It’s no secret that I am probably the most patriotic Welsh gal you will meet and this is something that’s grown even stronger since I started university. Being Welsh comes with its own set of stereotypes and barriers in England, all of which I find absolutely hilarious! From not understanding my accent to all the sheep jokes under the sun and the confusion over the word ‘cwtch.’ As a result, I thought I’d share what it’s really like being a Welsh gal studying at an English university.
1. “Do you know this person, they are from Wales”
This is one of the first strange quirks I noticed when I moved to uni. I found that 8/10 times when I said I was from Wales I was greeted with a “do you know” response. I mean I know Wales isn’t as big as England, but the likelihood of me knowing your uncle Mark’s friend Bob who also lives in Wales is pretty slim.
2. All those sheep jokes
I knew it would be a given really moving to England that the banter would inevitably include a sheep related joke. However, what I find even funnier is some people’s reaction when one is told – as if I would be outraged or offended over it. We love our sheep in Wales yes, but we can give as good as we get with the jokes – bring it on.
3. Your accent becomes gibberish
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve ordered from the bar only to be stared at in confusion. I don’t think I have a particularly strong Welsh accent (apart from when I’m drunk or nervous) but clearly I am mistaken. My friends particularly love when the bar man can’t quite understand “Can I just have a pint of coke please.”
4. Rugby day
My family are absolutely rugby mad but if I’m honest I was never as in to it as them at home. However, now I’m living in England it’s a completely different story. The jokey trash talk on the build up to the big England vs Wales game gets more intense each time, I wear my Wales top with pride around campus and tag my English friends in Welsh rugby social media . There is always celebratory snapchats sent from the winning team and a long period of justifying the losing team’s tactics afterwards – long live the rivalry!
5. “That’s not a word”
Words and phrases I tend to use everyday like ‘cwtch’ (cuddle), ‘diolch’ (thank you) and ‘now in a minute’ cause no end of dispute! I remember the first time I asked someone if they wanted a cwtch and they looked at me in utter fear until I explained! Apparently these Welsh colloquiums are adorable but also nonsense here. I don’t think my pals will ever get their head around what ‘I’ll be back now in a minute’ means and I kinda love it.
6. Hearing another Welsh accent is a TREAT
I can’t even begin to tell you how nice it is to be minding your own business in the library or in town and hear the docile tones of a Valley’s accent. It is a warm and welcome treat to say the least.
7. St David’s Day doesn’t exist
The English love to jump on the St Patrick’s Day bandwagon but somehow aren’t too keen to chuck on a Welsh lady outfit and celebrate Dydd Dewi Sant. For those that don’t know St David’s Day falls on the 1st March and is a celebration of Welsh culture, music, poetry etc. I definitely miss dressing up and heading into school to participate in the annual Eisteddfod.
8. You appreciate home a lot more
Don’t get me wrong, I do love living in Worcester but moving to the other side of the border definitely ups the homesickness. I miss the mountains, accent, culture and yes even the sight of the odd sheep. There really is no place like home.
There we have it! A little insight into the life of a Welsh girl studying in England.
I wouldn’t have it any other way,