The Welsh are "unfriendly" and "rude", finds report by their own tourist board


Blackleaf
#1
It is known as a land whose national sport is rugby; a land whose inhabitants love singing; a land which is home to Europe's oldest surviving language; a land which gave us the Tudors; a land which didn't have a capital city until 1955; and a land whose people who have an unhealthy and bizarre fascination with sheep.

But the Celtic land of Wales, which borders England and is the world's largest Principality, also has a reputation for rudeness.

According to Wales's own tourist board, the English, Wales's nearest neighbours, are put off from visiting Wales by the "welcome" they receive.

The Welsh were accused by the English of being "rude", "unfriendly", "positively unwelcoming", "impolite" and "quite offensive."

The English felt Wales had a "slower pace of life", was "slightly old fashioned" and "stuck in the last century".

The Welsh also have an obnoxious habit of speaking to each other in English but speaking to an English person in Welsh (Welsh speakers are also fluent in English). Many people assume this is a myth invented by the English to make the Welsh look bad, but is an entirely real phenomenon (it happened to me about ten years ago in a McDonald's in south Wales when the assistants spoke to those Welsh people in front of me in the queue in English but decided to revert to Welsh when they were serving me).

The report added that "people will often cite Welsh-speakers rudely ignoring them".

"Its when you walk in and they suddenly swap from one to the other", said one respondent, from the north of England, who said the Welsh were "rude".

The Welsh are "unfriendly" and "rude", finds report by their own tourist board

By Jasper Copping
07 Nov 2009
The Telegraph



Research carried out by Visit Wales has found that the English are put off from visiting the Principality by the reception they receive Photo: PA

With its beautiful valleys, historic castles and the positive publicity generated by the hit television show Gavin and Stacey, Wales ought to be popular with tourists.

But according to the nation's tourist board, there is one problem holding it back the Welsh themselves.

Research carried out by Visit Wales has found that the English are put off from visiting the Principality by the reception they receive.

The Welsh were accused of being "rude", "unfriendly", "positively unwelcoming", "impolite" and "quite offensive". In response, the Welsh complained that they were treated "like second class citizens" by visitors.



Visit Wales' report also found that the English felt Wales had a "slower pace of life", was "slightly old fashioned" and "stuck in the last century".

When asked to relate their image of Wales to a car answers included a battered Land Rover, an estate car and a Morris Minor,

Max Boyce, the Welsh comedian and singer, rejected the accusations.

"I find this remarkable. If there anything we are not, it is unfriendly. Friendlessness is probably one of our strongest traits. The Welsh go out of their way to be friendly," he added.

"We are very friendly, very proud and very passionate, as most small countries are.
"As we sometimes say, we tilt at the English but the lances are not barbed. One of our most famous song is "We'll Keep a Welcome in the Hillside" and that rings true."

But the Visit Wales study said that the view that the Welsh were "unfriendly" was a "key component" of the country's "brand personality".

WALES FACTS

Wales and Scotland were formed when the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic tribe from what is now Germany and Denmark, arrived in Britain in the 400s and pushed the native Britons (Celts) to the westernmost and nothernmost of the island. These Celtic enclaves became Scotland and Wales, and the parts of the island settled by the Anglo-Saxons became England, a Germanic nation.

The name "Wales" comes from the Anglo-Saxon (Old English) word "walh" meaning "foreigner." The Anglo-Saxons used the term "Waelisc" when referring to the Celtic Britons, and Wēalas when referring to their lands. Likewise, "walnut" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for "foreign (Roman) nut." The "wall" in Cornwall also comes from "walh."

England and Wales have not been independent nations since 1536, when they unified.

At 8,023 sq mi, Wales is about the same size as Israel and Massachusetts, and about 6 times smaller than England.

It is the world's largest Principality.

Wales has a population of 3 million, which means there are almost three times as many people living in London.

Welsh is Europe's oldest surviving language and is spoken not just in Wales but in the areas of England near the Welsh border such as Shropshire and herefordshire. It is one of Britain's seven official languages, alongside English, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic, Scots, Ulster Scots and Cornish.

Cardiff, with a population of 325,000, is Wales's largest city and also its capital. It is Europe's newest capital city, having been so only since 1955. Before that, Wales had no capital city.

The Welsh flag is known as "Y Ddraig Goch" ("The Red Dragon") and consists of a red dragon on a green and white background. It is the dragon of Cadwaladr, King of Gwynedd from 655 AD to 682AD, and green and white are Tudor colours. It was used by King Henry VII (the first Tudor monarch) at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 after which it was carried in state to St. Paul's Cathedral. The red dragon was then included in the Tudor royal arms to signify their Welsh descent. It was not officially recognised as the Welsh national flag until 1959.

The name for Wales in Welsh is "Cymru."

In many cases, this perception stemmed from use of the Welsh language. Every English focus group which took part in the study had stories about visitors feeling deliberately excluded when locals started talking in Welsh.

The report added that "people will often cite Welsh-speakers rudely ignoring them".

"Its when you walk in and they suddenly swap from one to the other", said one respondent, from the north of England, who said the Welsh were "rude".

The study also uncovered resentment among the Welsh about they are perceived. A respondent from Cardiff taking part said that visitors tend to see the Welsh as "second class citizens", and that they consider Wales a backwater, still with coal mines.

The apparent antipathy between the English and Welsh, though, is in sharp contrast to attitudes towards the Welsh from Irish visitors. These were found to be "notably warm".

The focus group research was commissioned by Visit Wales and the Arts Council for Wales and was conducted earlier this year, to help identify ways to increase "cultural tourism" in the Principality. The results have been obtained by The Sunday Telegraph using Freedom of Information legislation.

The report said it was "notable" how little detail many of the respondents knew about Wales. It concluded that the Principality was an "empty" country in people's minds. One respondent, from the north of England, said: "I'm really struggling to think of things that are there".

The report also found that visitors perceived Wales to have bad weather and an "unappealing greyness", as well as being "old fashioned".

When respondents were asked about cultural destinations, Wales was rarely mentioned, except by the Welsh who were taking part, although England and Scotland were. No Welsh city appeared on lists of "cultural cities".

However, respondents were able to name several Welsh celebrities, most notably Catherine Zeta Jones, the actress and singers Tom Jones and Katherine Jenkins. In a "second tier of awareness", people associated with Wales were Max Boyce, Shirley Bassey, and Harry Secombe, the former member of The Goon Show who was often not named, but remembered for his humour and specifically his laugh. Younger respondents also mentioned Charlotte Church and other musicians, including Cerys Matthews, Stereophonics, Duffy and Manic Street Preachers.

Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins are well known for being Welsh and were widely mentioned by groups. Much less well known was Dylan Thomas and Wilfred Owen. Lloyd George was the only political figure mentioned.

The television series Gavin and Stacey was also mentioned by many as bringing attention on Wales, as was the appearance of Glyn Wise, from north Wales, on the seventh series of Big Brother, in 2006.

Television series seem key to attracting visitors to Wales. The report found that Portmeirion is perhaps the Principality's most famous architectural icon and is still well known for its use in the 1960s series The Prisoner.

A spokesman for Visit Wales said: "There are, unfortunately, still some misconceptions about Wales out there amongst those who have never visited or who have not visited for some time and we'll continue to challenge them. The ultimate test is, of course, to come to Wales and experience how warm the Welsh welcome, or croeso, really is for yourself."

telegraph.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 11th, 2009 at 11:51 AM..
 
SirJosephPorter
#2
When I lived in Britain, I visited Cardiff, Swansea and Bangor. I did not find the welsh rude. Of course, I visited relatively big cities (what passes for a big city in Wales). In Swansea, I visited University of Swansea. I don’t know what the attitude is in Welsh villages and smaller hamlets.

But I did not find the Welsh rude at all. When I visited Bangor, I attended a performance by a musical group from Anglesey, they sang Welsh folk songs. I found them quite polite and easy to get along with.
 
Mowich
#3
I just finished reading a work of fiction that was set in Wales. The author belabored the point that the Welsh resent the English because they are coming in and buying up land and houses resulting in a increase in the value of both. This in effect puts certain properties beyond the reach of many of the Welsh themselves.
If there is any truth in this, I do not know. It does seem to me to be a plausible theory though.
The author also included a short translation and pronunciation of certain Welsh words which I found fascinating. There are so many consonants in the Welsh language and it is incomprehensible to someone not versed in the correct pronunciation.
 
Cliffy
#4
My mother was Welsh. Very aloof woman. She was a direct decedent of the last true Prince of Wales - some dude named Llewellyn. When the Brits came in and replaced him with one of their own, the prince became a pirate and wreaked havoc on the British merchant marines. Anyway, I think they may still be pissed at the Brits about that and that they have been saddled with Charlie the big eared clown.
 
Mowich
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

My mother was Welsh. Very aloof woman. She was a direct decedent of the last true Prince of Wales - some dude named Llewellyn. When the Brits came in and replaced him with one of their own, the prince became a pirate and wreaked havoc on the British merchant marines. Anyway, I think they may still be pissed at the Brits about that and that they have been saddled with Charlie the big eared clown.

Waaaaay Coool! Cliffy. Descended from royalty are ye! My ex's great(maybe another great in here, not sure) grandfather was a pirate too. I thought that was pretty neat. Good on Llewellyn, got some of his own back.

Oooooh, you don't like Charlie? What do you think of his wife, this latest one, or need I ask.
 
Cliffy
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

Waaaaay Coool! Cliffy. Descended from royalty are ye! My ex's great(maybe another great in here, not sure) grandfather was a pirate too. I thought that was pretty neat. Good on Llewellyn, got some of his own back.

Oooooh, you don't like Charlie? What do you think of his wife, this latest one, or need I ask.

I still bleed red (no blue). Charlie and Camila deserve each other. My dad was a royalist but I am not. Too much inbreeding and a waste of money. My dad was also a catholic and I am not. Too much corruption and child diddling.

I know a lot of Wicca folk down in the Slocan Valley and Nelson. Used to do ceremony with them. We would do mixed Wicca and native American. Wicca is very Celtic and I'm sure many of my ancestors on my mom side were of that persuasion. I just prefer native American spirituality because it was born out of the land I live on. But they are quite similar in a lot of ways - Mother Earth/ Gaia, nature spirits and elimentals and all.
 
Mowich
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by Cliffy View Post

I still bleed red (no blue). Charlie and Camila deserve each other. My dad was a royalist but I am not. Too much inbreeding and a waste of money. My dad was also a catholic and I am not. Too much corruption and child diddling.

I know a lot of Wicca folk down in the Slocan Valley and Nelson. Used to do ceremony with them. We would do mixed Wicca and native American. Wicca is very Celtic and I'm sure many of my ancestors on my mom side were of that persuasion. I just prefer native American spirituality because it was born out of the land I live on. But they are quite similar in a lot of ways - Mother Earth/ Gaia, nature spirits and elimentals and all.



My grandfather and great uncles, on my father's side, were born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada after WW1. They were given land grants by King George for their exemplary service during the war. They chose to settle in Saskatchewan and raised Guernesy and Jersey dairy cows. My Mum was born in Scotland and came to Canada when she was 12 years old along with my grandparents and her two brothers. My great grandmother (on my Dad's side of the family) was said to have 'the sight'. My blood is definitely blue but I am positive there is some Viking blood in the mix.

With all that Celtic blood in my veins, it still surprises me that I didn't come to Wicca long ago. Mind you, I was raised as a strict Catholic, went to Catholic grade school, then attended a private Catholic high school for girls taught by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception. I broke away from the church in my late teens when they started making all the changes in the church. It still galls me that they did away with Limbo. Limbo, we were taught, was the place where babies went when they died without being baptised into the church. I had two brothers whose souls were in Limbo having both been stillborn. I would pray to them in Limbo. One day an edict came down from the Pope saying that Limbo was being abolished. I immediatley wondered where the souls of my brothers would now reside. I figured that as they were innocent little babies they would go to heaven. Not so, said my parish priest. Not so, said the Archbishop of our parish who was a close family friend, actually so were most of the parish priests. My brother's souls, I was told, had to go to hell because... they weren't baptised so they simply couldn't go to heaven and be with all who had been. Oh no, that would never do. Right then, I knew that I would not ever again believe a thing the church tried to teach me. The only concession I made was to my parents who insisted I get married in the church. I did so only for them and once married never attended a mass again.

Then I got divorced and was summarily excommunicated. Of course, they can't keep track of all of us divorced folks so it is simply a given that once the papers are final... we're quits with the RCC. I could write volumes about the Holy Roman Catholic church, but won't bore you further.

I also study native american spiritual beliefs ever since I learned about the Sacred Cards. I was smitten. I am particularyly interested in Hopi and Navajo belief systems. Wicca teaches us to be open to all forms of spirituality and encourages us to search and question constantly. Compared to the narrow-minded tenets and strictutres imposed by the RCC, Wicca celebrates freedom of choice. So long as we harm none, we may do what we will.
Last edited by Mowich; Nov 19th, 2009 at 12:42 AM..
 
AnnaG
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Mowich View Post

I just finished reading a work of fiction that was set in Wales. The author belabored the point that the Welsh resent the English because they are coming in and buying up land and houses resulting in a increase in the value of both. This in effect puts certain properties beyond the reach of many of the Welsh themselves.
If there is any truth in this, I do not know. It does seem to me to be a plausible theory though.
The author also included a short translation and pronunciation of certain Welsh words which I found fascinating. There are so many consonants in the Welsh language and it is incomprehensible to someone not versed in the correct pronunciation.

It's quite plausible actually. It is happening here. People from BANGcouver are moving here and building huge houses. Up goes the assessments and the taxes and down goes the peace and quiet and neighborliness.
 
Nuggler
#9
Maybe the Welsh just value their privacy, and don't appreciate judgmental Limys calling them names.

Just saying.

One of my uncles was married to a Welsh lady, before he left his sorry ass in some European sh1thole field fighting to protect the right of dickheads like Blackleaf to disrespect others.

She was, BTW, a jewel of a lady, far from rude, but very fiesty. Just like the English used to be before they became all lah dee dah, dahling, deciding to whine and punch babies in Northern Ireland.