Traveling is a great way to expand the mind and see life through another culture’s eyes. This past Jan Term I had the opportunity to travel to London, Wales and Ireland.
I was stunned by the beauty of Wales: The lush green hills dotted with sheep, the extensive history exemplified by 1,000-year-old Celtic crosses and castles, and the hospitable and warm Welsh people.
While visiting the St. Fagans National History Museum in Wales, I began to feel the pulse of the country as I and a fellow student had a conversation with a Welsh man. This man, Geraint, was eager to share his life, passionate about his country and adamant about the importance of the Welsh identity. Growing up in a time when the Welsh language was looked down upon and considered “weird,” Geraint, who spoke only Welsh in the first years of his life, explained that the youth and the younger generation of Wales are changing the perception of the Welsh language. The language is now celebrated. Geraint emphasized how important it is for a person to have the right to speak in his or her language; language is great part of his identity.
Story by Kelli Raines Guest Writer
Culture and Technology through Britain, Ireland and Wales — Tale 2
On the Technology and Culture Tour through London, Wales and Ireland, many great memories were made. Friendships formed, technology was explored and we experienced different cultures.
Although many memorable things happened, one main impression will stick with me forever and also pulls me to visit again. We stayed in Wales for about a week and a half in hostels and B&Bs, and although we were privileged to stay in a manor, the people of Wales made the trip unforgettable.
For class, we were told to go out and meet the locals, talk with them and truly experience the culture. On quite a few occasions I was able to talk with locals from Cardiff, Llantwit Major, Conwy, and Aberystwyth. My first impression was that Welsh people are really nice. I was amazed at how welcoming they were. Many asked where we were travelling from, where we had been on our travels, and other standard questions about schooling. These questions I expected.
The questions I didn’t expect were, “Have you enjoyed Wales?” and immediately following, “Have the people been nice to you?”
On other travels in the states I have never heard this question. I heard these questions first in Cardiff and thought maybe it is just the people from Cardiff, but I was shocked over and over as nearly every Welsh person I spoke to asked me this and was genuinely concerned with the answer.
If ever you wish to travel and meet truly kind, genuine people, go to Wales.
Story by Stephanie Semb Guest Writer