Ceistean | FAQ

Why do I have to fill out an application to attend a Jam? 

We want to get to know you! Who are you? What are you excited about in the Gaelic world these days? What's dragging you down? This way we can ensure our facilitation team dreams up a truly unique event for the time and exact people we'll be sharing space with at the Jam. The tentative draft flow (schedule) is created based on what participants have shared in their application form. The application form is also a way to prepare you for the Jam. It gives you an opportunity to sit down and wonder: why do you want to gather together with 29 other amazing Gaels from around the world? What would ensure that this event would be worth your time? 

Why do I have to commit to attending the whole event? 

We are essentially creating a community within a community for the times we are together. We purposefully and intentionally create an environment at the Jam that ensures safety, comfort, openness, welcoming, trust, confidentiality, fun, and connection. If we have people coming and going at different times, this often disrupts the flow in such a way that we need to keep re-grounding when we'd rather being moving forward as an entire group.    

Will I cry at a Jam?

Maybe. It's certainly not a requirement! Sometimes participants speak of things that are very near and dear to their hearts. Whether speaking about ancestors, frustration about deep cultural loss, feeling uncertain about the future of Gaelic, or intergenerational trauma, some topics can call up great emotion. There is space for any emotions that arise. 

What kind of language does the Jam use? 

We've held Jams in both English and Gaelic. This Jam will be conducted through the medium of English so as to invite a broader group of people. There will be plenty of opportunities for Gaelic-only use and for bilingual interactions. The Jam also brings with it a set of vocabulary many of us in the Gaelic world haven't heard before. For example, you may hear the phrase, "What's alive for you right now?" which means "what's happening in your life? How's your heart, body, and spirit? What's on your mind? What are you wondering about these days, or feeling passionate about?" Not all the space is given to emotional expression, though. There is also space for fun, laughter, movement, play, energizing, joy, music, dance, song, silliness, and celebration. "Making space" can often mean slowing down and just waiting to see what comes up. What reactions, assumptions, questions, fears, thoughts, feelings are arising? 

Do I have to participate in everything at a Jam even if I feel uncomfortable? 

Everything we present to you at a Jam is simply an invitation. We invite people to step out of their comfort zones and into a place of "stretch," which means that we hope everyone will learn, grow, and develop through the Jam. Everyone's stretch will look a little bit different. In other words, the way in which everyone participates will be unique to them. For some, it looks like showing up and standing there. For others, it may be acting out a made-up play. You are invited to show up and participate with your community. You are invited to reach out and seek assistance if something is difficult. You are invited to begin a conversation if something is unclear. You are invited to co-create with us so that we can make a space that is available to everyone. 

Why should I bother showing up at a Jam? 

Because we can't do this work alone. Because the Jam wouldn't be the same without you. Because you bring a special skill set to the table that absolutely no one else in the community does. Because your community is showing up. Because this work is desperately needed in these times of crisis, disillusionment, and separation. Because the Jam has already proven it works. Because our organizing and facilitation team have spent hours, days, weeks, and years of volunteer hours to try and make this the best event it can possibly be! Because if you've read this far it's clear you have a deep caring, respect, and love for your culture, your people, and this community. And finally, because you deserve honourable, lasting, and cooperative connections with the members of your community and so do they.