Thursday, 26 November 2015

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New website launched for people who want to talk in Cumbric

A former web producer is getting in touch with his roots by adopting the lifestyle of his Cumbrian ancestors.

Anthony Harrison is learning a version of the ancient Cumbric language and hopes to start using it instead of English. He has launched a social networking site for fellow enthusiasts to converse in their “native” Celtic tongue.

But his interest doesn’t end there. Anthony, 47, has decided to eat only the traditional diet of his forefathers. He has given up food that was not available in Cumberland between the years 410 and 638 AD – including such staples as potatoes.

He said: “That was when our ancestors were living life with their freedom intact – after the Romans.

“Potatoes were only introduced to England in the 1500s. I’ve been eating lamb, but I’ve been having it with heather instead of mint, because mint was introduced as well.”

Mr Harrison plans to relocate from London to north Cumbria within the next four months. He said his family could be traced back to west Cumbria and the Keswick area for more than 28 generations.

He added: “The idea is that as a native of Cumberland I want to do native things. For example, the Cumbrians in the time of Arthur were the best horsemen of the age.

“So in terms of native thinking, why are we not the best horsemen of the age in Cumberland now?”

Because no records exist of the Cumbric language, he spent years studying Celtic history and concluded it was similar to northern Welsh. He used this as the basis for his Cumbric revivalist handbook, The Dragon’s Voice, available online and in print.

“In this multicultural society I’m just a member of another minority group,” he said. “On ethnicity questionnaires there isn’t a native Briton category, there’s only British.

“If someone in Cumberland goes to apply for the dole, they’re probably the only category that doesn’t have his own language.”

He added: “All I want to do is move back to Cumberland and speak my native language and do native things.”

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