SSi Forum

'Modern Wales is multicultural and belongs to everyone'


There are theories that some of the pre Roman inhabitants of these isles were atlanteans. Skilled sea traders inhabiting North western Africa, Iberia and the western parts of Europe. Many people have tried to find links to people like the Tuareg/Burbers and the early Celts using linguistics, but I don’t think anything convincing has ever been established.

Many of the early Welsh saints are often portrayed as being White, but that may not have been the case - in fact it most probably wasn’t the case. It is certainly the case that many of the earlier christian saints were not - Meuricanius or St Maurice/St Moritz for example (Meurig?).

There is room for our established perceptions and portrayals of history to perhaps consider some of these things.


I’m struggling to understand what you mean by that. Can you elaborate? :-?


Another one I’ve missed!


My grandfather used to say that the Welsh were the lost tribe of Israel. I could never work out whether he was joking or not… :slight_smile:


@Toffidil there’s a localism (only thing I can think to call it) that the locals around Sir Gar and Llanelli are called “the Turks” because of their colouring. Similar the West of Ireland is rumoured to have black hair because of their descent from the Armada survivors (seen Spanish Gates in Galway). However, there are also genetic theories that black hair and blue eyes is inherently “celtic” (as much so as ginger hair).

I have to say, I buy into the genetic link more than the more recent arrival of a few ship wrecked sailors. Still, the point stands that multi-genetic cultures have always existed and need to continue to exist to keep us healthy!!

Multicultural - well, I think that phrase has different connotations for each epoch of history. It’s impossible to gauge how accepting our forebears were. I’m sure it went in waves.


Some of my colleagues at work back when were working on the human genome project and already knew where some genes first turned up. They did my genetics - basically, they used my blood for anything they were teaching new staff because I was happy to,give them some on demand! My genes were ‘boringly common’ (in Britain) except one - from the Middle East! So we are all mixed up!


I like the idea of Atlantic seafaring traders, from the northern coasts of Africa, trading along the Atlantic coast with settled peoples. It doesn’t make it true, but sounds good. I watched the news a few years ago and heard abput a bunjee jumping accident in Llanharan or thats what i heard, but turned out it was Lanjaron in Southern spain, near Trevelez.

I grew up in in Llanharry near Llanharan and there is an old fable we wete all brought up with, that St Illtyd was apalled by the antics of two brothers Hari and Haran, would sneak down into the valley and rustle sheep. The story is spun out, but eventually Illtyd had enough and turned them into stone. He then built a Church to convert everyone from their evil ways.

With this story always in my consciousness I was surprised when reading etymology of old Basque once, that Hari means stone and Haran means Valley. Hilari or ilharri means place inhabited by the Dead, spooky when there’s a St Hillary up the road, close to many old Dolmen sites. All coincidental no doubt and shows you can create very plausible alternative histories very easily with a bit of imagination. I linked a whole host of places in Glamorgan to Basque words in a similar fashion to how the religiously inspired linquists in the 18th and 19th century forged links between Welsh and Hebrew.

The key to our history is the mystery and that can be whatever you want it to be.


When I first came across the ‘traders/North Africa/Spain/Ireland/Britain’ theory a few years ago, it made excellent sence! Music was just one similarity!


It makes for a very romantic notion of hardened seafarers from Siera Leone to Inverness - the hypothetical tuareg like nomadic traders of the Atlantic coast. The one thing we know about nomadic traders like the Tuareg is that they travel vast distances every year and are adept at speaking lots of languages, while retaining their ow distinct languages and culture.


I like the image of you rolling up your sleeves in the middle of whatever you’re doing, while people queue up with needles. I hope they gave you a cup of tea and a biscuit afterwards! :wink:


I didn’t drop everything and run! But the most interesting, which I may have mentioned before, was the friend who was Prof of Haematology at St. Thomas’s. When the law changed, so he could no longer pounce on medical students and ask for blood, yes, honest! He was very upset! How could he do his Research? Of course I offered mine. He needed a pint, not just 100 ml or so, so I went to Tommies to give it. A queue formed.
“Is it true? Is there really a donor?” So, taking pity, I just said OK. I’m not sure how many, “Just a few mls in here!” But I felt dizzy at the end and explained it away because I ‘couldn’t stand the sight of blood’. From thence, whenever I went, they hid all red liquid. I never had a queue like that again, but on one occasion I saw crowds outside. It was Lord Mountbatten’s funeral. He’d been bombed by IRA. We couldn’t just call a taxi to go back to work, nothing was moving!
Had to go to the Tube. My friend’s Technician was carrying blood and all sorts of dubious looking equipment. Me: “if the police stop us, I’m not with you!”
Poor chap’s name was O’Conner!


For a population of three million in what should be a fairly prosperous and educated part of the world…I dont think Wales produces a lot of culture PROPORTIONALLY (I am in no way saying it does not produce culture, just a lot less than we would expect)
…yes many Welsh people go on to feature in the Globalised English culture and Hollywood…but in terms of youtube and the real gritty culture online…I think Wales is lagging…barely any of my Welsh speaking mates have ever used Welsh online for example…not the same in other larger European cultures


Really? Most of mine seem to use Welsh most of the time on FB and Twitter…


I suspect we’d probably all mean slightly different things by the word ‘culture’ - my guess would be that if you looked at the amount of Welsh language culture, from a population of about 500,000 tops (a large chunk of whom aren’t daily users of the language) it would look as though we were punching a long away above our weight… :slight_smile:


Considering all forms of the arts are available in welsh i think thats very good.

Books, magazines, tv, radio, music etc etc. And quality stuff too.

Not bad for 500,000!


Yes, I found it faintly patronising as well…not the fact itself, but the rather over-the-top response to it. It IS a non-story, I think…in that it’s hardly something to be remarked on that a conscientious doctor from outside Wales might take steps to acquire knowledge of a language prominently used in the area where he is working. I thought this response came dangerously close to (albeit perhaps subconsciously) implying that somehow we wouldn’t expect black people to be able to learn Welsh. :confused:


I see what you are saying…but to me it felt more like “great, people from across the world are bothering! woop!”…cringey I know. But its a tough fight when a minority :stuck_out_tongue: