33 Reasons To Be Proud To Be Welsh

Croeso i Gymru!

1. We invented the NHS.

The NHS was devised in 1948 by Tredegar’s very own Aneurin Bevan. And we’re still passionate about health access for all — since 2007, prescriptions in Wales have been free for everyone.

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2. We’ve got our own language, and we actually use it.

It’s even spoken in Patagonia.

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3. We produce world-class athletes.

Getty Images

Tanni-Grey Thompson held over 30 world records, won 11 Paralympic gold medals and 6 London Marathons. Tom James won gold at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics as part of GB’s Coxless four. Colin Jackson was three-times 110m hurdles World Champion, and held the World Record for over a decade.

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4. Gareth Bale, so good he wasn’t allowed use his left foot at school.

“There were games when we only allowed Gareth to use his right foot,” said Gwyn Morris, Bale’s school P.E. teacher. “We’d say, ‘Any touch of the left foot is a free kick to the opposition’.”

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5. Maybe our sporting prowess is all down to our P.E. teachers…

When Dai ‘Hard’ Jones first appeared on Grange Hill in 1997, the show received over 1000 complaints from Welsh P.E. teachers. They said he was too soft, wasn’t bitter enough, and that they could all “take him in a fight”.

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6. We’ve got more rugby legends than the rest of the Home Nations put together.

Not to mention Gareth Edwards, Barry John, Mervyn Davies and Shane Williams.

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7. And some of them are as brave off the pitch as they are on it.

In 2009, Welsh international Gareth Thomas became the first openly gay professional rugby player. Mickey Rourke is due to play Thomas, now retired, in a forthcoming biopic.

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8. And this lot aren’t bad either.

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9. Our accents wooed Old Hollywood.

Richard Burton, the Hollywood icon who managed to marry Elizabeth Taylor twice, was born in Neath.

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10. We’re pretty good at playing at broadcasters/ football managers/ prime ministers.

Newport actor Michael Sheen played David Frost in Frost/Nixon, Brian Clough in The Damned United and Tony Blair in The Queen.

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11. And we’re funny too.

Top L-R: Rhod Gilbert, Harry Secombe, Rob Brydon.

Bottom L-R: Tommy Cooper, Joanna Page, Ruth Jones.

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12. Once a year, we treat our poets like royalty.

At the Eisteddfod, our annual festival of culture, we celebrate our best poets by making them sit on a chair, while some guys with a massive sword swish it around the poet’s head. There’s trumpets too.

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13. And our best-loved poet is one of the all-time greatest.

Other notable Welsh writers include RS Thomas, Kate Roberts, Hedd Wyn, Saunders Lewis and the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

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14. Our flag is the most difficult in the world for children to draw.

Yeah, it should look like this.

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15. We make loads of money.

Literally. The Royal Mint is based in Llantrisiant.

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16. Let’s talk scenery.

This is Snowdonia, but you could also take a gander at The Brecon Beacons.

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17. Saint Patrick is one of us.

St Patrick was, according to most sources, born in Wales — or at least the territory that once constituted Wales…

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18. Meanwhile we have our own saint to celebrate.

This lot are all ready for Dydd Gŵyl Dewi.

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19. Objectively speaking, we’ve got the best national anthem in the world.

Sorry, it’s basically fact.

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20. And we’ve got the voices to sing it.

You can keep your glee clubs.

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21. We don’t just do hymns either.

Top L-R: Shirley Bassey,Tom Jones,John Cale.

Bottom L-R:Manic Street Preachers,Catatonia,Super Furry Animals.

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22. Welsh composer Grace Williams was the first British woman to compose the score for a feature film.

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23. We’re painfully honest.

Craig Roberts assessing his chances.

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24. And we give as good as we get.

Yasmin Morris, not putting up with any messing.

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25. We gifted the world the Gentle Giant.

Welsh footballer John Charles was never cautioned or sent off during his entire career, thanks to his philosophy of never kicking or intentionally hurting opposing players.

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26. You can thank us for Laura Ashley.

And the fabric from which a hundred bridesmaid’s dresses were made

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27. King Arthur, he’s Welsh too.

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28. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was written by a Welsh man.

Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff in 1916.

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Bonnie Tyler will even been representing the UK in this year’s Eurovision.

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30. And yes we’ve been invaded more times than we care to remember.

Owain Glyndŵr, national hero.

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31. And our villages have been drowned.

In 1965, the village of Capel Celyn was flooded to create a reservoir to supply water to Liverpool and the Wirral.

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32. But we’re still here.

Joe Calzaghe: 46 bouts, 46 wins.

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33. And here we’ll stay. Unless the aliens get in the way…

Since 2005, Doctor Who has been filmed in and around Cardiff.

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Ailbhe Malone is the UK lifestyle editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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