Y Crafwr: the faux outrage around Y Bannau rebrand has reached new heights of idiocy
In the wilds of this increasingly rebellious colony that is Wales the faux outrage around Bannau Brycheiniog National Park using ‘Bannau Brycheiniog’ as its given name reached new heights of idiocy this month with a group of local businesses deciding to ponder legal action to stop the national park using its own name.
With a gutsy determination to make themselves look utterly ludicrous they base their opposition to the challenge of pronouncing Y Bannau (Ban-eye) on a supposed damaging impact on tourism and the local economy.
Let us be charitable and assume a blindness to the vast global coverage that this beautiful region of Wales has captured over the past few weeks, with an estimated 750 million to one billion people globally having seen panoramic views and majestic drone footage of the park (at its best in the sunshine too as an added bonus).
Of course, all of that coverage will have used the English name, the Brecon Beacons as well as highlighting the restoration of the Welsh name front and centre for the park authority.
Some of the coverage no doubt drew on the rich history of King Brycheiniog entwined with the proper Welsh name. All of it will have added to the magic and mystery, to the appeal which draws the tourists to this beauty spot.
A marketing coup to which even the Prime Minister Rishi Sunak ably contributed.
Perhaps the concern for these businesses is narrower. It’s possible that an inveterate dislike of the Welsh and their language drives their campaign, maybe there is a certain kind of tourist to whom they wish to appeal?
God forbid that the kind of visitor who will enjoy the game of pronouncing Welsh names, learning about the local history, culture and traditions and for whom these very things will enrich their experience as a visitor, should start to darken the doors of these businesses.
What will they do when asked to tell the tale of Brycheiniog and teach such tourists to say the Welsh name (Ban-eye Bruh-ch-ane-yog – the ch as in loch or the composer Bach, what a tongue twister!)?
Talking of Welsh tongue twisters, in the meantime over on English media the demise of local Indy politician Adam Price as leader of Plaid Cymru led to the challenge of naming the interim leader Llyr Gruffudd, of pronouncing Cymru properly and of mentioning the Senedd – potentially all in one sentence!
Experienced and polished presenters crumbled in the face of such a daunting task as actually making the effort to ask and learn how to say things in the oldest language of Britain.
Kay Burley managed to mangle all three in under thirty seconds on behalf of Sky News – unforgivable when the new Sky Welsh correspondent is a fluent Welsh speaker.
Still, here in Wales we take it all in our stride, the centuries of oppression, second class treatment and constant belittling have toughened us up, inoculated and inured us to these constant micro aggressions – we will smile and laugh and sing Yma o Hyd loudly in the hillsides.
Then again, perhaps there’s something more in the fresh mountain Bannau air? The serfs are stirring, the ranks of YesCymru are swelling, the progressive English in Wales are learning to be Welsh.
Underneath the skies and rolling mountains of Y Bannau, the dragon is stirring.
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