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St David’s Day event shines spotlight on significance of Wales

2 March 2024

Image of the flag of Wales

The School of Geography and Planning has held an event to mark the importance of St David’s Day.

The event was held to emphasise how looking at Wales can be a window on much bigger, global-scale issues, and to challenge any misunderstanding that Wales is provincial and insignificant.

The event was held to mark St David’s Day – the patron saint of Wales – as it has a symbolic resonance in Wales and beyond.

Five panellists (Dr Francesca Sartorio, Nia Rees, Professor Kevin Morgan, Dr Huw Williams and Professor Wendy Larner), took part in the event, covering a range of topics in short talks.

Nia’s talk (in Welsh and English) focused on how Wales was leading the way in homelessness prevention, advising and supporting other countries on how to follow their lead.

Kevin spoke of the significance of the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act and the important steps forward in terms of the provision of healthy, sustainable school meals.

Francesca’s talk engaged with community-led planning and the long history of strength and resolve among Welsh communities that other places could learn from.

Relatedly, Huw Williams also spoke (in Welsh) about how the long history of political struggles in Wales shows the need for small nations to be self-reliant and support the independence of their people.

Wendy Larner’s talk focused on how the Welsh context parallels a Maori word, Kaitiakitanga, meaning the responsibility of guardianship towards not only future generations but also outward connections elsewhere.

Following the talks there were questions from the audience, focusing on the power of multilingualism in making sense of a world in which many worlds coexist.

This was also the first event the school has held with simultaneous Welsh translation, making it truly bilingual. The school is also reinforcing its commitment to enhance opportunities for learning and speaking Welsh, as well as considering how to develop more Wales-focused activities and field trips as part of teaching.

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