We talk a lot about standing up to racism however little is realistically done here in Wales, much less so in Welsh speaking environments.

I am proud of the position I hold at The National, of what I represent, as well as the boundaries I seek to push on behalf of this Welsh news source.

I recently had a conversation with someone who had been reading my pieces and how we need to be more vocal about racism in Wales. The emotion with which he spoke about his experiences struck me and reminded me not only of my privilege but of my cause.

I want to build a Wales where I can be sure that people will not suffer racial discrimination and while the Labour-Plaid administration is willing to sit on its hands, I and those who face racism on a daily basis have grown weary.

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I remember as a young child, I struggled to understand why I would be penalised for taking a day off from school for Eid Al Fitr but that a day off for Christmas was a given. I've never quite wrapped my head around it. I used to help out at a Welsh language school but left due to cultural issues. For example, I was asked to give a talk about Diwali and I was the only one asked. I love the festival and know a lot about it but I am not a practicing Hindu nor was I raised Hindu. My parents are Muslim but coming to school in a kameez in rural Wales, there was a lack of cultural awareness. If the staff are not aware, what chance will the children who there are educating have?

I've spoken to a number of people who have struggled with racism in Welsh language schools. From people mocking the language they speak to people looking down on them due to their parents being from abroad.

The National Wales: People in Barry for a Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020. Photo: Huw Evans Picture AgencyPeople in Barry for a Black Lives Matter protest in June 2020. Photo: Huw Evans Picture Agency

We should be celebrating diversity in every language and there is a culture that because Welsh was minoritised, discrimination cannot occur in Welsh language contexts. We need to think of how this impacts our children. Many end up being embarrassed of their 3rd language, ask for different food in their packed lunch and no longer want to engage with the non-British parts of their heritage.

We know there is a dire need to improve representation in Welsh literature as well as Welsh medium television programmes.

For example, S4C are looking for two children to play Deian a Loli. This would be a prime opportunity to diversify who is on S4C but I won't be holding my breath for a good outcome on that.

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'In a Welsh speaking world we are all assumed to be Welsh but what if we aren't?'

We also know there is a lack of ethnic minority teachers in Wales, especially in Welsh medium schools. Even in the extracurricular sphere, how many people of colour work for the Urdd or the Eisteddfod Genedlaethol? Mistar Urdd came to Cardiff Bay and there weren't many, if any, children from ethnic minority backgrounds to be seen. Where is the diversity in Welsh language role models for the next generation?

To those who say that they can look internationally for role models, I agree. However, that can impact a child. If they only see white role models in the Welsh speaking world then they will feel even more othered no matter how many times people tell them Wales is their home.

This is a time where I see that children are suffering the most. With the uncertainty of education during Covid, as well as a new curriculum for Wales, we are at an important junction that we need to make the most of.

As adults, we need to be making the necessary changes to ensure that our young Welsh speakers are seeing a diverse Wales. For that to happen, we need to be bold and actively legislate for our children, something that the Labour-Plaid double act have not even started to do.

Only then will they become citizens of the world and craft their Welsh language lense to the optimal point.

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