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I'm Welsh, apparently?

I'm Welsh, apparently?

Well, well, well, my previous post about racism from newcomers to Wales seems to be slowly causing a ripple effect amongst the Welsh digerati. new-wales.net linked to my blog calling me a Welshman. Mosh, a guy I’ve known for 10 years, thought I was from Wales. When I’m not.

I was born near the Mersey (eh eh eh eh etc.), and didn’t come to mid-Wales till I was 8. Then I left 10 years later, and only came back 3 years ago. This means that of my 30 years so far, I have only spent 13 of them in Wales. Admittedly the majority of my tender years, but even so.

Most of my Welsh nationalist friends keep claiming me as Welsh, although I keep asking on what grounds. I can’t sing, my grasp of the language is tenuous at best, and the less said about my rugby abilities the better. I can’t claim to be passionate about Welsh nationalism, although I support it on basic principles and “respecting your neighbour” beliefs. Notwithstanding the odd racial epithet thrown at me – although the last one was, rather oddly, “stop singing, you Jew!”

So aside from my parents deciding to move the family to Wales for economic reasons, what other reason would I have for being Welsh?

(And for the record, I’d rather define myself as Western-Hemisphere Chinese. Although it’s a bit of a unwieldy term!)

11 Comments

  • Good Lord boy! Never have I heard you define yourself as English, and you have only ever projected yourself as being extremely culturally confused and conflicted with regards to your identity. Your identification as Western-Hemisphere Chinese is exclusive, tenuous and ridiculous to the point of being laughable. It is as vague and meaningless as you enjoy being.
    You fear definition.
    You do speak Welsh, and as you know that is 75% criteria for honoured Welsh status. The other stereotypes of this particular nationhood I shall ignore for now and merely beat you around the head later. Having lived here for most of your life, your nearest and dearest friends (practically family) all being Welsh, being specifically a Welsh nationalist (whether you like to fully admit it or not)- all add to this identitification. What holds you back from embracing your undeniable all around Welshness is your contrary nature and your irrational fear that admitting your Welshness somehow compromises your Chinese ethnicity, which it of course does not. This causes you anxiety. But so does the idea of committing to the 4.15 bus or the 4.21 bus. A cup of coffee on Saturday. The famous dim sum or fajitas quandry. Pulling pants or commando!
    Get over it Welsh boy!

  • Nowt wrong with fearing definition. Makes it harder for them to find you 😉 And it's not a Welsh or English dichotomy. There are other choices 🙂

  • Was nothing to with the either/or Welsh/English dichotomy as you know. No one is looking my friend, and if they were you would hardly be hard to spot. You'd be the one shrieking and gesticulating in the corner! That is just so Valleys! 😉
    Of course there are other choices but as per the discussion we have just had on msn, we are talking specifically about you and the factors that define you as Welsh. They identify you as Welsh, whether or not you chose that definition for yourself. There are common factors that are undeniable. You want to argue? We'll do it through the medium of song or rugby! xxx

  • I just wanted to say again thanks for checking me out. It seems you like what I have to say, or at the very most my thoughts are like a trainwreck and you can't stop reading. The same reason I watch Newlyweds.
    Once again, you didn't completely read my comments, or you would have seen that I ALMOST peed my pants. Thank goodness for fast feet.
    I hope you work out that whole Welsh/Not Welsh thing.

  • You live in Wales boyo, that'll do me… 😉

    Would you want me to amend it? I hope you didn't take offense at us Welsh assimilating you… RESISTANCE IS FUTILE … oops sorry slipped up there 😉

    a

  • Somehow, I feel no need to define myself. And what does being a Jew have to do with singing? Are they referring to the way Jews sing in temple (except for the cantor: badly?)

    I have always delighted in your Heinz 57 qualities (that's mixed to you Welshmen 😉

  • Your calculation of tenure in certain areas has got me thinking and I'm beginning to get worried. I was born in Gateshead and classify myself as a Geordie.

    I left there when 12 to live in Scotland for roughtly 2 years, then back to Gateshead again until I was 19. Since then I've lived in Bradford.

    So, up till now, the totals lie:

    Geordieland: 18 years
    Yorkshire: 10 years
    Scotland: 2 years

    (roughly – I can't be bothered working out any more exact figures).

    This means I'm more than halfway to having lived in Yorkshire longer than my "genuine" home. I really have to start looking harder for work back home…

  • Pisser: I am a Welshwoman not a Welshman. Deduct 5 points for not having studied this blog well enough. We all aready understood the Heinz 57 connotation without your patronising aside.
    The reason we love this extremely badly dubbed boy (can we call you badly dubbya boy? ;-))is because of his many and diverse traits and neuroses. And methinks the Jewish singing reference was merely further exposing the stupidity and inanity of those who use racial slurrs.

  • Im actually on Badly with this one… Since moving to Campbeltown (which seems to have its own rules for everything be them scottish or not) I am now not allowed to call myself English… because according to them im not english im from Yorkshire…

    Now i know i can be a bit of a spanner but the last time i checked Yorkshire was the largest county in England and since being born there and living 20 of my 25 years growing up there, i should qualify as being "English" but alas im not… The locals here seriously will not accept i am English and get rather offended when i try to fight for my nationality.

    I was rather proud with Mosh for coming to visit me in his English shirt and wearing it most of the weekend for the football

  • Gilbert

    Like the rest of us, badly dubbed, it's not really up to you what you are. You yourself might feel Western-Hemisphere Chinese (what??), or a mixture of other things – great, but no-one will really care. In different circumstances though, you'll be seen as part of different groups, and you won't have much of a choice – that's life. Simple example: if you vote in the elections, you are Welsh for that purpose (you're a voter, and a Welsh voter at that) and you'd be seen as such by the world at large ('The Welsh/Welsh voters back Labour' in the paper, not 'Various individuals with differing personal identities who live in Wales back Labour'). That's out of your hands. We live by generalisations ('cos that's what nations and regions are, rather than anything 'real'), as all Welsh people know 'cos when they go abroad they're English, Anglais, Englisch, Inglese unless they want to waste their hols arguing over it. (And perhaps your Welsh mates call you Welsh to wind you up?). We're all seen by others differently from how we see ourselves. Join the club! But I don't think you'd go in for clubs – not idiosyncratic enough for you, I imagine… PS your strange idea of totting up years spent living wherever would mean that Tom Jones isn't Welsh. He'd be less Welsh than you, in fact!

  • Gregory R. Nelson

    I'm seeking a simple definition of the term Geordie Boy can you explain?
    Thanks in advance,

    ……………..Greg

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