Calls to boost Gaelic language with UNESCO status

A campaign to boost Gaelic language and its cultural heritage is seeking UNESCO status.

Kate Forbes (centre) is leading the calls for the a UNESCO status to be granted.
Kate Forbes (centre) is leading the calls for the a UNESCO status to be granted.

A parliamentary committee is leading the call for UNESCO to award special status to the language.

Currently around 60,000 people speak the language, with numbers drastically decreasing. In the 2011 census, 1.1% of the population stated that they could speak the language.

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However, the chairwoman of the cross party committee on Gaelic in the Scottish Parliament, Kate Forbes believes that securing a special UNESCO status would help preserve historical traditions and ensure they are kept alive for future generations.

She said: “I think Gaelic is the key to Highland culture, heritage, tradition and society,

“Although there is no one magic answer to the preservation of Gaelic, UNESCO status is certainly one step in many towards it

“UNESCO status basically means giving Gaelic ‘intangable cultural heritage’ status it would mean that all traditions and living expressions inherited from our ancestors are preserved for future generations.

Kate Forbes believes that such a policy would gain cross party support with Angus McDonald also calling for the status to be granted.

The Royanl National MOD opened with a call for the special UNESCO status to be granted in 2016, with many keen to see such recognition for the language.

The language has already been recognised by UNESCO as being in danger, however, the Scottish Government said it is trying to promote Gaelic and secure its future.