[lg policy] Women thrown out of shop [in England] for speaking Welsh
Anthea Fraser Gupta
A.F.Gupta at LEEDS.AC.UK
Sat Jun 27 20:40:40 UTC 2009
[Useful note: the Isle of Wight in an island off the south coast of England]
26/27 June 2009
Woman thrown out of shop for speaking Welsh
They have put up with countless jokes about leeks and have suffered Anne Robinson's constant description of them as irritating. But now it seems the Welsh have something to be truly angry about.
Simply speaking in their native tongue, it seems, can get them into trouble. Rosemary Dean claims that she was kicked out of a gift shop on the Isle of Wight for speaking in Welsh. The shopowner, she says, was offended by the language.
Dean was celebrating her 60th birthday with her sister in Shanklin when she stopped by Grange Gifts to buy a present for her granddaughter. She claimed yesterday that she was was talking in her native tongue to her sister, discussing what to buy, when the owner asked her to speak in English.
The argument that followed led to Dean and her sister being asked to leave the store. But she was determined not to leave it at that, and has reported the incident to the Welsh equality and human rights commission.
She explained: "It was unbelievable. We were just talking in Welsh about the goods in the shop and the woman behind the counter shouted at us to stop.
"There was no warning, she just launched into us. She got really angry and admitted she was discriminating against the Welsh.
"I was not even talking to her and if I was I would have spoken English – it would have been rude otherwise."
Sue Pratley, the shopowner, said: "I made a comment to them that I wished they would speak English but she took issue with that. I do not want to go into detail about what happened. I did not ban them from the shop but I did ask them to leave."
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Anthea Fraser Gupta (Dr)
School of English, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT
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