Wales

craner

Beast of Burden
Apart from the thugs and drugs part of Barry, and Barry Island and the chip shops and arcades, there are some lovely middle class Edwardian roads, a beautiful park, and lots of beautiful sun-kissed white seaside pads. In the right weather, it's tropical. I always think of Barry as a Swansea satellite, or spore or something.

I concede that North Wales is not full of bandits, I think I meant 'hostile weirdos'.
 

Pestario

tell your friends
This guy

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craner

Beast of Burden
Vernon Watkins' The Broken Sea remains the best modern cultural artifact produced in, or if you want (I don't) by, Wales. Even over Under Milk Wood. All poetry readers need to seek it out; Watkins is criminally undervalued. T.S.Eliot was a big fan. Like him, I'm rather agnostic on Dylan Thomas. He had his moments, some great, many dire, and the industry built around him is quite obscene. Especially in Swansea and Boston. North Walians (sic, again!), apart from the Cardiff media slags, justifiably don't give a shit about him.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Swansea, and huge swathes of South and mid-Wales are totally non-Welsh speaking. Are they not part of Wales? If so, what the fuck is Wales?

Your points about the political agenda behind Welsh language teaching are really interesting. However, my grandmother and mother are Swansea born-and-bred and bilingual (from birth)! My father's family from Cardiff, however, were definitely not.

As for what Wales is, I suppose there would be an equal case to ask what unites any country (some being more obvious than others). I suppose Wales could be comparable to some ex-Soviet republics on the language issue, possibly?

Edit: Although everyone in Georgia (for example) would surely speak Georgian, so maybe not.
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
On Anglesey there is a place called Valley, it has always been called Valley, it is not because it is a small depression between two hills, that's just the name of the place. Nain was annoyed to see that when they went crazy on the language business and updated the signs they changed the name of Valley to the Welsh word for "valley" as though its name had previously been forcibly changed by culturally imperialistic English invaders.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
It's like...what's the welsh word for video?

Fideo.

Fucking brilliant. Obviously, during the video nasty boom of the early 80s we decided we needed our own word for 'video'. So that was the solution, decided by what linguistic law remains a mystery.

Fucking fideo.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Actually, it takes me back to when they used to try to teach us Welsh in primary school. We used to find it hilarious. No one took it seriously. I went to six different schools in South Wales as I grew up, and never met a single Welsh speaker.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
It's like...what's the welsh word for video?

Fideo.

Fucking brilliant. Obviously, during the video nasty boom of the early 80s we decided we needed our own word for 'video'. So that was the solution, decided by what linguistic law remains a mystery.

Fucking fideo.

Aw, the French do that kind of thing too though! (Note - I am not excusing it on this basis. Many things the French do are inexcusable and should not be followed. Yes, I mean Johnny Halliday.)

Don't you think a lot of this kind of identity politics has to do with wanting to carve out a regional identity against the overwhelming London bias in Britain, and just using Welsh because it's conveniently... there?
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
"Don't you think a lot of this kind of identity politics has to do with wanting to carve out a regional identity against the overwhelming London bias in Britain, and just using Welsh because it's conveniently... there?"
They should just recognise they are fighting a losing battle and move to London.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
The Welsh do it so much better though.

As to your second point, um, no, if only because the anglo-welsh identity used to be rock solid, based largely on industry and art. This crumbling led to the kind of language/culture politics that the country now suffers from. It's a bit like that kitsch, constructed mystical Irish nationalism that Conor Cruise O'Brien so powerfully eviscerated.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Don't you think a lot of this kind of identity politics has to do with wanting to carve out a regional identity against the overwhelming London bias in Britain, and just using Welsh because it's conveniently... there?

I'm sure there's something in this. But it's kind of unfair: Wales gets to make a fuss about being Welsh, in Scotland they're very into being Scottish, Northern Ireland is - well, let's not go there - but England outside of London just has to cope with basically being London's penumbra. With minor exceptions like attempts to revive Cornish.
 

craner

Beast of Burden
Yeah, the Cornish are mad about this kind of rubbish too - but they you go, self-pitying, self-important Celts once again!

The Welsh forget that they're half-Iberian!
 

hucks

Your Message Here
I'm sure there's something in this. But it's kind of unfair: Wales gets to make a fuss about being Welsh, in Scotland they're very into being Scottish, Northern Ireland is - well, let's not go there - but England outside of London just has to cope with basically being London's penumbra. With minor exceptions like attempts to revive Cornish.

That's just the south, though. All the big northern cities, at least, have a really strong sense of identity, as does Yorkshire as a whole. The south is basically London's commuter belt, though. In the south you've got Bristol and that's it.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
That's just the south, though. All the big northern cities, at least, have a really strong sense of identity, as does Yorkshire as a whole. The south is basically London's commuter belt, though. In the south you've got Bristol and that's it.

Yeah, I guess...I suppose I was thinking more about god-forsaken places like Basingstoke and Reading. :eek:
 

scottdisco

rip this joint please
That's just the south, though. All the big northern cities, at least, have a really strong sense of identity, as does Yorkshire as a whole. The south is basically London's commuter belt, though. In the south you've got Bristol and that's it.

(anecdotal but) some Brummie mates seem to have a chip re London and i've met quite a few midlanders who do (the midlands is not far from the south east after all).

i know Liverpool and Manchester are - largely - consumed with that stereotypical agon for each other to the extent of every other thing (not just United and LFC fans, believe me), whilst Yorkshire and Lancashire proper have a similar, and i imagine that in the north-east and Cumbria they don't care.
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I guess with London I was thinking about the absurd situation where so many industries are based out of the capital, with jobs scarce at best anywhere else (even in Manchester or Birmingham, say)...maybe those are just the industries I've worked in, though.
 
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