Watch: TikTok star stunned by Welsh speaking town in Argentina
A TikTok star travelling around South America was stunned when she stumbled across a small slice of Wales in the middle of Argentina.
TikTok creators Emmy and Simon known to their followers as ‘The Weird Couple’ were on a trip of a lifetime when they discovered the beautiful Welsh speaking town of Gaiman in Patagonia.
@thatweirdcouplee We’re in the Welsh settlement of Gaiman in Patagonia, the Welsh settled here in the 1800s – the Argentinas couldn’t understand why they wanted to settle and not to conque and take over, but they did just want a safe place to continue the language and traditions ! #welsh #wales #welshlanguage #gaiman @ffionangell ♬ original sound – Thatweirdcouplee – Emmy & Si
The remote Welsh settlement of Y Wladfa (The Colony) first saw the arrival of Welsh immigrants in 1865 and today the legacy lives on in the pretty Welsh-Argentine town where the community speak a variety of the Welsh language known as Cymraeg y Wladfa.
During the mid 19th century Welsh speakers in Wales were routinely persecuted and the language was being actively discouraged, especially in schools with the ‘Welsh Not’ being hung about the necks of Welsh speaking students as a punishment for uttering the language.
In 1862, land was offered by an Argentinian minster to Lewis Jones from Caernarfon who had travelled to Patagonia with the Welsh politician, Sir Love Parry-Jones. Shortly afterwards, a leaflet was sent back home describing a beautiful land not so different from Wales.
Around 150 Welsh people, many from the Rhondda Valley, set sail from Liverpool on an 8000 mile journey in the hope the new land that awaited them would be safe and welcoming.
In the viral TikTok video, Emmy showed her followers around Gaiman where to this day a Welsh community still happily lives and school children are taught Welsh to ensure the language is preserved.
Pretty Welsh tea houses can still be found and there’s even a delicious Patagonian version of Bara Brith.
The town is littered with Welsh flags and Emmy wandered around with her partner in the sunshine marvelling at the Welsh language signage dotted about.
The social media influencers ended their visit with a spot of Welsh afternoon tea at a quaint cafe named Ty Gwyn.
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
Have they not seen the film Patagonia !
Ask the town council how they would feel about a ‘Welsh Whisky’ distillery on the edge of town?
It would be the first for Argentina…
If things continue as they are in Wales the only place where the Welsh language is spoken in the 22nd century will be in Patagonia. Mam Cymru has given up on the language and Plentyn Patagonia fled the nest because of that. The surivival of the language depends on those from outside of Wales.
And if the Cymro Children of the future have even less of a spine than those before them did.
And yet, The Welsh connection to America is lost or denied. The three main players in its founding and independence were for the most part from Wales, the three main founders of its colonies were John Dee, Elizabeth the first and Richard Ap Meryck. Which in reality America is named after. Not Amerigo Vespucci! (Ridiculous notion). Then upwards of 11 of the signatories of the Declaration of independence had ties to Wales, per capita the most of any nation. This is hidden by the purposeful political move to improve the links between Ireland and America, while tiny little Wales are… Read more »
If they choose to visit Cape Breton,Nova Scotia in Canada they will still hear Scottish Gaelic spoken.
Discovered it? Ummm people including myself have been visiting for years. Rhys Ifans did his 2010 documentary down there, many books have been written about it…