Sorry, no Bagpipes: Europe’s View of Wales


It’s a common complaint that Americans are a little clueless on the nuances of external geographic realities. Actually the truth is that Americans are often clueless about what happens in the next state as well as outside the US. On the other hand, the international community doesn’t always fare so well either.

Witness this article on European Views of Wales in which neighboring countries typically consider Wales a slightly exotic region of England and ask if Wales has bagpipes (not really) or if Sean Connery is Welsh (no, he’s Scottish). Some people realize that there is a separate Welsh language, but one person said she only knew that it was “hard.”

Ironically, most of these comments are pretty much what I would in the USA, but at least we have an ocean-wide gap we can use as an excuse!

Actually, this shouldn’t be about playing a blame game about who knows the least geography, but a recognition that we ALL need a little help.

After all it’s just as dangerous for a European to assume that Walmart defines America as it is for an American to assume that the Eiffel Tower defines France.