The year of the sheep

By | Category: Travel rumblings
are loyalties with Wales or China? No wonder the sheep looks perplexed

are loyalties with Wales or China? No wonder the sheep looks perplexed

According to the Chinese calendar, this is the Year of the Sheep.

In a week or so Chinese communities will roll out parades, carnivals and other festivities to herald their new year.

I won’t be celebrating.

This is a blatant attempt by the Chinese to continue gobbling up our industries by a well-thought out attack on one of the countries and traditions they fear the most – Wales.

Only New Zealand might rival Wales in its strong association with sheep and Australia just has too many other animal attractions to really compete any longer. Are jokes told about the links that New Zealanders have with sheep? No, traditionally that has been the domain of comedians talking of Wales so this creeping Chinese acquisition of a Welsh tradition to publicise their own tourism attractions is to be deplored. If allowed to continue there may be well be no Welsh sheep jokes in another generation. Comedians might end up unemployed and scratching around for future laughs.

Only last Tuesday a train to Manchester was delayed because of animals on the line near Swansea. They said they were horses but I bet they were just very tall, dark-coloured sheep. They couldn’t really be anything else in Wales could they? This proves that sheep are an integrated part of Welsh life. We cannot afford to lose our heritage to the Chinese in this way. Where sheep go, mint sauce may follow!

The Chinese are helped, of course, by the fact that their new year falls uncomfortably close to March 1st – St David’s Day – the day Welshman celebrate their patron saint. Just as Christians adapted an old pagan celebration with Christmas so the Chinese are trying to smother a Welsh tradition with their own holiday.

The Chinese could rename their new year as the Year of the Giant Panda or the Year of the Terracotta Warriors. The Welsh have little else that they can claim. They can’t have the Year of the Miner because there aren’t any. They can’t have the Year of Dylan Thomas because that was last year. They can’t have the Year of Steel because there isn’t much left of that either.

No, it has to be sheep and this insidious Chinese acquisition must be halted at all costs to preserve the centuries old link between Wales and sheep.

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