Helo byd, this year I am studying A329: The Making of Welsh History as part of my degree studies with the Open University. This one is quite pertinent to me because I am a Welshman with significant English heritage, living in England with an English wife and an English born child. As such, the issue of my cultural identity is something I have been wrestling with for a long time. If someone were to ask me ‘what does it mean to be Welsh?’ I would find it very difficult to give them a firm answer.
Perhaps I’m thinking about it too much (my wife probably would say I am) but I think national identity is something that most of us take for granted these days and we all too readily slot into without question. Is Welsh national identity, or national identity of any kind, a superficial (and artificial) social construct? In my case, does it simply require me to eat Welshcakes every now and then, to observe St. David’s Day and to follow the national sports team? Or is there something more to it? When the option to do The Making of Welsh History came up I jumped at the chance because it gives me the opportunity to explore aspects of my Welsh heritage and come to some conclusions on what it means to be Welsh. Throughout my academic journey this year, I will be sharing some of the things I learn and putting down my reflections on Welshness into words.