A collection of culturally related points

italia AugusteaI found this intresting article on NYT:

Encyclopedia Britannica describes Italy as “less a single nation than a collection of culturally related points in an uncommonly pleasing setting.” However concise, this description provides a good starting point for the difficult job of defining Italy, a complex nation wrapped in as much myth and romance as its own long-documented history. The uncommonly pleasant setting is clear: the territory on a boot-shaped peninsula in the Mediterranean, both mountainous and blessed with 4,600 miles of coast. The culturally related points include many of the fountains of Western culture: the Roman Empire, the Catholic church, the Renaissance (not to mention pasta and pizza).

But Italy, united fully only in 1870, has long struggled not so much with its identity as with the concept of itself as a single unit working toward common goals. It has been central to the formation of the European Union, and after the destruction of World War II, built itself with uncommon energy to regain a place in the global economy. But distrustful of authority after centuries of decentralized and often arbitrary rule, Italians tend to feel loyalty locally: to region or town or, most commonly, to the family itself.

The fragmentation has revealed itself in politics. Since World War II, more than 60 governments have risen and fallen, and politicians have had little success in winning agreement on structural changes to make government work better and keep a once-robust economy growing. Amid a marked economic slowdown in recent years, many Italians have described their frustration at the lack of change with no clear model in sight as a malaise. (Read more)

I really recommend to read it all as I think Ian Fisher has done a good analysis. It is understandable from this point of view that Italy in fact has done and achieved a lot during the last 50 years.

Divieto di fumoI talked with my brother who lives in Austria about the Italian smoking in bars, restaurants, airports and other public areas. I remember some 5 years ago when I asked some tough young smoking carabinieri in the airport of Catania, if it was allowed to smoke in the airport. It wasn’t and they were quite embarassed and maybe surprised about my provocative asking, as nobody cared really at that time. In many airports like that of Catania, Fiumicino and Malpensa there were people who smoked despite the very clear written and voice announcements. Today, year 2007, there is no more smoking anymore in those airports nor in other public areas, like in trains, as I have seen. This examble may be trivial but the educated Austrians have yet not succeeded with this.

If Italians are able to follow the smoking rules, then everything is possible in Italy!

Italiani ibernati?

TomteAlla Casa degli Italiani e alla Cappella di San Giuseppe, ho conosciuto diversi italiani che molti anni fa emigrarono dall’Italia per lavorare alla SKF, quì a Göteborg. Io, che con mio padre e mia madre, emigrai dalla Svezia per vivere a Torino, ho trovato molto interessante il racconto dei miei amici italiani, come hanno vissuto la loro vita quì in Svezia, specialmente i primi anni, che a quanto pare non furono spassosi.

Adesso via Internet troviamo una nuova generazione di italiani, nuovi arrivati in Svezia. È ovvio che le ragioni per cui questi giovani vengono in Svezia oggi, sono ben diverse dalle ragioni che si avevano negli anni cinquanta. E se non si innamorano di scandinavi e si fanno prole, la permanenza sarà magari provvisoria. Anche se la Svezia di oggi é cambiata assai e con l’Internet e gli aerei low cost, le distanze non sono piú cosí enormi, l’impatto ambientale, culturale e sociale c’é sempre.

Ieri, a pranzo da me, il mio carissimo amico pugliese mi parlava nostalgicamente del cielo blu che questa settimana c’era a Lecce. Quí non abbiamo visto il sole da forse un mese e ieri abbiamo avuto il giorno piú breve dell’anno. Abbiamo quasi tutto quí, cultura italiana a non finire con RAI 1 e RAI 2 (ahimé, niente RAI 3), radio, film e teatri italiani, giornali italiani, vini e liquori italiani, i miei capperi, la mia salvia, frutta e verdura italiana, parmigiano, salame italiano… ma l’inclinazione del pianeta non l’abbiamo purtroppo potuto cambiare. Cry

Tempo fa ho trovato il blog di Francesco, http://www.francescoinsvezia.net, che vive da qualche anno a Malmö. Stasera, grazie al blog di Antonio, Top Gun, ne ho conosciute altri due: http://drommaskapase.rhinotech.it e http://www.rinascitaalnord.splinder.com. Viva questi corraggiosi italiani.

15 giorni…

maigret.jpgdi vacanza e … visto che non sono andato a Lipari stavolta, mi sono invece caricato di film di Maigret con Gino Cervi e di commedie di Eduardo. Io e un mio amico italiano qui a Göteborg, stiamo mettendo insieme un bel archivio di dvd (ehi, non credete altro, tutti dvd comprati ovviamente!).

Quando ero ragazzo, mi ricordo che mio padre a Torino sempre si guardava le puntate con Maigret alla RAI. Cercai di guardare anch’io una volta ma probabilmente mi addormentai sempre … insomma non fecero grande impressione su di me. Adesso che ho la stessa etá di mio padre di allora, Maigret me la guardo ora dopo ora, instancabilmente.

Le storie di Maigret con Gino Cervi, hanno un fascino particolare che mi é difficile spiegare. Forse é quella calma che regna nella vita di Maigret, il lavoro viene fatto col cervello e con la pipa, invece che con la pistola, che raramente si vede. Penso che Simenon rispecchiava una certa realtá del lavoro di un commissario. È quindi interessante vedere come lavorava la polizia di allora, senza tante tecnologie, corse in auto e sparatorie.

Bra matteundervisning i grundskolan!

Nästa år vill jag arbeta på ett annat sätt. Det har jag skrivit om i tidigare post. Denna gång efterlyser jag dina ideer. Du som nu går ut nian hur skulle du vilja ha undervisningen om din syster eller broder skall börja i sexan?

En kommentar jag fick var denna:

När du börjar arbeta nästa Ã¥r med sexor sÃ¥ ska du börja med att ha roliga lektionen genom att lÃ¥ta alla elever komma fram till tavlan och visa de dem kan som tex gÃ¥ngetabelen mm… Sedan sÃ¥ ska du dela in dem i grupper och ge dom ett papper som de ska lösa tal.  Efter att de har haft det sÃ¥ ska de fÃ¥ gÃ¥ ner till data salen och börja sammarbeta med sin grupp och hitta fakta och mattetal pÃ¥ nätet. För att de ska tycka att matte är roligt sÃ¥ ska de gÃ¥ till hemkunskap för att visa hur vikt fungerar sedan de som ni har vägt ska de fÃ¥ äta upp tex.. äpple, banan… Slutet av terminen sÃ¥ ska ni ner till syslöjds salen för att klippa i tyg och mäta mÃ¥tt… SÃ… SKA DET VARA FÖR ATT HA EN ROLIG LEKTION !!! (Redzifa)

Skriv även du en kommentar.

“In a Funk, Italy Sings an Aria of Disappointment”

On Santa Lucia day, New York Times published an article with the same title. It contains a video telling about the events of this autumn starting with the V-day. Click here…

Napolitano went to the office of New York Times Editor to complain. He told in other words that the journalist must be blind that only sees shades. “A journalist with eyes sees also the light“. Click here…

According to the italian financial  newspaper “Il Sole 24 Ore” (sponsorized by the government, as most Italian newspapers are.) Napolitano sayd that what was said in NYT about Italy is idiocy. Click here…

But the voice of Napolitano is not the only one. Other politicians, like Veltroni, agree with the article of NYT.

European dialogue about European funds

“Each year, Italy pays approximately 12/13 billion Euro over to the EU. These billions land up in a communal fund, which is then shared out in favour of the developing areas. What we get back amounts to about 8/9 billion. Where do these funds go? Almost entirely to three Regions, namely, Campania, Calabria and Sicily.” (Link)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0r-oMzgiWw]

I have not done this before…

After a lot of thinking about the Christmas materialistic tradition and commerce, I came to the conclusion to give a Christmas gift at “Save the Children“. I may have choosen the wrong organization as I am not sure were the money ends really, but at least I have tried to do something that feels better. Jesus main message was about sharing your wealth. After a proposal from an Italian friend, I decided to give two gifts with “Mani Tese” at this site. They are non used to get money from foreign countries so they just give national banc account data. If got these banc data: SWIFT: CCRTIT2T84A, IBAN: IT58 W050 1801 6000 0000 0000 040. In any case check with Mani Tese first.

 

A holiday without gifts brought Christmas joy

Starving childI have had great Christmas Eves in my childhood, some even made such an impact on me that I can today after 50 year replay them in my inner visual mind. We also had beatiful Christmas Eves in my family when the children were small. In ther Amazon Forum “No Gift Christmas” I agree with the person who wrote: “I love seeing kids’ eyes sparkle when they see presents under the tree. I was a kid, I haven’t forgotten that thrill.” But why continue the same traditions among adults?

For several reasons I now feel really bad about the Christmas gift tradition. I dont know why really. But reading in the newspapers about those many, especcially lonely mothers, who can’t afford to buy gifts to their children, reading today about the Scandinavians who spend about 14 billion Euros for Christmas Eve, about all those who are alone Christmas Eve because they dont have a family or relatives around, I simply get disgusted. Not thinking about all those millions of children who don’t get food enough.

And what are we buying then? Tons of “Oh great , Just what i wanted” gifts and we talk about carying about our environment, about social responsability about wars and starving. This Scandinavian Christmas tradition has gone sick. I would even prefer to move this tradition until the 6th of January, that means at Epiphany. Or why not, give 2000 crowns to some charity organisation. We dont need those gifts.

What we need instead is more time to be together, to talk and have fun. And I believe Christmas gifts are not the key of friendship, love and happiness. I love to be with relatives and friends to eat and talk together. I found this old article from 2005:

For the first time in my life, I exchanged no Christmas gifts with my family. For two decades, I had fussed about the consumerism of Christmas, the ridiculous overemphasis on tinsel and toys, the corruption of a simple religious holiday. But until this year, I had never dared spurn the gift exchange. I could still hear my relatives’ caustic remarks when someone couldn’t be bothered to send more than a fruit basket; my grandmother’s calculus of her children’s love by the thoughtfulness–and elegance–of their gifts. I knew my mother wasn’t like that. By grace and sheer will, she had escaped. Yet I could not risk her thinking, even for an irrational second, that I did not love her to the bursting point.

This year, however, fate conspired. Our sun porch floor rotted; the glass block required re-mortaring; there were car repairs and medical bills. And then my mother-in-law said, “Oh, let’s not do presents this year,” and we leaped at the suggestion.

I have never had such a wonderful holiday.

It felt odd not shopping for those closest to me, odd not debating what they’d want, odd not having boxes and boxes to wrap and place under the tree. But suddenly I had all sorts of energy for the rest of the rituals…

Italiensk fisksoppa

En av mina favoriträtter Är italiensk tomatiserad fisksoppa. Jag följer inte något recept till punkt och pricka utan utgår från vissa grundregler och sedan så improviserar jag. Idag körde utan lök (hade ingen) och prövade med några salviablad i.

20071201-02 Fisksoppa20071201-01b Fisksoppa20071201-03 Fisksoppa20071201-04 Fisksoppa20071201-05 Fisksoppa

Jag brynte vitlök gyllengul med peperoncino i lite olivolja sedan slängde jag i körsbärstomater, en tomat i bitar och persilia. Den här gången lämnade jag den brynta vitlöken kvar. Efter någon minut la jag på en bit kolja och en bit lax. På fisken hällde jag till sist en deciliter krossade tomater och ett halvt glas vitt vin. Givetvis, 5-6 kaprisar i salt fick ge sälta och ytterligare krydda åt rätten. Efter 20 minuter satt jag till bords och åt fisksoppa med vitt bröd. Hmmm tillsammans med ett glas vitt Mauro Chardonnay Puglia.

Italiensk fisksoppa är en lättlagad rätt som dessutom är lättsmält. Man kan ta en del av såsen till pasta men jag kände inte för det idag. Efteråt åt  jag kiwi och druvor. Det fick räcka till lunch.

Observera att italiensk fisksopp är mer som en svensk gryta. Och ni missade väl inte senaste Solens mat?

 

 

Notebook of a pluralist

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