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Cornish, are ee?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by treeve, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. treeve

    treeve Major Contributor

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    What is 'being Cornish'?
    What I do know is that I am able to trace my name back from c1400 in North Cornwall on my father's family. For me it is not simply a state of birth. It is much more than that. It is a matter of the descendency and passage from Sumeria across North Africa (as a separate group from that that moved across Europe) and into the Iberian Peninsula, and thence into Cornwall with the ancients 'Cornwall' of the Celtic warriors around 1000 BC. Perhaps it is the Gene stock (contested by 'experts'), it is the matter of the a matter of language used (though not by myself), it is the cultural identity which draws from the scholars of this Cornish past. We have the boundary given to us by Athelstan - historically Cornwall was rather 'left to its own devices' we became an independent thinking nation. Pytheas talks of tin mining in Cornwall in 320BC, already an industrious people, and from this builds a very strong people who develop that special breed that is inventive and self-willed. On top of that is the definition of the Duchy as of 1337, even contested (and won) in Courts that Cornwall is not a County. Something also special about the land, it has drawn visitors and immigrants for over 8,000 years, it must be a good place ...

    footnote ...
    incidentally, I am not a 'blow up the bridge' fanatic, or 'bl@@dy emmetts' person 'it is just that I feel that Cornwall has given the world a special contribution, and I feel that the people have given of themselves in this. I would also like to know what others feel is distinctively Cornish about us.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  2. tabtab13

    tabtab13 Active Member

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    What defines you as being Cornish? Is it being born here or is it deeper - by having a family history? I'm second generation Cornish, born and bred here - and that's good enough for me!

    For me, it's a love of the sea - one grandfather worked on the Scillonian and my dad joined the navy, so perhaps it runs in the genes. I always, without fail, feel in awe when I stand on the prom and look out across the bay. And the land too, we have such stunning landscapes.

    Perhaps we have an island mentality (as we practically are one) and that separates us both physically and mentally from the rest of England. I lived away when I was a student and then afterwards for work, but I was so pleased to come back. It happened to a number of other people I know too, we drifted off after school but gradually, over the years, made our way back. Whenever we'd meet up, we'd ask "so when are you going home next?" No matter where we were, Cornwall was home.

    Cornwall is a magical place, steeped in history and legend. Life has always been tough - and still is - but it's the resilience and character of the people that keeps us going. I feel blessed and proud to be Cornish - and wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

    Oh, and I came across an MP3 file on the web a while back of the HDGS School Song, something I hadn't heard in years. I have to admit, it bought a tear to my eye. Stirring stuff - sadly not appreciated by a young school boy at the time.
  3. ibrowze

    ibrowze Senior Member

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    Buddhist claim

    My dad always insisted that I was conceived in West Looe which is good enough for me. Frankly I'm of the opinion that we're all sharing the same rock swirling around the sun and should be in awe of the rich diversity of cultures which have developed over the centuries bringing myriad tastes of food, fashion, music and dance. Polish vodka anyone...???
  4. P_Trembath

    P_Trembath The Best

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    Being born here helps; But it is also many different things to different people, I would say that it is having respect for the history of Cornwall, and it's people. That it is about recognising, and rejoicing in the differences that being Cornish entail. It is also about recognising and rejoicing in the differences of ALL different "groups" of people that inhabit this group of islands we live on, and the rest of this planet, even the English.
    I would conceder myself to be a "Cornish Nationalist", and I have never, apart from in jest, advocated the blowing up of anything, let alone "the bridge". I know many other people who would describe themselves as "Cornish Nationalists", and , again, I have never heard any of them, apart from in jest, suggest such a thing.
    I have heard many people, who would not conceder themselves to be "Cornish Nationalists" to have made reference to the desirability of removing the crossing over the Tamar by explosive means. I always assumed that these were also only made in jest.
    There are those who complain about those 'bl@@dy emmetts', and a good proportion of them would probably be offended if you were to label them as "Nationalists" because of this. For my part, I object to the way in which the Tourist "industry" is portrayed as being the most important "industry" in Cornwall, it is not. It is, in my opinion, a parasite. Whilst some parasites have a symbiotic relationship with their host, the Tourist "industry" in Cornwall has gone far beyond that, and is now killing the host. Cornwall needs more than an over-reliance on an "industry" that mostly provides seasonal part time work. But this is surly another thread.
    I agree with you, Cornwall has given much, but we should remember that it is capable of giving much more, if only we are permitted to do so.

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