We’re well aware of the Welsh response to 1st March, with daffodils & leeks to the lapel, trad dresswear or red rugby shirts to school and some group jolly singing for the olders. But what of the occasion for the exiles, the Welsh diaspora?
Welsh cakes, you shout! As one found in a Geneva food fayre, there to be savoured amongst other worldly offers, but with a premium £10 price. Back in the motherland, that would buy half a shopfull.
Hiraeth. We’re good at mourning some indescribable loss, some missing part. On St David’s Day, of all days, that sadness is ‘celebrated’ with special measure. When you’re not in Wales, that is the day you probably wish you were, even if the other 364 you choose absence.
Rugby. I’m not suggesting everyone packs down, merely there are some occasions when your Welsh blood wins o’er all and rugby is often the catalyst. Not that we always win, yet it is the strongest ‘Bread of Heaven’ connectivity. And if the match happens to fall close to St David’s Day, then there is special importance. And if the match happens to be against the old enemy, like this year, then there is almost nothing that is more important. I am writing this on the morning of that match, bathed in English Kent sunshine. I’m stopping now, to continue in a post match vein.
We won! Brilliantly. How Welsh can one be? Watched the match surrounded by 50+ English in a pub, with just three Welsh supporters. Muted appreciation, but when we scored that last try, in the last moments of a fantastic display, the celebration burst out of us. Couldn’t hold it in.
Dewi Sant, I’m coming home.