seachtaine, we sent many e-mails and contacted all of the Irish language learners I knew. Since then, we have built a presence on Facebook and Twitter. Our relationships with community organizations and local Celtic entities continues to grow strong.

In April of 2010 we will have our second annual Deireadh Seachtaine Cultúr Ceilteach here in Bloomington, Indiana. In the long-term, we'd like to have more Scottish and Welsh organizations involved as we build on our Irish language programming. It is our aspiration to link organizations and individuals in Indiana while making connections overseas. We also enjoy supporting our Irish language learning friends in other states (and countries) as they have supported us so graciously in the past.

If you are interested in learning more about what we do, visit our website (it's under construction, forgive the mess) and get on our mailing list. You can follow us on Twitter as IndianaCeltic or find us as Indiana Celtic Community on Facebook. We'd also love your help to connect with other Celtic organizations (particularly in Indiana). Please continue to visit our blog, and take some time to learn something Celtic- whether it's a language, a fact, or more about your family tree.

Go raibh mile maith agaibh!
Thank you very much!