# of hours worked this week – 19
# of British people I have met in that time – 5
I am not back home on the island yet. My trusty ipad is being put to use for this quick little note on my nationhood.
Wales is the little piece of land that sticks out of the west side of England. We were chased to this mountainous region centuries ago, and have become fiercely protective of it. Many of us have left to discover the rest of the world, but every person born in Wales will declare proudly (to anyone who will listen) that they are Welsh.
This week at work I met a woman who had been in Canada for 35 years. Born in Wales, her accent was as strong as it would have been when she first left home. The sound of a Welsh voice is unmistakable to my ears and draws me in from a distance. My parents were recently in Arizona. While pausing for a couple of people to take some photographs they realized that said people were Welsh. They too were drawn into conversation with perfect strangers just because of the sound of their voices. I even met a couple who turned out to be best friends with a guy my dad worked with (this happens a lot with the Welsh,everyone knows everyone)… this sharing of personal histories occurred in an art gallery in Vancouver.
Now, I am a little anti-social. I will often hide in the supermarket, rather than have a conversation with someone I know well. But upon hearing the slightest Welsh lilt, I will almost run across a room to have a chat with someone I’ve never met. And so, I am forced to wonder what it is about a familiar accent that draws us to each other, even when we have nothing more in common than our place of birth? Why are we so attracted to the sound of our own voices?