The Calm After The Storm (Yippee!…)
I hope I portrayed my sarcasm well. I suppose that the calm is good, but it can be so mundane. I’ve tried my best to keep occupied, but there seems to be TOO MANY hours in the day – something which I never though I’d say just a few weeks ago. I’m currently reading John O’Farrell’s book, An Utterly Impartial History of Britain or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge – sounds interesting doesn’t it, and it is is honestly a fantastic book, especially if you’re like me and want a near-idiot’s guide to English History. Being Welsh however, my pride is hurt now and again with his flippant remarks, but hey, not all Welsh history is as wonderful as our nationalist believe.
Currently, Wales is at a great crossroads – we have to chose between tradition or modernisation. Although this isn’t peculiar to Wales, after losing our independence in 1282 to England, our attitude towards them have never changed despite it being thanks to them that we have a future. Because, let’s face it, we needed to move on from the pagan, indigenous Celts that we once were. But I agree that what we turned into is no better. We turned into a sort of parasite that sucked capital, population and culture from the English. Although there was a dramatic change during the Industrial Revolution as precious coal was discovered beneath the rolling hills of the Rhondda, slate in the North and various other money-making bits and bobs across the country, we seem to have just basked in the glory of the "British" Empire.
I agree with some of our most humble poets that we should look to the old days of independence and fight for our future, but come on, modernity will always win – if it didn’t a society would breakdown as the population flocks to the countries that seem to be more prosperous. Regarding language, Welsh has seen a recovery over the years and I myself am aspiring to speak the language of my nation one day, but to say that it is an important language for today’s society or to hope and pray that Welsh will once again be the dominant language in Wales is like trying to turn back time – which will never happen unless Doctor Who decides to really help Wales out.
If we want others to see Wales as a forthcoming, modern nation as the producers of Doctor Who wish it to be, then we have to give up some of our traditions, and that may mean the language. Will welsh be around in a century’s time? I doubt it. Only on the grounds that history will stamp it out. Just like Gaelic, Latin, Cornish, etc. the future will move on in communication and language which will inevitably mean (as some claim) a dominant, universal language. Why learn Welsh when more time can be spent developing the universal language of English? This is the question that will develop more over the years in Wales, as it already has in many non-English speaking nations. Why encourage miscommunication if there is a possibility to teach every child English as a first language.
I can already see the flaws in this even as I write. Slowly, alter-Western traditions will be weaned out, including language and the earth will cease to be a diverse place. But isn’t this where the world is going anyway? The Internet has helped this along at a once unfathomable rate and more bridges have been crossed between once polarised cultures. I’m not saying that there will be a "New World Order" or anything of the sort (that’s a bit out of my league) but there will most probably be in the future no room for extra cultures and traditions. Although we don’t want it to happen, it inevitably will.
So should we try and save Wales and her traditions? I think, keep them up as long as one can before it’s too late. As said, the inevitable will arrive at our doorstep one day and an even greater crossroads will be loom before us, traditions or modernisation. And the sad but necessary fact is that everyone, even the nationalist, will say "Modernisation, please." and Welsh history and nationalism will forever be only ever read in ebooks.