Tuesday, 13 December 2016

The Welsh Narrative - refined

 This is the new dragon associated with the Welsh Government's current re-branding exercise.  Not sure that I like it all that much -- the fluffy feet make it look a bit like a cross between a dragon and a hobbit.  Maybe that's the idea -- the old dragon was indeed very fierce, with sharp claws on its feet, and maybe this one looks a bit less threatening......

Following our attempts to define the Welsh narrative in relatively few words, we have had a very enthusiastic (and even aggressive!) debate of the Welsh History Facebook page about what it is that makes Wales special.  The most interesting contributions, I thought, were those stressing the need to use words that conjure up images and emotional responses.  Fair enough -- one does not want a statement that sounds too dry or academic -- and on the other side of the coin it must not be too flowery or filled with meaningless puffery.  Something like this seems to be more in tune with the comments made in the discussion:

"Wales is two hours and a million miles away -- a small country on the Celtic fringe of Europe. The country’s green acres have seen a valiant struggle for self determination against a powerful and predatory neighbour.  From the days of its ancient myths and native princes, to the ring of castles built by its conquerors, to its soaring rocky peaks and wild coasts, to its rich bardic and linguistic heritage, and the coal and iron that forged a global industrial revolution, Wales has always been a nation of survivors.  Melancholia features large in the national psyche -- but so does euphoria, and the old mystics talked of two fighting dragons.  Welsh people still have a powerful sense of place and an instinct for subversion and social justice.  They still have an abiding fondness for family histories, mysteries and legends, poetry and music, ceremonial and eccentric traditions.  And in Wales you will find a living language, an open-hearted generosity of spirit, a real sense of mischief, and the warmest of welcomes."

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