How Appalachian Culture Is Connected to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Romania

Oct 3, 2014

'Thistle and Shamrock' host Fiona Ritchie and Warren Wilson president emeritus Doug Orr.
Credit University of North Carolina Press

This week we have a special episode of Inside Appalachia as we explore Appalachia through a multi-cultural lens, looking at how our culture connects to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and even Romania. We'll even visit a Hare Krishna Temple in West Virginia. And do you want to find out what Irish Road Bowling is and where you can go to see a game? Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Fiona Ritchie & Doug Orr Explore Appalachia's Musical Lineage in 'Wayfaring Strangers': Beth Vorhees of West Virginia Public Radio talks with the host of the popular NPR music program “The Thistle and Shamrock.”  Ritchie, along with co-author Doug Orr, has just published a book about the music migration from Scotland and Ireland to Appalachia.

Marshall Co. Hare Krishna Village Reinvents Itself with Food, Color, and Community: A Hare Krishna community in rural Marshall County that’s been around for almost 50 years is trying to reinvent itself  and its relationship with area residents. Glynis Board of West Virginia Public Radio reports that one way the community is reestablishing itself is through what’s becoming one of New Vrindaban’s biggest festivals of the year: The Festival of Colors.

Credit Susan Board

What's in a Name? This week we’ve got Denton King, AKA, a local road master of Irish Road Bowling, to help us tell the story about his town. Can you name the town in West Virginia that calls itself the W.Va. home of Irish Road Bowling? Listen to the podcast to find the answer.

What is Irish Road Bowling? In 2012, Adam Cavalier of West Virginia Public Radio attended one of the West Virginia regional road bowling games.

After Coal: Appalachia and Wales: Wales is another country in the British Isles that has strong cultural ties to Appalachia. And former mining communities in Wales had to learn to diversify their economy after coal mining shut down in South Wales thirty years ago.  Sylvia Ryerson of WMMT brings us this story about ideas from Wales that could help Appalachians deal with declining coal jobs. More at http://aftercoal.com.

Appalachian Students Learn From Visiting Romanian Folk Musicians: On Thursday at the Clay Center in Charleston, four Romanian high school musicians and three of their teachers met with musicians from Wahama high school in Mason County. The students are participating in a year-long project exploring the connections between Appalachian and Romanian folk music.

Visiting musicians from Targu Jiu, Romania performed Thursday at the Clay Center.
Credit Clay Center