Emmy, who creates social media content with her partner Simon, was visibly stunned after learning of the town's connection with Wales.
Traveling is the best way to learn new things. The whole point is to experience something different from what you are usually used to. It may be the exotic scenery, the exquisite food, or the cultural shock. But, for one woman, this was the memorable moment of her life when they stumbled across Gaiman, a town in Patagonia, Argentina, where the people spoke Welsh. She was visiting a settlement that was nearly 7,500 kilometers away from Wales. According to WalesOnline, Emmy, who creates social media content with her partner Simon on their account 'That Weird Couple' on TikTok, experienced the town's connection with Wales, the red dragon scattered everywhere, Welsh road signs, and a Welsh afternoon tea at a local café.
In the TikTok video, Emmy said, "We are in a town in Argentina that speaks Welsh. So they came and settled here hundreds of years ago, and 153 people came on a ship that took two months to come from Liverpool, and they were all Welsh." Gaiman is located in the Lower Valley of the Chubut Province and is a part of Y Wladfa, meaning 'The Colony' referring to the Welsh colonization of Patagonia. Over 150 people from Wales decided to sail from Liverpool to Argentina on a tea clipper called Mimosa in May 1865.
"And now, there's like dragons everywhere, and they are all so proud of the culture, and they still speak Welsh, and they bring Welsh teachers over, and [the language] is taught in schools, they want to preserve the language. Like, even the houses are Welsh-built - the construction type is different.," she added. Gaiman is believed to have preserved and protected the Welsh language and community when Wales was losing its identity to England. It took eight weeks for the settlers to arrive at a port called Puerto Madryn. The town was founded in 1874 by David D Roberts. Today the communities of Y Wladfa live by their Welsh tradition and culture by speaking the language and celebrating the Eisteddfod.
While in Gaiman, the couple enjoyed a Welsh afternoon tea consisting of bara brith and cheese sandwiches, which Emmy described as "phenomenal". Gaiman's main attraction is to wander around the streets, watch typical houses, or enjoy a great Welsh Tea service at a lovely tea house. This Welsh town ironically has a Tehuelche name that has a significant role in the history of Patagonia, per WelcomeArgentina. Moreover, the Welsh Regional Historical Museum is situated on the corner of Rivadavia and Sarmiento Streets. What was once an old railway station is now a museum with a collection of relics from the days of the colonization period.
The TikTok video has gained more than 470K views and hundreds of comments from people eager to travel to Gaiman. "A welsh colleague of mine who recently retired went on a 2-month trek to Patagonia - she's now coming out of retirement to go back to teach Welsh!" commented @claire_80. "Ahhh I loved learning about Patagonia, desperately want to visit ❤️," wrote: @xbethanywilliamsx. "I went there on a choir trip in 2015 on the 150th anniversary. It's amazing being able to speak to them with their Spanish accent 🏴🇦🇷," said @callmefflower. "Omg I’m Welsh, my late grandfather is from wales and I’ve always wanted to go. I hope to take my mom soon! penned @jahshadavis3w.