^ UNIT X. WALES OR CYMRU ? |
I. READING COMPREHENSION
A. Pre-reading Task. Answer the questions:
1) Do you know what the word ‘Cymru’ means in English?
2) How do you think Wales is identified in Europe and in the world in general?
B. Now read and translate the text. You can make use of the words given below:
Cymru – валлийское название Уэльса
Eminent – выдающийся
Compatriot – соотечественник
Attenuated – ослаблять, смягчать
Statistics – статистические данные
Habitation – проживание
scholar – ученый
dual – двойственный
legacy – наследие
burden – груз
contention – точка зрения, утверждение
discourse – рассуждения
psyche – душа, дух
aspersion – клятва
irrelevant – незначащий, неважный
ubiquitous – вездесущий, повсеместный
‘Britishness is a mask. Beneath it is only one nation, England’, these are the words of the eminent Anglo-Welsh poet R.S.Thomas which cannot generally be held to be shared by the majority of his compatriots, but his rejection of the term ‘British’ is by no means extremist or unrepresentative in the Welsh context. Surveys have shown that the majority of people who live in Wales, even in the most Anglicised or border regions, will identify themselves as “Welsh” rather than as “British”.The proportion of Welsh speakers who reject the designation “British” is, predictably, higher than that of non-Welsh speakers. Nevertheless, the willingness to be identified as “British” is not dependent on linguistic factors only, but is strongly linked to the geographical territory inhabited by a given group. This fact has led one sociologist, Denis Balsom, to construct a “Three-Wales Model” of the country, based on his analysis of survey questions on language and perceptions of identity. The model posits a tripartite division of the country into territories designated as follows: ‘British Wales’, ‘Welsh Wales’, and ‘Y Fro Gymraeg’ (the mainly Welsh-speaking area). In this study, the designation ‘British’ is evidently used to indicate an attenuated sense of a distinctively Welsh identity, as the statistics quoted in the study show. The territory covered by ‘British Wales’ is, in the main, a wide border country, which might be expected to exhibit the division of identity which the habitation of a border implies. Nevertheless, this rather negative usage of the term ‘British’ in the Welsh context is not universally accepted, even in Wales. Some scholars, such as the historians Dai Smith and Linda Colley, accord a much more positive image to the term ‘British’ . Smith argues persuasively that the Welsh now are characterized by a dual sensibility, one ‘Welsh’, one ‘British’, and to deny the existence of that duality is to deny the validity of the historical experience of unity found in the description of themselves as ‘British’ by working people in strikes, unions, depression and war.The focus on ‘working people’ is not accidental. His view may be taken as a fairly typical left-wing internationalist one. The official Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru, is nowadays a thoroughly socialist and European-focused institution. It was not always thus.
Indeed, it was not always thus in many ways. Welsh hostility towards the notion of Britishness is bound up with the perceived and real hegemony of England within the British state, and also with the legacy or burden of empire. It is, of course,not a new idea that the Celtic countries: Wales, Scotland and Ireland, were in fact the first British colonies; historical and cultural similarities in their situations and those of more overly colonized places, such as the Caribbean, tend to support this contention. It is, however, a highly sensitive area of discourse for, Wales was also, as part of Britain, a colonizer, and therefore a participant in the oppression of other peoples.
Arguably, the political test of the Welsh divided sensibility came in 1979, with the Devolution Referendum in Wales, which received a resounding no vote from the Welsh. On the face of it, this could be interpreted as the British identity overcoming the distinctively Welsh identity. Many nationalists went into mourning, others lashed out at what they perceived as their compatriots’ cowardice.
Nowadays some Welsh nationalists feel that it is not any longer necessary to discredit the notion of British identity – now they go much further by claiming that the only truly Welsh identity is that of the Cymro – the Welsh speaker. As R.S.Thomas says: ‘To those of us who speak the Welsh language, that is Cymraeg, there is no such entity as Wales. This land in which we live is Cymru’.
There are many kinds of division in Welsh cultural and political life .Some people see the main division as being between Welsh and British identities but there are perhaps more fundamental self-divisions than that in the Welsh psyche, colonized and historically conditioned as it is. The most damaging split is, perhaps, that between ‘Welsh Wales’ and ‘Y Fro Gymraeg’; there is a great deal of hostility and suspicion on both sides. While the inhabitants of Y Fro Gymraeg tend to regard the Anglo-Welsh of the Valleys as not truly Welsh, the Anglo-Welsh tend to be indignant at this aspersion, reiterating their Welsh identity and hardening themselves against the Welsh language. It must be said, though, that active hostility towards the language in the south is less common today than, say, twenty years ago, although there are still areas, such as South Pembrokeshire, where the Welsh language is regarded by many as something quite alien and irrelevant.
The invisibility of Wales as a separate cultural, if not a political, entity is a constant source of annoyance of the Welsh.
One thing which tends to diminish the notion of Wales as a separate entity is the ubiquitous practice of combining England and Wales together as a single unit. Even the television weather reports speak of meteorological conditions in ‘EnglandandWales’.
The invisibility of Wales as a separate place is also evident in the rest of Europe. In Germany, for instance, GroBBritannien and England are usually taken to be synonyms; while in Spain, Inglaterra similarly covers the whole of the British Isles, despite the fact that there is a perfectly good Spanish term for Wales, el pais de Gales. Many Welsh people have had the guilt-inducing experience of calling themselves British, just to avoid the complications of having to explain again where and what Wales is.
Nevertheless, the current relative lack of understanding of Wales in continental Europe is nothing compared with English ignorance of Wales and Welsh culture, which is often quite startling, considering their proximity to each other and the great influence which English culture has experienced from Wales.
C. Write questions to go with these answers:
1. ___ 1. That is the name of the eminent Anglo-Welsh poet.
2. ___ 2. They have shown that the majority of people who live in Wales will identify themselves as ‘Welsh’ rather than as ‘British’
3. ___ 3. It’s linked to the geographical territory inhabited by a given group.
4. ___ 4. He constructed a tripartite division of the country.
5. ___ 5. It was a historian Day Smith who asserts this.
6. ___ 6. It’s called Plaid Cymru.
7. ___ 7. Yes, they were in fact the first British colonies
8. ___ 8. Because Wales was also as part of Britain, a colonizer.
9. ___ 9. It received a resounding no vote from the Welsh.
10. ___ 10. It’s the ubiquitous practice of combining England and Wales together as a single unit.
^ II. VOCABULARY FOCUS
A. Translate the following word-combinations into Russian:
Beneath; unpresentative; persuasively; to be bound up with smth; overly; on the face of it; guilt-inducing; predictably; to be designated; similarities.
Reproduce the situations in the text in which they are given.
B .Find the English equivalents in the text:
Приграничная территория; недружелюбие и подозрение; отсутствие понимания; по сравнению с; близость друг к другу; быть тесно связанным с чем-либо; общепринятое употребление термина; позитивный образ; двойственность; понятие чего-либо.
Think of your own sentences with them.
C. Match the words which collocate with each other:
1. historical a. regions
2. separate b. split
3. border c. entity
4. nationalistic d. experience
5. damaging e. party
D. Match the words which are close in their meaning:
1. sensitive a. harmful
2. attenuated b. deficiency
3. lack c. sore
4. damaging d. comparative
5. relative e. weakened
E. Match the words having the opposing meanings:
1. relative a. abundance
2. damaging b. strengthened
3. attenuated c. indifferent
4. sensitive d. unconnected
5. lack e. favorable
F. Match the words and their definitions:
1) important, respected and admired
2) not important
3) to say or write things about someone that attack their character, work etc
4) a tradition or problem that exists as a result of smth that happened in the past
5) an opinion or statement that smth is true, especially one made during a discussion or argument
G. Translate the following sentences into Russian:
1) He is one of Britain’s most eminent scientists.
2) The original date of the translation is irrelevant to its value as a historical source.
3) I have no wish to cast aspersions on my opponent.
4) The war left an enduring legacy of bitterness and suspicion.
5) My main contention is that we should be educating children to be good citizens.
H. Insert prepositions where necessary (with; to; in; on; at):
1. to be dependant ___ smth 5. a participant ___ smth
2. to be linked ___ smth 6. to be indignant ___ smth
3. to be based ___ smth 7. despite ___ smth
4. a focus ___ smth 8. compared ___ smth
I. Complete the sentences using the words in the box:
contention diminish tend hegemony
source hostility entity
discourse sensitive legacy
burden invisibility entity
ubiquitous similarities bound up
1) One thing which tends to ___ the notion of Wales as a separate ___ is the __ practice of combining England and Wales together as a single unit.
2) Welsh ___ towards the notion of Britishness is ____ with the perceived and real ___ of England within the British state, and also with the ___ or ____ of empire.
3) It is, however, a highly ____ area for ___.
4) The ___ of Wales as a separate cultural, if not a political, ___ is a constant ___ of annoyance of the Welsh.
5) Historical and cultural ___ in their situations and those of more overly colonized places, such as the Caribbean, ___ to support this ___.
J. In which meanings are the following words used in the text:
1) a scholar
a. someone who studies a particular subject and knows a lot about it, especially a subject that is not scientific.
b. someone who is given a scholarship to study at a particular school or university
2) a discourse
a. written or spoken language, especially when it is studied in order to understand how people use language
b. a long and serious speech or piece of writing on a particular subject
^ III. INTERPRETATION
A. Answer the following questions:
1) Why do you think the term ‘British’ is not so very popular in the Welsh context?
2) In which places of Wales is a national Welsh identity felt stronger and why?
3) Why do you think Wales can’t dissociate itself from the legacy and burden of the British empire? How is it manifested today?
4) What were the reasons for the 1979 Devolution Referendum results in Wales?
5) How is the idea of the invisibility of Wales as a separate place manifested in the European languages? Does it influence the perception of the Welsh?
B. Paraphrase the following statements. Comment of them.
1) Many nationalists went into mourning, others lashed out at what they perceived as their compatriots’ cowardice.
2) The invisibility of Wales as a separate place is also evident in the rest of Europe.
3) Some people see the main division as being between Welsh and British identities but there are perhaps more fundamental self-divisions than that in the Welsh psyche, colonized and historically conditioned as it is.
4) The territory covered by ‘British Wales’ is, in the main, a wide border country which might be expected to exhibit the division of identity which the habitation of a border implies.
^ IV. SPEAKING PERSONALLY
Discuss with your partner how the idea of the Welsh dual sensibility can be accounted for taking into consideration historical, cultural and linguistic specifications. You can use the following expressions:
It looks like … because…
It seems to me that it’s … because…
I don’t think it’s … because…
It could either be … or…
I think this comes … from…