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Transcript of Wales
"Wales for ever"
English as a Foreign Language 2014
Learning Journal 1
Economy in Wales
Sports are very important to Welsh people and the two most popular sports in Wales are rugby and football. In some major sporting events, Wales competes independently but in others, such as cricket games and the Olympics, Wales participates as part of Great Britain. Welsh Athletes have actually been very successful in the last few Olympics and Paralympics.
There are some traditional sports in Wales. One of them is called Cnapan. Cnapan is a Celtic form of football and could be described as
an early form of rugby. However, Cnapan is not played anymore.
The other traditional sport is 'Bando'
which is an early form of field hockey.
But rugby is definitely the most popular sport in Wales and the Rugby Union competes independently and with great passion in the Rugby World Cup.
Wales lies on the western side of England and borders on England on its eastern part. It has over 1200 km of coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and the Irish Sea and covers and area of 20,779km². Cardiff is not only the largest city but also the capital of Wales.
The country is very mountainous. Mount Snowdon (
) is with 1085m the highest mountain in Wales. Wales has three national parks: in the Southeast, Northwest and along the coast. The landscape in Wales is used agriculturally to a certain extent but 13% is forest and woodland. Due to its mountainous landscape Wales is very cloudy and the average rainfall rates are approximately higher than in England. Snowfall is very rare close to the coast but more frequent in the mountainous areas.
Economy is dominated by the service sector followed by the manufacturing sector. Whereas agriculture, fishing and forestry only contribute 1,5% to the GVA (Gross Value Added).
The Welsh currency is the pound and the Bank of England is the central bank responsible for it. Wales has not been represented on one of the coins minted since 2007 although before there had been coins with a Welsh design.
The economic output has been lower in Wales than in most other
parts of the UK and the gap between Wales and other parts of the UK concerning living standards is fairly wide.
Wales used to have a very wide manufacturing sector which has declined over the last century and caused high unemployment but it is nevertheless very present in Wales.
Wales lacks jobs in the sector of research, development and finance and also business services, compared to other parts in the UK.
Wales has a population of 3,063,456 inhabitants. This number makes only a 4% of the total population of the United Kingdom. Yet, being the second least populated country of the isles, its population accounts for one of the main characteristics of the archipelago: its multiculturalism. More than 800,000 people are immigrants. As regards the age profile of the country, the average is 41 years old.
When the Celts arrived to Wales, the country was full of breath-taking megaliths. However, they were not the only tribes occupying the territory. After them came the Romans, Angles, Saxons and Jutes respectively. It was at that moment that the Welsh offered resistance and fought, pushing the occupants to the East. Their success at that time was in vain since Norman armies came to the country in 1093. Later on, the English conquered Wales, completing their labour in 1282. It was two years later when England gained sovereignty over the Welsh.
In 1400, Owen Glendower revolted against the English, expelling almost all of them in the following four years. Yet, by 1410 his aim failed due to the union of England with the former country under the throne of Henry VIII. It was made official in 1536 with the Act of Union.
Mountains and Coastline
Wales is the 10th largest economic region out of 12 in the UK
A brief summary of Welsh history
Wales is one of the four countries forming the UK together with Northern Ireland, Scotland and England.
Tourism has become an important source of income for the country. Over 8 million people visit Wales every year, what makes a turnover of more than 3 billion pounds. Furthermore, it contributes to creating more jobs.
Some studies have demonstrated that the majority of visitors come from other areas of the UK. What is more, the city hosting more travellers is the capital, Cardiff exceeding the figure of 14 million guests. Among the reasons explaining tourism are the rich cultural and historical heritage of the country.
Wales is developing as a touristic destination
Wales witnessed a transformation with the arrival of the industrial revolution. During the 20th century the economic benefits of the country were due to coal mainly. Nevertheless, the Great War made that the prices of coal decreased and together with the Great Depression, Wales became a territory of unemployment and economic insecurities. Wales has recently reaffirmed its national identity with the rebirth of Welsh and the devolution from England.
Fig. 2. "Is the Welsh dragon the most important object in Welsh history?" [Online] Available in <http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/nostalgia/welsh-dragon-most-important-object-3012086>.
Fig. 1. Image of Wales in the UK. [Online] Available in <http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Uk_map_wales.png>.
Wikipedia, Wales (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wales> [accessed 28 February 2014].
InfoPlease, Wales (2014) <http://www.infoplease.com/country/wales.html> [accessed 28 February 2014].
Oggy Bloggy Ogwr, Census 2011 : Demographics I - How old is Wales? (2014) <http://oggybloggyogwr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/census-2011-demographics-i-how-old-is.html> [accessed 28 February 2014].
Visit Wales, Wales, Cymru (2014) <http://www.visitwales.com/> [accessed 28 February 2014].
Wikipedia Geography of Wales <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Wales> [accessed 2 March 2014]
Wikipedia, Sports in Wales (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sport_in_Wales> [accessed 2 March 2014]
Wales.com (2014) <http://www.wales.com/en/content/cms/english/about_wales/wales_fact_file/wales_fact_file.aspx> [accessed 2 March 2014]
Economy of Wales (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Wales> [accessed 2 March 2014]
Visit Wales, Traditional Welsh food recipes (2014) <http://www.visitwales.com/explore/traditions-history/recipes> [accessed 5 March 2014]
David Crystal, Vanishing Languages <http://www.farsarotul.org/nl21_4.htm> [accessed 5 March 2014]
Wikipedia, Welsh language (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_language> [accessed 5 March 2014]
Wikipedia, National Symbols of Wales (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_symbols_of_Wales> [accessed 6 March 2014]
Wikipedia, Traditional Welsh Costume (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_Welsh_costume> [accessed 6 March 2014]
Wikipedia, Welsh holidays (2014) <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_holidays> [accessed 6 March 2014]
Fig. 3. Wales green bridge. [Online] Available in <http://www.walesinfo.com/wales_green_bridge.jpg>
Government and Politics
Wales is part of the United Kingdom. It is represented by 40 MPs in the House of Commons and there is a Secretary of States for Wales in the UK Cabinet.
With the Government of Wales Act in 1998 the National Assembly for Wales was created. It has the power to decide on the budget of the country. Also, the Government of Wales Act of 2006 gave them legislative power.
The areas of responsibility of the National Assembly for Wales are among others economic development, education, health, tourism and the Welsh language.
Wales has been divided into 22 "principal areas" which are responsible for all the local government services (education, roads etc.).
First Minister of Wales since 2009
hearty, down-to-earth, with seasonal ingredients
Thicker than crepe, similar to American pancakes,
it is often served piled up - as you can see above.
This traditional vegetarian sausage made with cheese, leek and breadcrumbs dates back to a time when meat was rare in Wales.
The basic ingredients of Welsh rarebit are Welsh cheese, ale or milk and mustard. Usually it is served on toast.
Little cakes with spices and dried fruit, best served warm with sugar.
The Welsh language belongs to the Indo-European language family and emerged from Common Brittonic in the 6th century.
It gained official status in Wales with the Welsh Language Measure 2011 Act.
The two main dialects are Northern and Southern Welsh. But since almost every county has its own variety of Welsh, there is no 'standard' Welsh. The vocabulary is mostly derived from Brythonic words. There are, however, some loanwords from Latin and English.
The Welsh language is also widely used in education, both at school and at university.
"Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon."
(= A nation without a language
is a nation without a heart.)
Traditional Welsh Costume
A costume once worn by rural women in Wales
A late 19th century photo of women in a rural Welsh costume. [Online] Available in <http://en.wikipedia.org/wikiTraditional_Welsh_costume>
In Wales, the traditional costume is the one that rural women wore in the past. The English tourists who visited Wales in late 18th and early 19th century said that Welsh costume was not same as the one that rural women wore in England. Rather, it was similar to a kind of pan-European costume. This contained a form of the bed gown, which is worn by the gentry in the 17th and 18th centuries. Wales was the only country in UK which kept the bed gown for such a long time. Also, as you can see in the picture, the special Welsh hat, which first appeared in the 1830s, became a fashion symbol of Wales from the 1840s.
Welsh costume seems to start as a rural costume (with diversity from region to region in Wales) and become recognized as a traditional costume by the wives and daughters of the rich farmers. They put it on for special events and when going to market to offer their product.
This traditional costume had lost their general meaning from the 1880s and some elements of it became adopted as a National Costume. In occasions such as Royal visits, by choirs, at church and chapel, women wear it from then. Later, just before the First World War occurred, girls came to wear it as a celebration on Saint David's Day. Now, many people recognised the costume as the national dress of Wales.
Wales has not only the traditional religious festivals of Great Britain such as Easter and Christmas but also its own special celebratory period. At first, there is an early festivity called Mabsant where local parishes would celebrate the patron saint of their local church. But, in the 19th century, this festival faded away and Saint David's Day replaced it.
Celebrating the patron saint's friendship and love, Dydd Santes Dwynwen's popularity has been increasing lately. On 25th January, people celebrate it in similar way to St Valentine's Day. They give cards to each other and by exchanging cards and by hosting parties and concerts.
Calan Gaeaf, related to the supernatural and the dead, is observed on 1 November. It has considerably been replaced by Hallowe'en. There are other festivities such as Calan Mai, celebrating the beginning of summer, Calan Awst and Gŵyl Fair y Canhwyllau.
Saint David's Day
National symbols of Wales
Flags, Heraldry and Other symbols
The flag of Welsh [Online] Available in <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flag_of_Wales_2.svg>
Consisting of the red dragon and the Tudor colours of green and white, the Flag of Wales is a popular Welsh symbol. After Henry VII employed it at the battle of Bosworth in 1485 it was moved in state to St. Paul's Cathedral. To represent Welsh descent, the red dragon was then incorporated in the Tudor royal arms.
It was not until in 1959 that it became public recognition as the Welsh national flag.
Currently, the British Union Flag consists of the flags of Scotland, Ireland and
England except any Welsh symbol. Technically speaking, however, the flag of
England represents Wales because of the fact that Wales became annexed by
the 13th century conquest and the Laws in Wales act of 1535 established it.
One of the most popular Welsh symbols is, of course, the Red Dragon. Historia Brittonum is the oldest remaining use of the dragon to represent Wales, but it is popularly assumed to have been the battle symbol of King Arthur and other ancient Celtic leaders. This myth seems to have derived from the story of Merlin's vision of a Red (The Native Britons) and a White (The Saxon Invaders) dragon fighting, ending with the red dragon winning. After the annexation of Wales by England, the red dragon was employed to support the English monarch's coat of arms. People in Wales often use the red dragon as a icon for all things Welsh, so it is seen in many native public and private institutions.
Red Dragon Badge of Wales [Online] Available <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Red_Dragon_Badge_of_Wales.svg>
Daffodills (Narcissus) [Online] Available in <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Daffodills_(Narcissus)_-_25.jpg>
The national flower of Wales is the daffodil and people wear on St David's Day each 1 March. ("Peter's Leek" is another name of the daffodil in Welsh)
Saint David's day [Online] Available in <http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/st-davids-day>
Saint David's day [Online] Available in <http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/st-davids-day>
Saint David's day [Online] Available in <http://www.welshgifts.co.ukblog/2011/01/16/1295186040000.html>
Saint David's day [Online] Available in<http://www.demotix.com/news/1083950/welsh-schoolchildren-celebrate-st-davids-day-prestatyn#media-1083923>
A very traditional Welsh stew made with vegetables and, depending on the region, with lamb or seafood.
Made with dried fruit, tea and spices, this loaf is often served with Welsh salted butter.