Pavlina cross country skiing with hot water bottle on her chest

Pavlina Livingstone-Sudrich of Whitehorse mistakenly said Wales was in England

A woman from Canada is visiting Wales to learn more about the country she thought was in England, with the Welsh government helping to pay for her B&B stay.

Pavlina Livingstone-Sudrich, of Whitehorse, Yukon, told her nearly 200,000 followers a winter warming aid was made in Wales, England.

First Minister Mark Drakeford’s response to her apology suggested she learn about Welsh culture by visiting.

The Welsh government said it was excited to welcome Pavlina to Wales.

Pavlina told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast she felt “incredibly honoured” to be invited to Wales.

“I think it’s a great example of the openness of spirit that when you make an error, instead of being cancelled, the people of Wales said ‘come, we’re going to really explain to you why that’s a gaffe’,” she said.

Pavlina is a hunter and outdoorswoman who posts comedic videos about life in Canada’s far north, including one about a hot-water-bottle harness made in Ceredigion.

She trialled the device, which has two hand warmers, in a 28-second video posted in November.

She said it kept her cosy while skiing, but she went off piste when she said the warmer was “handmade by a woman named Belinda in Wales, England”.

The warmer, called a “cosymajig”, is in fact made by online seller Belinda Knott in Cellan, Ceredigion.

She said her overseas orders “exploded” after sharing Pavlina’s video.

But there were also comments from Wales about the geographical mistake, she said.

Pavlina said she recorded a “light-hearted” but genuine apology which included her trying to say sorry in Welsh.

“I was really impressed with the response,” she said.

“In these times when you make a mistake you can be vilified, cancelled, but there was a real generosity of spirit from people in Wales.”

Pavlina cross country skiing with hot <a href=water bottle on her chest” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTU0MA–/”/>

Pavlina keeping warm while skiing with a made-in-Wales hot water bottle harness

Mr Drakeford told a morning radio programme in the Yukon that Pavlina’s mistake was one bound to touch a nerve in Wales.

“We live teeth by jowl with a much bigger country that speaks a language that is a global language,” he said.

“It’s often quite difficult to explain to people at a distance the difference between our two nations.”

But when he heard Pavlina’s apology he said he tried to engage with her “in a humorous way”.

That has led to Pavlina planning an eight-day tour of Wales with her partner from 7 February.

The Welsh government confirmed it was contributing to her accommodation costs.

The itinerary includes an appearance at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay and visits to Brecon, Wrexham and Ceredigion.

“It’s embarrassing the limited knowledge of Wales I had before,” Pavlina said.

“I’m really thankful to the people of Wales for having that attitude towards all of this.

“It wasn’t just a slip of the tongue,” she said. “It was a real error that touches on culture and colonisation.

“Yukoners understand that, having 14 indigenous nations here and a history of residential schools and language loss.”

As for her mistake turning into a trip to Wales, Pavlina said it has become a running local joke.

“People in Yukon are trying to refer to other places incorrectly in the hope that another country will help them and send them on a trip,” she said.

In Ceredigion, where Pavlina is set to visit on 14 February, Belinda said she has had to hire two part-time helpers and contracted out some of her manufacturing to keep up with demand.

“Most of my sales have gone abroad, from America and Canada and all around the world because of TikTok,” she said. “It’s absolutely amazing.”

She added that she was “really looking forward to meeting” Pavlina and “welcoming her into the studio”.

The Welsh government said: “We are excited to welcome Pavlina to Wales and show her, and her hundreds of thousands of social media followers, all of the wonderful things we have to offer.

“As part of our warm Welsh welcome, we are contributing towards Pavlina’s B&B stay, while Pavlina is covering other costs herself.”

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