A surprising amount of our customers have asked me the question: why do the Welsh people speak Welsh when we go into a shop or café?
The natural reaction for people is to think that they are talking about you. I have thought the same thing in some of the foreign countries I have visited, particularly Greece. My first language is Welsh, I can tell you that you shouldn’t flatter yourself, it is highly unlikely that they are talking about you, they are probably talking about something far more important than you, or simply discussing the minutiae of everyday life, so relax. Welsh is their language, and they are using it in the same way as you use English, the same as a Frenchman would use French.
If we are honest with ourselves, then we all hold some degree of prejudice towards those that are different from us, the UK Brexit vote underlines this statement well. It is a total misconception though, generally speaking, to believe that the Welsh are prejudice in a nasty way towards our English friends. Of course, there is a bit of teasing during big sporting events like the Six Nations, but that’s about as far as it goes with your average Welsh person. There are obviously exceptions, as is usually the case. But on the whole, the Welsh understand that the heavy industries and manufacturing are now just a memory, and that we, especially, and perhaps ironically, in the Welsh speaking regions like Snowdonia, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, are reliant on the tourist industry and the English pound, and are accepting of our Anglo neighbours.
This is not to say that we don’t hold a few concerns. There is the issue of maintaining the Welsh language, and there are those who believe that immigration, on a permanent basis, may dilute the language, thus placing it in danger. There is also the issue of holiday homes, which is making local affordable housing very scarce, and in some areas causing whole streets and even villages to be empty during the winter, this does have a detrimental effect on some communities. A very relevant case in point would be the stretch between Cambrian Coast Caravan Park and Searivers Caravan Park at Ynyslas, where the majority of the houses are holiday homes and are empty most of the time.
Perhaps this is why caravanning and caravaners are seen as very much less threatening to the Welsh way of life and are greatly appreciated and accepted. Caravaners are not permanent residents, they are regular visitors, who contribute a great deal to the local economy and enrich the local communities. Neither do they buy up local housing stock, they buy caravans in purpose built areas like the Searivers Leisure Ltd caravan parks in beautiful Borth, or more precisely Ynyslas, and therefore do not cause house prices to increase out of reach.
So, caravaners, the indigenous people are not talking about you, they like you, they understand that you contribute to the economy and enhance the community, and this helps to keep alive the very way of life that they so dearly want to maintain. So please feel welcome, please keep coming, please keep buying caravans, especially at Searivers, Riverside or Cambrian Coast, and if you could, learn a little Welsh, then you will understand what is being said.