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    I've always wondered why Wales gets snubbed so much. I'm not talking out-and-out racism, nor am I campaigning in favour of devolution or anything - merely wondering whether anyone agrees or fervently disagrees with me.

    For example - it still seems to be OK to make jokes about Wales. People who profess to the most liberal of views often think nothing of cracking the occasional sheep "joke", but when you think about it these are basically racial stereotyping. Few people would dream of making jokes about Jews being miserly, and by now even Irish jokes are considered quite dubious - so why is it still OK to knock Wales? I'm not accusing people who have made such jokes to be racists (and frankly I don't find them particularly insulting - a good insult should be *original*), just wondering why they seem to have slipped through the PC net that has (rightfully) discouraged other such jokes.

    According to Lance Price's diaries, even Tony Blair is reported to have ranted about the "*******ing Welsh" during the 1999 Assembly Elections.
    (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/4290624.stm) - had this comment been made about any other group (just imagine if he'd been talking about Asians or Blacks) there would have been an uproar (or maybe Price would have chosen to be more discreet about it), but apparently it's OK to knock the Welsh. Even were it the Scots there would have been an uproar.

    Wales seems to be sidelined again and again, and I don't mean so much from an economic or political point of view but from peoples' minds, as if people are trying to pretend they don't exist. I remember meeting some Americans while abroad, and they had never even heard of Wales - but of course, they'd heard of Scotland and Ireland. In Germany, many people I met assumed that the Welsh language was some derivative of English, even though they were often fully aware of the nature of the Irish, Breton and even Scots Gaelic languages (still, at least they'd heard of the place).

    Welsh history is almost never taught in schools - growing up in Barry, Glamorgan, in history lessons we learned about Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King, JFK, and even Nikita Kruschev but we were never taught a thing about our own history.

    Many English people I meet in Wales seem to regard the locals as unfriendly or even hostile; well, can you blame them when this is the way they are looked upon by the outside world? At best, we seem to be a novelty, a tourist attraction; at worst, we simply don't exist (re the EU map of Europe that even ommitted the physical presence of Wales). It's not hostility towards us that worries me so much, but the ignorance.
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    Are you surprised Wales is barely noticed? I hate to be harsh, but there's very little of any interest there except to those who live there. Sure, I'd go to Wales for a holiday, but only because I live nearby; would someone in London go to Wales for a holiday, when it's hard to get to and there isn't really that much there? It's geographically smaller. Its main language is English; the vast majority of its inhabitants don't speak Welsh. Learning English history can probably be explained by most main exam boards only doing English history. And to conclude this rather fragmented paragraph, I'll point out that the two words "****ing" "Welsh" concatenated don't actually make an insult; in fact, it's clarified later on in that article that he was referring to the Welsh party.

    As for the racism thing, I don't know. I wouldn't make Welsh jokes. Not least because I don't really find them funny; they don't offend me, they're just not very good.
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    It's just what happens - the Welsh make fun of the English just as much, I find its mostly just banter. Case in point - rugby matches, Wales v England is the best atmosphere game in the entire six nations in my opinion, possibly rivalled by Scotland v England.

    That EU thing was strange, but honestly I don't think anyone is seriously racist against the Welsh.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Are you surprised Wales is barely noticed? I hate to be harsh, but there's very little of any interest there except to those who live there. Sure, I'd go to Wales for a holiday, but only because I live nearby; would someone in London go to Wales for a holiday,
    Actually tourism, mainly English tourists from the South-East, is the most lucrative part of the Welsh economy now that the heavy industries are mostly gone.

    when it's hard to get to and there isn't really that much there?
    Not any harder to get to than anywhere else you'd care to mention. And what exactly are you expecting there? Isn't much of what there? Many visitors do come in order to enjoy the landscape or environment.

    It's geographically smaller.
    Smaller than what specifically - since when has size had anything to do with how serious a country is taken? I'm not demanding that Wales be treated as a World Player or something, just not snubbed and dismissed.

    Its main language is English; the vast majority of its inhabitants don't speak Welsh.
    Doesn't make people pretend the USA isn't a country.

    Learning English history can probably be explained by most main exam boards only doing English history.
    That doesn't answer the question. WHY is this the case? Why are we taught the history of our neighbours but not our own?
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    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Actually tourism, mainly English tourists from the South-East, is the most lucrative part of the Welsh economy now that the heavy industries are mostly gone.
    Why, may I ask?

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Not any harder to get to than anywhere else you'd care to mention. And what exactly are you expecting there? Isn't much of what there? Many visitors do come in order to enjoy the landscape or environment.
    That's the thing. Scotland, Ireland and England just seem like more interesting places to be than Wales; personally, when I think of Wales, all I can think of is landscape. I'm sure that's not the case, of course, but I've been around Wales plenty and all I've seen is landscape and the odd cluster of houses. There's nothing to attract people to Wales; it's a stereotype with a lot of evidence behind it. Sure, if people want to enjoy the landscape or environment then great, but most people I imagine would go on holiday to somewhere hot and sunny (which Wales isn't), to somewhere busy and exciting (which Wales, at least stereotypically, isn't), to somewhere with a new culture (which Wales hasn't got), or to somewhere where they spoke a new language (which the majority of Wales can't offer, and even then the Welsh language is slowly dying out).

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Smaller than what specifically - since when has size had anything to do with how serious a country is taken? I'm not demanding that Wales be treated as a World Player or something, just not snubbed and dismissed.
    I wasn't arguing for the England/Wales banter (though I'm sure it's little more than banter); Wales is tiny compared to even England, which is pretty tiny itself, which is why that map you're referring to might have accidentally missed it off. I come from the Wirral, a little peninsula in England, and most maps miss that off; I don't get offended over it because it's not a hugely important or significant piece of land.

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Doesn't make people pretend the USA isn't a country.
    Please don't attempt to claim that Wales has anywhere near the power or influence of the USA. Not that I understand what you're trying to say, of course. Let me put it another way; there are about 750,000 Welsh speakers in the world, and 1.8 billion English speakers.

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    That doesn't answer the question. WHY is this the case? Why are we taught the history of our neighbours but not our own?
    Because you do exams on English exam boards...? WJEC, the Welsh exam board, has a Welsh and English history syllabus. Your school clearly just doesn't do it. :rolleyes:

    This thread sounds like mindless patriotism. You don't seem to want to accept that, looking at the big picture, Wales is relatively quite insignificant. I don't condone the ****ging off of the Welsh, but as for the rest of your post, you're reading far too much into something that's quite simple; Wales is a small, unimportant country with quite a lot of history and culture to offer to the very select few who are interested in it and with not much else to attract anyone else's attention. And I say all this with Welsh friends and Welsh relatives, having lived about 15 miles from the Welsh border all my life. It's a lovely little country, but that's all it is. It's no superpower like the USA, it's no bustling busy place like London, there's not even a mild culture shock like some of our closest European neighbours; it is a quiet, peaceful place best known for its beautiful landscapes and an interesting history. But do forgive people if they don't all care deeply about landscapes and history.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Why, may I ask?
    Apparently, for relief from their hectic lives. To experience a different country.


    That's the thing. Scotland, Ireland and England just seem like more interesting places to be than Wales; personally, when I think of Wales, all I can think of is landscape. I'm sure that's not the case, of course, but I've been around Wales plenty and all I've seen is landscape and the odd cluster of houses.
    Exactly what are you looking for? Services? Monuments? Statues of famous people? Museums? Art Galleries? We have all these things aplenty.

    There's nothing to attract people to Wales; it's a stereotype with a lot of evidence behind it. Sure, if people want to enjoy the landscape or environment then great, but most people I imagine would go on holiday to somewhere hot and sunny (which Wales isn't), to somewhere busy and exciting (which Wales, at least stereotypically, isn't), to somewhere with a new culture (which Wales hasn't got),
    "New" as opposed to what? What do Scotland/Ireland have to their culture that we don't?

    or to somewhere where they spoke a new language (which the majority of Wales can't offer, and even then the Welsh language is slowly dying out).
    I highly doubt people consider language as much of a factor when considering where to go abroad. In fact, if anything, a country's speaking a familiar language is often an attraction to visiting there. Lack of widely-spoken foreign languages doesn't deter English people from visiting the US, New Zeland, Ireland etc.

    And the Welsh language is not dying out. This is a popular myth. The 2001 census showed an increase in the number of Welsh speakers (as a proportion of the population of Wales) by 2%, and the 2011 census is predicted to show a further 5% increase.


    I wasn't arguing for the England/Wales banter (though I'm sure it's little more than banter); Wales is tiny compared to even England, which is pretty tiny itself, which is why that map you're referring to might have accidentally missed it off. I come from the Wirral, a little peninsula in England, and most maps miss that off; I don't get offended over it because it's not a hugely important or significant piece of land.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/3715512.stm

    I don't think it was missed off just because it's too small, when you consider the scale of the map. I'm not suggesting the mistake was deliberate, just alarm that nobody noticed it until after publication.


    Please don't attempt to claim that Wales has anywhere near the power or influence of the USA. Not that I understand what you're trying to say, of course. Let me put it another way; there are about 750,000 Welsh speakers in the world, and 1.8 billion English speakers.
    When did I ever claim this? I merely said that the fact they speak English in the US seems no barrier to their being taken seriously as a country. Surely the size of a country (to a certain point at least) is irrelevant to its right to exist? I mean, Demark < Germany but people don't say that therefore Denmark is utterly irrelevant and pointless.


    Because you do exams on English exam boards...? WJEC, the Welsh exam board, has a Welsh and English history syllabus. Your school clearly just doesn't do it. :rolleyes:
    I did a WJEC GCSE History, and never touched Wales.

    This thread sounds like mindless patriotism.
    Mindless? That's a little harsh

    You don't seem to want to accept that, looking at the big picture, Wales is relatively quite insignificant. I don't condone the ****ging off of the Welsh, but as for the rest of your post, you're reading far too much into something that's quite simple; Wales is a small, unimportant country with quite a lot of history and culture to offer to the very select few who are interested in it and with not much else to attract anyone else's attention. And I say all this with Welsh friends and Welsh relatives, having lived about 15 miles from the Welsh border all my life. It's a lovely little country, but that's all it is. It's no superpower like the USA, it's no bustling busy place like London, there's not even a mild culture shock like some of our closest European neighbours; it is a quiet, peaceful place best known for its beautiful landscapes and an interesting history. But do forgive people if they don't all care deeply about landscapes and history.
    So are Brunei, Qatar, Lesotho, Kuwait, Lebanon, Latvia, Jamaica, and a million other places you'd care to mention. I should have made it clear in my first post; I'm not suggesting Wales be given the same attention as the US, nor trying to claim our impact on history or economics is equal to elsewhere - merely wondering if anyone can give me a real reason as to why Wales has been glossed over where other similar nations have not.
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    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Doesn't make people pretend the USA isn't a country.
    You're only a country in the sense of the odd Anglocentric attitude that our (ie, Britain's) constituent parts can somehow be called 'countries'. Because we're really important, don't'cha know.

    I do fundamentally agree with you though, Wales is sidelined. A lot like many parts of England and basically anywhere outwith the central belt of Scotland.
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    Loads of people come to wales from London and the south east, its got very good roads ( in my area and my experience) and is only 2-2.5 hours from london. Its not the desolate wilderness many people think, and the influx of well off south east english people ( me included) has made some areas very pricey and smart. The welsh language is very popular, not many people know about S4c, the welsh channel 4 all in welsh. I think if you live in wales it seems a totally different place to outside wales, people have assumptions about it and dont bother finding out what its really like.
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    S4C would not exist if it wasn't part of Channel 4's public service remit.

    I know that there are passionate Welsh speakers, but they're more a vocal minority than anything..

    By that I mean that they were vocal (and a bit barmy in some cases) in their campaigning for a channel, but it doesn't necessarily mean that Channel four would finance it if they weren't required to..
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    BBC are linked and contribute to s4c as well. There are the older generation welsh speakers, but people are learning it in school from quite early on, and i think its gaining strength again. Cardiff is the fastest growing UK city, so i think wales' role will become more significant in years to come.
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    For what it's worth, I make way more jokes about jews being miserly (or "being jewish") than the Welsh, but only because... well, that can be applied to other situations. If my mate doesn't wanna go to, say, Amsterdam because he's got no money, I'll say "oh, don't be such a jew!" - unless one of my friends was literally shagging a sheep, the racially-stereotypical joke isn't really relevant.

    That said, GE's right - it's not so much people don't like Wales, it's that they don't care. It's been united with England de facto since the 1200's - it basically IS part of England.
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    (Original post by lammy)
    BBC are linked and contribute to s4c as well. There are the older generation welsh speakers, but people are learning it in school from quite early on, and i think its gaining strength again. Cardiff is the fastest growing UK city, so i think wales' role will become more significant in years to come.
    It's interesting, my auntie speaks Welsh fluently but thinks in English, while her daughter (who is about seven) thinks in Welsh
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    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Exactly what are you looking for? Services? Monuments? Statues of famous people? Museums? Art Galleries? We have all these things aplenty.
    Precisely my point: when I go on holiday, I'm looking for none of these.

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    "New" as opposed to what? What do Scotland/Ireland have to their culture that we don't?
    Having never been there, I don't know. All I know is, given the choice between those two and Wales, I'd probably pick Scotland or Ireland.

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    And the Welsh language is not dying out. This is a popular myth. The 2001 census showed an increase in the number of Welsh speakers (as a proportion of the population of Wales) by 2%, and the 2011 census is predicted to show a further 5% increase.
    2%? Well, hold on to your hat, but I'm quite sure the number of English speakers has increased by much more than that. So yes, numbers are literally increasing, but proportions aren't.

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    When did I ever claim this? I merely said that the fact they speak English in the US seems no barrier to their being taken seriously as a country. Surely the size of a country (to a certain point at least) is irrelevant to its right to exist? I mean, Demark < Germany but people don't say that therefore Denmark is utterly irrelevant and pointless.
    You're twisting what I'm saying. People who care about the US do so for different reasons than their language. People who care about Denmark do so for different reasons than its size. But you can do that without having been to those countries. People from the UK who've never visited Wales have generally no reason to, because they don't know what's there. And having visited it myself, many times, I can say the stereotype couldn't be any closer to being right - not once have I been to Wales and actually had anything to do other than buy souvenirs of railway stations on ridiculously long postcards or see Thomas the Tank Engine, unless you count the one thing we always without fail end up doing - admiring the view and driving down narrow country roads that seem to lead to nowhere. That's my perception of Wales and I live fairly close; I'd hate to think how someone from the other side of England perceived it.

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    I did a WJEC GCSE History, and never touched Wales.
    That's your school's fault, isn't it?

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Mindless? That's a little harsh
    Well, you do seem to be attempting to stick up for Wales by saying "look at the landscapes, the history, the culture, the peace and tranquillity!" when I've already told you that that is not what the majority of tourists look for. And you seem to think everyone is racist just because your country is perceived as boring. Perhaps 'mindless' is too strong, but either way, I don't really see why you're still sticking up for Wales. I was right in saying it was no superpower like the USA, no busy city like London - if people want to see that sort of stuff, they're not going to go to Wales. If people want to see nearby landscapes and history and so on, they are going to go to Wales. Those sorts of interests are just more esoteric than "I want to go to London because it's got nice big shops".

    (Original post by Figaro123)
    So are Brunei, Qatar, Lesotho, Kuwait, Lebanon, Latvia, Jamaica, and a million other places you'd care to mention. I should have made it clear in my first post; I'm not suggesting Wales be given the same attention as the US, nor trying to claim our impact on history or economics is equal to elsewhere - merely wondering if anyone can give me a real reason as to why Wales has been glossed over where other similar nations have not.
    Perhaps D&D really isn't the place to be professing my ignorance, but it's at least one way of making my point: I've never even heard of Lesotho. And I wouldn't know what to think of all the rest, except the odd small stereotype of Jamaica. So no, similar nations have been very much glossed over, you just think yours is worst hit for some reason. (Cue my earlier "mindless patriotism" comment.)
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    But Jamaica's hot and sunny, Kuwait and Lebanon have wars, and the others no one cares about or could place on a map. Wales has nothing that other parts of the UK don't have, which is what makes it boring for people from the UK - and people outside the UK don't see Wales, they see the UK. There is no way of "Wales" doing anything internationally, so it's never going to make an impact - indeed, like England. The difference is, England has history "on its side", from that point of view.
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    Although I'm English, I think I will stick up for Wales here. I went to a Welsh uni for 3 years, and have visited elsewhere in Wales several other times. One of the reasons why I was attracted to uni there was precisely because it seemed to have a different atmosphere from the English unis I visited! There's lots more to Wales than history, landscape, museums, art galleries etc (though, being interested in both history and art, that was an added bonus for me.) The beaches are great, and it can get surprisingly hot. One thing about the landscape is that a hell of a lot of sports connected to it are available - the Gower peninsular, for example, is ideal for paragliding, hangliding, winsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing, surfing etc. - and then there's climbing, caving, hiking etc in the Brecon Beacons. Cardiff is booming, and along with Swansea (where there's also redevelopment going on), offer a great nightlife and shopping opportunities. I disagree with whoever it was who said that the majority of people don't visit Wales for the history, culture and landscape etc. - I think that a lot of tourists come to Wales precisely for these reasons; because they differ to England.
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    (Original post by lammy)
    BBC are linked and contribute to s4c as well.

    Kinda proves my point about it being a public service remit thing, that..



    I'm not having a go at Wales at all. I just don't think that citing Welsh medium television broadcasts as proof of its popularity is particularly accurate. they have to broadcast it because they've been told to. People campaigned for it back in the eighties, but they were a hugely vocal minority, and they went to very extreme measures too.


    I've not seen much of Wales, but I'll certainly echo what people have said about Cardiff city centre being pretty nice and modern, and probably on the up too.
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    I think it's just because English people are spiteful and arrogant by nature. Same reason everyone hates Northerners, Scotland, The South West, ginger people, the French, blacks etc.

    I've been at a Welsh Uni (well I suppose Cardiff isn't proper Wales but still..) for two years and in my albiet limited experience the public services, particularly Health and transport are much better than any I've seen in England. And the rest of Wales is pretty much a bunch of quite nice countryside. Big whoop. Exactly the same as the rest of Britain then.
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    Precisely my point: when I go on holiday, I'm looking for none of these.

    you do seem to be attempting to stick up for Wales by saying "look at the landscapes, the history, the culture, the peace and tranquillity!" when I've already told you that that is not what the majority of tourists look for.
    Well what exactly DO you/they look for? This is irrelevant though; the fact is that lots of people do visit Wales every year, mostly from England, and a great many people who live in England are buying second homes or moving here. So clearly we must have something to offer, even if it's not anything I've already suggested.

    2%? Well, hold on to your hat, but I'm quite sure the number of English speakers has increased by much more than that. So yes, numbers are literally increasing, but proportions aren't.
    What I said was,
    "the Welsh language is not dying out. This is a popular myth. The 2001 census showed an increase in the number of Welsh speakers (as a proportion of the population of Wales) by 2%, and the 2011 census is predicted to show a further 5% increase.".
    I think I made it fairly clear that that is a proportion, not as a factor of the current number (it was the bit where I said "proportion of the population" that gave it away!).

    Demand for English schooling within Wales is plummeting, while demand for Welsh-medium education is soaring. In the last 10 years, the number of Welsh-medium secondary schools in my local area increased from 1 to 3, and another is planned before 2010. So I think it's pretty safe to say that Welsh is becoming more and more widespread in Wales.

    So no, similar nations have been very much glossed over, you just think yours is worst hit for some reason. (Cue my earlier "mindless patriotism" comment.)
    Fittingly enough, Lesotho is actually twinned with Wales. It's a tiny, mountainous country entirely surrounded by South Africa. And, more to the point, I'm sure everyone in South Africa has heard of it! The point is, Wales is treated sometimes as if it's a joke, when compared with other nations.

    Apparently the 1888 Encyclopaedia Britannica entry for Wales simply read

    "Wales: See England."

    - Encyclopaedia "Britannica" my arse...

    With regards S4C, the campaigning was particularly fierce because it had been promised multipule times by the government. The Tories made it a policy priority and then reneged on it after winning the 1979 election (presumably because they didn't take Wales seriously enough and thought nobody would notice). Frankly, it's a bit of a shame that the channel is controlled by Channel 4 and not the BBC - it is, after all, the *British* broadcasting corporation and therefore should provide programming for all the people of Britain, not just the majority. In a trial run, the BBC broadcast the popular Welsh-language soap Pobol y Cwm on daytime BBC2 (instead of reruns of "Wheel of Fortune" which, like, 2 people must watch) and there was an uproar.
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    The short answer is that Wales is a relatively unimportant and small 'country' that has little economic, military or social impact on the rest of the world. Recognition in people's minds must be earned by more than mere existence. Wales, unless it wins the rugby world cup, hasn’t earned it.

    I don’t see why you care though – most people in the United Kingdom know Wales exists, where it is and can probably name a few Welsh rugby players (and their girlfriends). You cannot expect recognition beyond this, unless Wales has some international impact, which it simply doesn’t. My family come from North Rhine-Westphalia which has a far greater impact on the world than Wales, yet it gets less recognition as a separate entity than Wales does.

    Personally, I’d have thought the more liberal someone was, the more likely they were to make a joke about Wales (and blacks, and Jews etc.). Surely making such jokes despite the taboos broken is a fairly liberal trait?
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    (Original post by Figaro123)
    Apparently the 1888 Encyclopaedia Britannica entry for Wales simply read

    "Wales: See England."

    - Encyclopaedia "Britannica" my arse...
    Well, Wales was indisputably part of England at the time. What's wrong with that?

    it is, after all, the *British* broadcasting corporation and therefore should provide programming for all the people of Britain, not just the majority.
    I don't know about you, but I'd be slightly pissed off if they replaced Red Dwarf with some nonsense in Urdu.

    (Original post by Wez)
    My family come from North Rhine-Westphalia which has a far greater impact on the world than Wales, yet it gets less recognition as a separate entity than Wales does.
    Good point.

    As I've said above, I feel that British people often have a very self-important view of their constituent 'countries' when at the end of the day they are nothing more than regions in a small and decreasingly important island nation on the peripheries of Europe with a slightly interesting modern-day culture.
 
 
 
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