Sunday, March 18, 2007

Why it matters that we beat the English

"As long as we beat the English, we don't care" sang the Stereophonics's Kelly Jones on the BBC, perfectly summing-up the mood in Wales before Wales's clash with England at the Millennium Stadium yesterday.

But why does it matter so much to us Welsh that we beat the English at rugby? Is it because we're racist and we simply don't like English people? Some probably don't. But for most of us, it's plain old rivalry, which has its roots in several hundred years of history in which Wales has had to battle against the odds to merely exist.

Even today, the legacy of that history can be seen in England's dominance over Wales in areas such as politics, economics and culture.

But despite living next door to one of the world's biggest expansionists we've somehow managed to retain our identity, our language, our pride in being Welsh, and our pride in Wales. The fact that there is still anything such as "Wales" and a Welsh language is pretty amazing.

We are comparatively much smaller, much less populous and much less powerful than England ... and yet we can still out-play and beat them on the rugby field at our 'national sport'. That gives us real pride, not only for our rugby team but for being Welsh too.

But having said all that, whether the Welsh rugby team win or lose, I wouldn't want to be part of any other country - not because I hate the English or anyone else - but because I have such pride and love for my own beautiful and magnificent country.



At 10:48 PM, Blogger David Thomas said...

If Wales were a state then the match with England might take on the same significance as those with France and the other nations. Until then an interNATIONal match is one of the few occasions when we can compete on a more or less equal basis and can take genuinely independent decisions without first checking with our masters in London!

At 8:21 AM, Blogger Wynne Jones said...

Yep, good point. An independent Wales playing against an independent England would probably be even more competitive.


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