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July 23, 2015 10:14 PM   Subscribe

In 1865, a customised tea clipper called the Mimosa delivered around 150 Welsh men, women and children to an uninhabited corner of southern Argentina. Today, in far corners of Patagonia, Welsh culture and language still survive.
posted by Chrysostom (17 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

also, previously
posted by thug unicorn at 10:58 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you! A very interesting post.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:03 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Saw a film about this place years ago, where the local teacher, a typical old Welsh lady, was preparing for her first ever visit to Wales, and struggling to pick up a few words of English.
posted by Segundus at 11:58 PM on July 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Watched and most enjoyed a recent [cough] torrent [/cough] BBC programme about the Welsh migration to Patagonia: Patagonia with Hugh Edwards
posted by Mister Bijou at 12:14 AM on July 24, 2015

Argentina seems to be a magnet for this. There is a very small population of Afrikaans speaking Argentinians in Patagonia descended from Afrikaners fleeing South Africa in the early 1900s after they lost the Anglo-Boer War.
posted by PenDevil at 12:19 AM on July 24, 2015

My wife and I (both English) went to a tea house near Puerto Madryn a few years back. We were taking buses around Patagonia and in one hostel happened on a tour (run by Argentines for Argentines) which included a stop for afternoon tea. It was like being suddenly back in Rhyl (North Wales) in the seventies, all lace doilies and crustless triangular sandwiches. And a decent cup of te (after a year without)! Our Argentine companions on the tour treated it like the most exotic anthropological discovery, marvelling at the tiny cakes and sandwiches, trying not to look disappointed that there was no beef involved, and asking us how to do tea.

And behind them on the wall, a massive framed photo of Charles and Diana, it was an experience.
posted by itsjustanalias at 1:01 AM on July 24, 2015 [13 favorites]

Not just a framed picture, if you went to the Cardiff tearoom, where most tourist buses go, they still have the cup Diana used when she visited. Unwashed.
posted by jontyjago at 4:07 AM on July 24, 2015 [4 favorites]

Diolch i chi am y stori hyfryd!
posted by leotrotsky at 4:28 AM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I wonder if this is why Madeleine L'Engle moved her "legend of Madoc" transplanted Welshmen from the East Coast of North America to Patagonia?
posted by edheil at 5:49 AM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

Right out of A Swiftly Tilting Planet. Wonder if any of them can kythe.
posted by dr_dank at 7:17 AM on July 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

thug unicorn: "also, previously"

Thanks, I missed that previously.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:17 AM on July 24, 2015

Patagonia with Hugh Edwards

Huw! :)
posted by howfar at 10:29 AM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

My wife was a member/organizer of the North American Welsh Choir/Cor Cymry Gogledd America, and the choir did various tours to Welsh enclaves around the world. I went along on the 2008 tour to Patagonia and quite enjoyed it. Blog posts about that trip can be found starting here and then following the "Patagonia" category.

The Welsh tended to settle in fairly remote areas and then maintain their heritage pretty closely. It's an interesting bit of history. The choir also did a tour to New Zealand in 2011, as well as to some enclaves in the US/Canada (and disbanded after the New Zealand trip).
posted by Shadan7 at 10:55 AM on July 24, 2015

There were small Irish areas as well in Argentina, which had up until the mid 1980's, Irish language newspapers.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:27 PM on July 24, 2015

I knew Che was Irish - Argentinian long ago.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 5:30 PM on July 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

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