Friday, 29 July 2016

5 Things I Love About Wales and Yes there will be Dragons

The National Eisteddfod officially starts today, so I thought I'd share a blog post about 5 Things that I personally love about Wales.  

Actually there are lots of things that I love about Wales but...today I will start with 5.  
First and foremost, I love our Welsh flag, the Red Welsh Dragon standing proud on green lush land.  It is a flag that does not intimidate but boasts pride, strength and stance.  
We love our Red Dragon so much we stamp him on everything to remind you where you are just in case you forget your in Wales; and if your not - its to remind you of Wales.
I have Welsh flag bunting in my garden, in the kitchen on my apron, pint glasses and mugs I drink out of  and even a cookie cutter.
Second the fantastic and magical Castles, whether it's raining or shining, Welsh castles light up naturally against the beautiful glorious Green lush backdrop of spectacular scenery found all over Wales.  

In the past I have  shared 5 Welsh Castles: Harlech Castle, Caerphilly and Chepstow.  There are so many castles and ruins to explore in Wales.  Did you know that Wales has more castles per square than any other county in the world.
Now onto number  three: Welsh Dragons.  Welsh Dragons come in many magnificent shapes and sizes and guess what?! Some of our dragons do actually breath fire - for real!
Meet Dewi the Dragon: Guardian of Castle Harlech, Dewi is 16-foot long, 11ft high and 10 ft wide metal sculpture. 
A little while ago, I stumbled upon  the fantastical  Ebbw Vale Dragon in Blaenau Gwent.  This steely dragon was part funded by the European Union.  He is made from thousands of individual stainless steel scales.  He certainly does have a presence in the town centre, just look at those claws.

Recently Caerphilly Castle welcomed a new reptile like red and black scaled dragon which measures four metres long , he has an outreached claw and smoke flaring nostrils.   This dragon was sadly only temporary making an appearance for the Welsh v England Six Nations game, so I have not met him yet, but I haven't given up yet.
Now I introduce you to more gentler dragons that have come and gone are these Super Dragons spotted in Newport Gwent a few years back.
This is a Canary Dragon inspired by Tweety Pie a Loony Tunes character. 
I am sharing this particular photograph of a Punk Welsh Dragon with My Sunday Photo hosted by One Dad 3 Girls.

The Welsh are happy to even laugh at themselves, check out these not particularly good graffiti art sprayed dragons, but humorous nonetheless.  
Even our first money saving boxes are shaped like dragons (not piggy banks).  So you can see why I marvel at Welsh dragons. 
Now onto number 4 and one of my reasons for loving Wales: The Warm Welsh Welcome!

As I said at the beginning its the start of the National Eisteddfod.  The Eisteddford is a celebration of Wales and Welshness, of our culture, priding ourselves on our countrys achievements and of the notion of belonging  to a community.  The Welsh are the best when it comes to showing 'A Warm Welsh Welcome' and a poignant moment in history of this Warm Welcome was the way Welsh Miners in south Wales embraced Paul Robeson.  

Paul Robeson was a black American actor, singer, civil rights campaigner and lawyer who moved to Britain in the 1920s and his love affair with Wales began.  Robeson met with south Wales miners and realised that the struggle and oppression in Wales was just the same as that being endured by Black people in America. 

The Welsh, especially the miners embraced Paul Robeson's version of Land of My Fathers which he was invited to sing at the Eisteddfod in Ebbw Vale, 1958.  Just listening to Paul Robesons rendition of Land of My Fathers takes my breath away. 
My interest in Hidden Black history was peaked and I was well on the way to my chosen vocation in life: Welsh ethnic and cultural diversity.  I never got to write my own book on hidden black history in Wales and the contributions of people of colour in Wales as I moved to Scotland, but am proud that one was finally published: Cymru Ddu: Black Wales: A History. 
Cymru Ddu: Black Wales: shares the hidden history of of black presence in Wales since the 16th century, the Welsh involvement in the slave trade and the emergence of minority ethnic communities at Wales many ports.   Although the majority of Wales voted out of the European Union: BREXIT,  I would still like to think that most of is welcoming, if not tolerant. 

And finally - number five,  a good Welsh Cakes - how can you not love a proper bakestone Welshcake! 
This blog post is being shared with Amy who is hosting Five on Fridays over at Love Made My Home

22 comments:

  1. Very interesting post. Loved reading about the Welsh dragons. I am Canadian and we are all about the maple leaf, but its not nearly as interesting or cute as the Welsh dragon. :)

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  2. Great looking dragons. Your flag makes a statement indeed!

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  3. A fascinating post - it was interesting to learn a little about Cymru Ddu and see those amazing dragons, love Tweety Dragon!

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  4. Always happy to see Dragons. Can't think why. :p

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  5. I enjoyed these five things about Wales. My husband and I visited Wales just last week (and now we're back on our little island in Canada), and were warmly welcomed. I didn't see too many dragons, but enjoyed Dinefwr Castle!

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  6. Five great ones, love your flag and dragons too. We have visited several of your castles and enjoyed them all.

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  7. That's a great selection of dragons! What fun. I love all the castles, the mountains, the beaches, not forgetting the daffodils as well.

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  8. What's not to love about a country that would put a dragon right on their flag? Love it. And enjoyed your post, which intrigued me so that I started dreaming of visiting Wales soon. Thank you!

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  9. Wow, those dragons are all too cute and that's an interesting book you've got there as well. Happy weekend to you!

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  10. Very interesting post. I had not heard of the hidden Black history of Wales. Beautiful song.

    I always loved the Welsh flag from the first time I saw it. (A friend of mine in the U.S. had one because she said she wanted to move there. She's living in Singapore now, but I guess there's still time for her to move.)

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  11. Thank you for sharing such interesting facts about your dear country. I loved seeing all the different dragons and learning some history, too. I hope you're having a wonderful day. Pat xx

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  12. I have yet to visit Wales, hopefully not in the too distant future. I will be looking out for the dragons when I go. Have a lovely weekend.

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  13. TO EVERONE WHO HAS COMMENTED ABOVE, Thank you - Some are regular readers and some of you have come by Amy's blog, Thank you. I have come by your blogs and repayed the compliment, so forgive me if I don't comment to each one here again

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  14. brilliant post - love all your dragons and am really proud to have one in my kitchen thanks to you - wish I lived in a land of castles and am really interested in your interest in black history in Wales (was it a thesis?)

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    1. Thank you Johanna. Its mostly to do with my heritage...

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  15. Lots of wonderful Welshness! How great is that. I love the dragons, especially the chocolate one, how amazing would that be if it were real! Thank you too for joining Five On Friday. I hope that you have a great August and I look forward to seeing you again in September! xx

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    1. Thank you so much Amy for the invitation, have a good August - see you in September x

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  16. I love castles, dragons and Wales. I really hope that I can go there soon again.

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    1. Hopefully you will be able to return

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  17. The Welsh flag is very beautiful. I really like the red dragon and can see why people would want it printed on so many things.
    It is similar in Canada, though ours is a little more boring with a red maple leaf ;)
    I didn't know there so many castles there - that's very cool. I would love to visit one sometime.
    And the dragons! Love the dragons =)
    Thank you for sharing your love of Wales!

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    1. Thank you Kimmy, I am please you have enjoyed this post and hope you will get to visit our lovely land one day. I think the Canadian maple leaf is fantastic, not boring at all. I'd like to visit Canada one day too.

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  18. And I'll tell you what I love about Wales. While on tour and waiting to board the ferry to Ireland, I bought two T-shirts in a little discount shop in Fishguard. I've never had nicer and wish I had bought a dozen. AND I had the best little chicken pasty I bought in a bakery there. Wonderful.

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