Dear non-Welsh students, please don’t come to Wales and mock our culture
No, I’m not like Stacey from Gavin and Stacey
Here in Wales, we're lucky to have some good universities (mainly Cardiff, sorry Swansea) that attract students from all over. Many come from England, some from NI and Scotland and even people in Asia have heard of our tiny little country. It's a compliment that people come to Wales to study, but one thing that really could go with a miss is the constant mocking of our Welsh culture. It has to stop.
Some of us are Welsh studying in Wales because we'd like to stay within good distance from home. But even then, we still get labelled in uni as 'the Welshie who shags sheep' in. our. own. country.
Aside from this label that will stick with you for the rest of your uni life, non-Welsh students just love to mock our accents too. "Oh Gaaaaaav" and "Can you say 'what's occurring'?" as if everyone in Wales has the exact same accent as every Welsh character on Gavin and Stacey.
It's universally known that people from different areas of a country have differing accents, yet Welsh people are stereotyped to sound like Stacey.
It's all banter to begin with and that's relatively fine, but when people consistently mock your accent it just becomes plain offensive.
I speak in a Welsh accent because that's where I'm from. Do you walk around mocking a French accent or an Italian accent? No. So why is the Welsh accent subject to mockery? Plus, half of the people that do mock the accent are utter shite and should definitely stop doing impressions if they can't do at least a half decent one.
Also, one from all of us Welshies – if you 'can't stand the accent' don't move to Wales?
Something else that non-Welsh students mock even more than our accents is the Welsh language. You will definitely hear from a non-Welsh student, "what's the point in speaking Welsh?", "you're part of Britain so why should you have a separate language?", "English is more common so you should speak English over Welsh". THIS DRIVES US INSANE.
Many people will forget that Wales hasn't always been a part of Britain, we were more or less forced into union with England thanks to the tyrant Henry VIII. Before that, people in Wales were a nation of their own and the Welsh language was, and still is for many people, their mother tongue.
Although not as many people speak Welsh now as they did then, it still remains a strong and longstanding part of our culture and heritage. Speaking Welsh (or even knowing a simple phrase like 'diolch') keeps the heritage alive and reminds us just how unique being Welsh really is. Aside from Patagonia in South America, no other country in the whole world can speak Welsh. I mean, that is something to be proud of so why do people feel the need to take the piss?
So, the next time you decide to mock a Welsh accent or insult a Welsh person for the normal fact that they're Welsh, think about the bigger picture. It's not an individual person you're offending, it's an entire nation and its culture.
What I'm basically saying is there's nothing worse than someone moving to another country and continually disregarding or insulting the culture. Students do placements in Germany, Spain, Italy, all over Europe and even the other side of the world, all you hear is "it was amazing and so cultural" or "it was so interesting to learn about them". Why is it different when people move to Wales?
It's time for people to realise that Wales is a country with its own culture and it demands respect.
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