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America discovered by Welsh Columbus Day now known to be a sham

As is well known by our American cousins Prince Madog ap Owain Gwynedd heir of Owain discovered America around the year 1200 some 300 years before Columbus and founded a colony near to Alabama (although the exact location of the earlier settlements is in dispute some claiming Tennessee a more likely location). Recent radio carbon dating evidence, and the discovery of ancient Welsh style artefacts (clogs and a leak peeler) and inscriptions in the American Midwest have provided proof positive that Welsh explorers, under the leadership of Prince Madog ap Owain (sometimes put as ‘ap Meurig’ due to name confusion) set up colonies there. There is actually a dispute over when exactly Prince Madoc sailed to America. some claiming that this was much earlier around 562 AD just after the Romans got fed up with the continuous rain in Wales up-sticks and left. This claim however does not stand up to scrutiny as it is known that Prince Madog was one of 19 children of Owain Gwyneth (the first true Prince of Wales) ‘the Randy’ who was an historical figure dating from the 12 century. A Welsh poem of the 15th century tells how Prince Madog sailed away in 10 ships and discovered America and whether truth or myth, was used by Queen Elizabeth I as evidence to the British claim to America during its territorial struggles with Spain. So there you have it the first link in the long history of the Welsh in America.

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Old picture of coracles used in Wales

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Bull boats used by first nation people based on coracles

I could say a lot more about the discovery (but you won’t because I am already fed up ed.) but I will sign off with some fascinating facts:

  • By proportion Welsh surnames dominate in eastern states (source National Geographic).
  • There have been at least 10 American presidents with Welsh ancestry (Mitt Romney the 11th!!). Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, Abraham Lincoln, John Adams, John Quincy Adams, James Garfield, Calvin Coolidge, Richard Nixon and Barack Obama.
  • Jefferson Davies the Confederate President (good Welsh name there).
  • Robert E. Lee – Confederate General
  • Benedict Arnold – Revolution general who defected from the Americans to the British side (oops!)
  • Signers of the declaration of independence: William Floyd, Button Gwinnett, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris and Robert Morris.

And last of all over 10,000 pages of memoires were written in Welsh that survive today from the American Civil War.

Just a little knowledge bomb to lay on you; the Welsh patronymic system describes family trees in terms of the male line and records the family association in the ‘ap’ or ‘ab’ prefix (ap is a contraction of the Welsh word ‘mab’, which means ‘son of’, ‘ferch’ means ‘daughter of’ incidentally) so Madog ap Owain means Madog son of Owain. Often a small epithet to the name like Llewellyn ‘the last’ (the last true Prince of Wales) is also used and so in a more contemporary context we might regard the real name of Mitt Romney (as he claims Welsh heritage via his wife) as Mitt Romney ap George the Gaff Prone in celebration of his recent gaff that the UK was not prepared for the Olympics (which is probably true actually).

For more information about the Welsh in America visit : http://www.alabamawelsh.com/ and if your interested in signing the petition to restore a monument to the great prince go here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/AWA0987/petition.html

Incidentally this age of heroic Welsh princes contrasts sharply with the assorted halfwit princes we have has since the fall of the last great true Prince of Wales here is a picture of the latest incarnation Charles ap Windsor the Half Wit – enough said!!

Prince-Chuck-240x300br

The Five Intercultural Negotiation Skills

Intercultural Negotiation
As the world becomes increasingly connected, people both at home and in travels abroad, must consider the important issue of intercultural negotiation.  This post is a primer for use by readers in learning about this issue.


The Intercultural Dimension:

All cultures have their own preferred styles and strategies for dealing with and managing conflict.  Yet it is quite difficult to be culture-specific when discussion how to deal effectively with cross-cultural conflicts.  Nevertheless, there are some general skills involved in cross-cultural negotiation and conflict management that can be highlighted.
A basic requirement for effective conflict management and negotiation is to know as much as possible about the other culture(s).  Although experiential knowledge is preferable, research of the culture, norms, values, history, society etc. can be very helpful. The most significant feature of good cross-cultural relations, as most cross-cultural sources will indicate, involves avoiding stereotypes.  Although certain generalizations may be fairly assessed in regard to how certain cultures deal with conflict, individual differences should always be considered as paramount.  In fact, some cultural specialists suggest that all conflicts are intercultural to an extent, since each individual person has their own personal history and experience, their own set of beliefs, values and assumptions, and ultimately, their own set of “survival skills.”

The Successful Intercultural Negotiator:
Successful intercultural negotiators are always cognizant of the fact that people do, indeed, feel, think and behave differently, while at the same time, they are equally logical and rational.  Stated differently, competent intercultural negotiators recognize the differences between people while simultaneously appreciating the intrinsic rationality behind such divergent feelings thoughts and behaviors.  That is to say, individuals, groups, communities, organizations and even nation states possess diverse values, beliefs and assumptions that make sense from their own perspective.  Thus, effective intercultural negotiators are sensitive to the fact that each person perceives, discovers, and constructs reality — the internal and external world – in varied yet meaningful ways.  They understand that difference is not threatening; indeed, it is positive, so long as the differences are managed properly.
Five Intercultural Negotiation Skills:

  1. EMPATHY – To be able to see the world as other people see it.  To understand the behavior of others from their perspectives.
  2. ABILITY TO DEMONSTRATE ADVANTAGES of what one proposes so that counterparts in the negotiation will be willing to change their positions.
  3. ABILITY TO MANAGE STRESS AND COPE WITH AMBIGUITY as well as unpredictable demands.
  4. ABILITY TO EXPRESS ONE’S OWN IDEAS in ways that the people with whom one negotiates will be able to objectively and fully understand the objectives and intentions at stake.
  5. SENSITIVITY to the cultural background of others along with an ability to adjust one’s objectives and intentions in accordance with existing constraints and limitations.