Category Archives: World

Language cultures


I read a splendid article in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica published January 10. As it is a translation of a article in EL PAIS written by ANTONIO MUÑOZ MOLINA I decided to look at the original article in Spanish to check the correctness in the Italian translation.

The title of the article is “En defensa de Greta”. It contains a interesting analysis of the Spanish and Italian culture and human attitude.

The article

Here is the Spanish English translation of some interesting parts:

It begins with:

“Greta Thunberg literally puts us face to face with our degree of personal responsibility to the great climate crisis which is already happening. She gives us the example of an activism……”

And now comes the view I am especially interested in:

“The people of my generation are politically educated in a world of  nice abstractions that did not need to transform into anything concrete in our daily lives.” 
“One said something and that was enough for something to become real instantly.”

<With the political and moral arrogance of that time we should have been vaccinated against this type of progressive heroism that consisted only of clouds of words destined to hide  behaviors that are often dirty. 

In Spanish: “hubiera debido vacunarnos contra ese tipo de heroísmos progresistas que consistían solo en nubes de palabras destinadas a envolver comportamientos con frecuencia canallescos.” Source: )

“We have met incorruptible wrestlers who rode in rage if they were not housed in luxury hotels….”

I really like the description “clouds of words to  hide dirty  behaviors” as it is often seen among some upper class people in Italy that are proud of the Italian literal history and that don’t want to identiy themselves with the lower “ignorant” class.


A new era of politicians

Some politicians have changed their comunication strategy, using a less abstract language but being skilled in lying and scareing. It started in Italy with  Mussolini who inspired party leaders like Giorgio Almirante of “Movimento Sociale”, Berlusconi of “Forza Italia” and today Salvini (la Lega). as in USA with Donald Trump many other  populistic party leaders, often on the right wing attract voters with unmotivated fear and  dangereous lies.

Some politicians that are not able to answer embarassing questions either go back hinding themselves under the ususal cloud of words or do their best to deviate with others answers or….

In Malta we have seen the worst scenario with the killing of Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia 2 years ago, a killing that reminds of the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But many populist  leaders do not need to go so far, as they have cells (like ISIS cells) with fanatics that can act anytime.

The difference between these two classes of politicians

  • The “Cloud of word” politicians are difficult to understand and critizise. Burt they dont get the masses of voters neither.
  • The lying and treathening politicians on the other sider are dangereous as these attract easily many voters who do not have the possibility to check with reality.

Greta not only uses a language understandable for the masses but also shows how we can do to stop a climate change. Greta may become a raw non hyporit model for a new class of politicians that have a sincere will to change things without any hidden egosism

Asa friend of mine said “Politicians are schooled to talk but not to act.”

In Sweden we see many politicians who are able to use a understandable language but they still do not able to demarquerade the right wing Sverigedemokraterna (SD) lies and their spreading of unmotivated fear.

In Italy, I have not yet seen Italian politicians who are able to talk tot the people without falling into the old clouds (in Italian called politichese). It is a rooted instict to show intelligence and authoority by using difficult words and formulations. 


S Lucia

There are several nice traditions in Sweden. Today is the only day that all Swedes dedicate to a Italian saint, the Saint Lucia of Siracuse. In my school like all others, the school day starts with a Lucia walk and singing. I take the opportunity to share this for you. A Lucia event sent from a church in beautiful Gränna. Click on this link to see it.

. Have a good day. Greeting from a windy Aeolian island. I wish a nice Lucia day to all my Swedish friends.

Italian lack of punctuality

introduction  writes this in the post “Italian punctuality: reliably unreliable”:

“Italian punctuality can at times feel like an oxymoron, even though to many Italians, unpunctuality is a constant annoyance.

In saying ‘sometime around’ many Italians are secretly implying a time you’re expected to arrive (9pm) while giving themselves a 15 window of time to arrive. with the Italian tendency to delay or push back deadlines, it could be later still. This habit seems more prevalent the further south in Italy you go, … “  is harder in its critics,  writing 

“Those of you who, like me, know a number of Italians, have probably realised that most have little or NO concept of time and punctuality,

The Italymagazine editor  continues with:

“But this seems to be an endemic part of the Italian make up. They never keep to time in their personal lives.”

I have done business with Italians since 1995. I agree with italymagazine especcially here in Sicily. I have always thought the Sicilians are slower less willing to stress because of the heat. I may be wrong.

I myself tend instead to come to meetings  before time to avoid the stress and prevent unexpected events that may delay me. I love walking slowly the last meters to destination especially with the Sicilian Summer heat. And I do not want others to loose their precious time. As John in the video I share below

“Time is the  most important human resource”. We dont live 400 years like Abraham.  Don’t we?

If i visit my doctor I am prepared for a waiting session as I know that a patients illness before me may require more time than expected by the doctor. I have experience of very long  waiting times in Swedish hospitals. So, when I visit a doctor I plan for a longer wait with a newspaper or spending the time planning the rest of my day or week or ejoying a talk with other patients.

I am trying to find a solution for unexpected waiting time. Shall I become a time robber coming late too? But as writes, Italians expect others to be punctual.



Punctual people.

I like to listen to this Youtubeas he is making a little bit fun about himself.


Time robbers

I dont find any site telling about lack of punctuality and time stealing. But I find a lot of sites telling about time robbers. The best slide i found was this:

But as you can see this table just list factors that steal time from you. But time robbers may be stealing your time because these factors steal time from them.

I presume that two factors are the main contributors of Italian lack of punctuality:

  1. poor planning
  2. Phone calls and Inability to say “no”
  3. Taking on to much and ineffective or lacking of delegation

1. I have noted that very few Italian may use a calendar, paperback nor digital. I have not met anyone using this technique.
2, When I had a meeting, if someone else called, I have never heard “Sorry I have a meeting now. can I call you back when I am ready?”

only once in my Italian experience, I  heard “Sorry for being late”


How to stop being late

Maybe this video gives you a few hints

For me the most valuable tips are:

  1. Build margin in the calendar
  2. Cut off things
  3. Change your attitude having “no” as your defaults answer
  5. Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.
  6. Make deadlines non-negotiable
  7. Know you personality type.
    Psychologist Dr. Linda Sapadin identified four chronically late personality types:

    1. perfectionists should be optimalist instead
    2. dreamers are often overoptimistic with time.
    3. crisis makers should practice adrenalin sports instead.
    4. Defiers  who hates being told what to do  should instead  rebel against social norms that are actually harmful
  8. Sourcve;:

Academic quarter

Perhaps the solution is the Swedish “akademisk kvart” (“Academic quarter” German “Akademisches Viertel”, Italian: “Quarto d’ora accademico”

I have found a Italian site about “Quarto d’ora accademico” in che tra l’altro dice degli italiani “non siamo in generale rigidi nel rispetto delle regole, almeno nelle regole dell’orario e della puntualità. Questa mancanza di capacità di stare alle regole, di stare nel “recinto” delle regole, se da una parte è una mancanza di rispetto verso chi invece le regole le rispetta, dall’altra ci dà probabilmente la capacità di stare al di fuori della logica comune, e questo porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività, una maggiore inventiva, una maggiore capacità di inventare e di lavorare con la fantasia. Questa ovviamente può essere una delle possibili interpretazioni, una delle tante.”

I reallt wonder if this time culture helps the Italians to become more creative “porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività“. Creativity depends on your time of relax. The Italian siesta and relax is I think a better space for creativity.


How to deal with the Italian lack of Punctuality

the academic quarter was not permitted in compulsory school in Sweden. But this academic culture is maybe a solution. Shall I plan with coming sometime within 15 minutes? I don’t have a answer yet, how to deal with this issue.  I see however  no reason to come before as this would make me still more irritated if the others come late.

or like John says in his youtube above “I try to be less early”

I like the idea sugggests:

Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.”

so If someone comes late I can go and take a cup of granita?