Wales is located to the West of England and is part of the United Kingdom and Britain. It covers about 8,000 square miles or 20,720 square kilometers. If you are not familiar with this country, you can find some interesting information below. The following paragraphs will provide information about the heritage and culture in Wales.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating things about this country is that it’s not young. Wales has a history that is rich and long as it dates back to hundreds or thousands of years. It all started during 1000BC when the Celts started to settle in the area, but the history was not recorded until about 50AD. This was the period when the Romans went into Wales. The long and fascinating history has low and high points, but Wales is still a great place today with wonderful culture and entertainment for visitors or potential residents.
Heritage and Culture in Wales
Wales is known for having a distinctive culture which includes its own customs, language, music and customs. Traditionally, it is considered an agrarian country with traditional cuisines representing this heritage. The traditional foods are quite simple and they contain ingredients which are readily available as well as cuts of meat which are not always saleable. Of late, many chefs have been following a growing trend to re-interpret dishes in more modern cuisine. Trout is a common fish in these dishes.
The food in Wales is comparable to the items available in other areas of the United Kingdom. The dishes include many food items from other nations and cultures. Great importance is placed on Welsh agriculture as well as on the availability of the local products, which results in high standards for food and a national diet plan that is based on natural, fresh items. Seafood and fishing in the coastal areas are very important to the local cuisine as well as the general economy.
Baking is featured largely in Wales’s culinary culture as well. These dishes, including speckled bread or Bara Brith are often fruitcakes that can stay for many days and are often served along with workman’s tea. Other traditional recipes which reflect the foods of the region include a meat-based stew (cawl), laver bread, Welsh rarebit, Penclawdd cockles and Abermeurig trout.
Special traditional dishes are served on ceremonial occasions and these include a seaweed meal, laver bread, a traditional cake and Welsh cakes. These are traditionally eaten on special holidays and occasions. Local fairs and markets generally offer regional baked goods and other products. Wales is known particularly for its meats and cheeses. Welsh rarebit or rabbit is a dish that has been very popular from in the early 18th century and it consists of melted cheese, severed along with spices on toast, milk, ale and beer.
The people of Wales speak two languages, English and Welsh. There are about 500,000 people who speak Welsh today and this number might increase because of the renewed interest in the culture and language. However, most of the people are English-speaking, so Welsh language is used as the second one. Many people in the west and north are English and Welsh bilinguals. There are some areas where they use Welsh exclusively, especially in publications, but English language continues to be the main one for everyday use with the two appearing on many signs. Even though the highest ratio of the Welsh to the English speakers is in the North West, increasingly more Welsh speakers are living in the South which is more populated. Most areas are not Anglicized completely and the language is used strongly across Wales.
The culture of Wales is very diverse as all areas of the arts are represented really in in both languages. Wales has many galleries, museums, theatres, libraries and concert halls throughout as they support and host most of the cultural activities. Everything is presented from the traditional to modern pieces, deep-seated to cutting-edge, to the increasing presence and influence of multi-ethnic practices and ideas.
A lot of traditional importance is placed on poetry and music so the general population is encouraged to support and show their appreciation for all art forms. There is very strong support publicly for the arts throughout Wales, as this is seen as a vital part of the national culture. Poetry and literature occupies an important position for linguistic and historical reasons. The culture of Welsh was based on oral traditions of myths, legends, and folktales which have passed down throughout many generations.
As for the performance arts, singing is definitely the most important aspect in Wales and its roots are seated in ancient traditions. In earlier years, music was used both as means for storytelling and entertainment. Wales is renowned for its choirs with all male members, which evolves from its religious choral tradition. The traditional instruments are played widely, including the harp and the traditional songs have been collected, preserved and published since 1906 by the Welsh Folk Song Society.
As you can see, the heritage and culture in Wales is just as rich and diverse as other places in Great Britain.