Splang! puts a Scottish twist on a favorite holiday activity
The holiday season is a time to connect with people and enjoy each other's company.
Scottish language group Splang! is creating that community with a classic holiday activity of caroling, with a bit of twist.
The carols they’ll be singing will all be in Scottish Gaelic.
On December 27, Splang! will be hosting two events:
- Òrain na Nollaige anns a’ Ghàidhlig / Scottish Gaelic Christmas Carols
- 1 p.m. at The Raven Irish Pub
- A’ Chiad Chèilidh Cheanndachaidheach / The First Kentucky Cèilidh
- 5 p.m. at Great Flood Brewing Middletown
This is the first in-person event Splang! has been able to host since the pandemic began. Group co-founders Dhanya Barid and Adam Dahmer thought that a holiday event would be a great way to reenter face-to-face gatherings.
“While I know there’s a lot of family-focused events around the Christmas season, around all of the other holiday seasons that fall around this time, that there are a lot of people as well who are quite alone during the season," Barid said. “And that it would be nice to run a few events that people who are feeling a bit lonely during the holidays could come to.”
Building community is a part of Splang!’s general goal of dismantling whiteness and encouraging connections between people of different races.
By teaching the Gaelic language to whoever wishes to learn it, Splang! aims to get people to question what is whiteness and why do people connect over it.
“If we can get people who currently consider themselves white to realize that at a time in the not so distant past, less 500 years ago, there really was no concept of whiteness, and that their ancestors wouldn’t have considered themselves white, I think that we can maybe undermine the solidarity that white people have for each other as white people,” Dahmer said.
The expressed anti-racism message of the group came from Barid and Dahmer seeing Celtic and Gaelic culture being misused to express racist sentiment and them wanting to combat that narrative.
Everyone is welcome.
“And there are no sort of ethnic, or cultural or religious barriers to enter either,” Dahmer said. “Even with the caroling, a lot of it will come originally from Christian tradition, but you don’t have to be a believer in any particular faith or an advocate of any particular faith to take part.”
And for those who worry because they don't have any Gaelic, Splang! has you covered.
“Each of the songs will be taught beforehand, at least the choruses to them so that everyone can sing along during that sort of section, and all of the dances will be called,” said Baird.
Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled Dhanya Baird's name.