Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Datum point lacking

I follow many blogs and most of them are written by people who live abroad, for example some in Dublin others in Sweden.
By reading them I learn their life story as immigrants, there is something that hurts them, they are lacking a steady friendship and in a few months they pass from one friend to another without making a long and stable friendship grow.
Probably it is due to the fact that they have lots of friends who are immigrants just like them and sooner or later they go back to their native country.
I think it's truly tough (and demeaning) to live this way. it seems like living without a datum point, without a friend with whom you hope to spend a big slice of your life along.
To integrate ourselves into another society which may be rather different from ours, isn't an easy task at all.

Sometimes you have to struggle to make people appreciate your origins, and you can live for a long time with the reasonable uncertainty of not being a part of them and maybe after a very long time you will be able to say I have a trusted friend; you're close to them.
There is a fact that surprise me, I heard someone say when you're in the United Kingdom it's quite simple to get in touch with the British for a night in front of a sparkling pint.
It takes just the night but the day after, the same people with whom you had sung and sat shoulder to shoulder, don't recognize you or say hello to you... it's unbearable !

Thanks to Zsofia and Nadia for correcting me

Sunday, 24 February 2008

What do you know about Italy and Italians?

I' m wondering for what reasons or things, we are known in the world.
I have tried to find some answers to this question and most of them are platitudes like:
  • the good food and wine. Italian cuisine is really healthy and with a large variety of tastes. Recent studies have stated that the Italian cuisine is a cooking model to copy.
  • Countryside and seaside (most foreigners seem to know only Tuscany, Sicily and Amalfi),
  • Art History (Florence, Rome, Venice, ...)
  • Berlusconi who is the richest man in Italy and at the same time he has been our prime minister.
  • Most of us are not good at speaking in English at all (included me).
  • Fashion
Now I'm curious, do you identify the Italians with other symbols ?

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Language exachange from New York Times

While I was reading the New York Times, I come across the following article:
Learning from Native Speaker without leaving home, where there are suggested some communities for language exchange like Live Mocha.
I haven' tried it yet, but if you have some experiences tell me your impressions.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

My crafts

When I was a teenager, I used to work during the summer break.
I worked in different fields and one of these was old wood furniture restoration, I discovered this job by chance and it was very good for me because the laboratory where I worked is near my house, thus I didn't have to get up early :-D
The first impact wasn't really appealing but day by day I started to fall in love with this job and getting in touch with my boss who has become a friend of mine.
The smell, colours and veins of wood are fantastic and I had never imagined how tricky to restore an ancient furniture is, (sometimes you have to start from scratch !), I learnt many wise techniques from shaping wood to painting it.
Every wood has its own brightness, smell and "way of furnishing", a wood can make a dark room shiny, can fill an empty space with harmony.
During those days I developed the passion of creating something with the waste wood (leftovers) before they had thrown away, I wanted to give them a new shape, arrange something; I can't accept the idea of wasting wood for a personal purpose.
I built some items: a bass getting it directly from a raw olive branch, a little bear which embraces a heart, other subjects that I gave away, an old style airplane and two butterflies, these last objects are the only ones that I currently own.

The Airplane, in the pictures, was built with different kinds of wood for example the wheels come from a dismissed broomstick, the body is made of fir.
I left it as it appears without painting, I like seeing the veins of wood and its real colours, paint it, from my personal point of view, is like to overwhelm the wood.

The other pictures show a couple of butterflies, one of them I
gave to my sister. Their wings are made mostly with oak stripes and their body have been built with olive wood pieces remaining after the airplane was made.

Thanks to Zsofia for her corrections

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Something to teach

After Capello, who is currently manager of England football team, another national team, Republic of Ireland, has decided to leave its faith in care of an Italian manager, Trapattoni.
Trapattoni and Capello are both among the most representative Italian managers, two men with a high experience and a great career of outstanding results, they have won in Italy as either player or manger and abroad they have led great club towards challenging goals with the determination that they bring into their job every day.

Why did English and Irish chose them?
For their unquestionable technical skills, of course, but in my humble opinion because they are able to do something that is more than teaching game plans, they can spur players to reach ambitious goals, make they believe in themselves and in their capabilities, at the same time Capello and Trapattoni have always faced tricky situations face to face by making facts not fictions.

On BBC web site there is an article entitled Italy's football factory from which I extracted the following lines:
...Capello was extremely successful as a club manager in Italy, winning championships with AC Milan, Juventus, Roma and in Spain with Real Madrid.
Where does that winning formula come from? Perhaps from the Italian football academy at Coverciano, near Florence, where Fabio Capello began his career...
(also Trapattoni started his career as manager from Coverciano)
Going on listening the
Christian Fraser's report, he says that Italian mangers study football at Coverciano as a science and the English need an academy like Coverciano to improve themselves and probably they will copy Covericano's teaching model for football managers, but they can't copy the mentality, the enthusiastic spirit that some Italians just like Capello, Trapattoni, Lippi and so on bring with themselves and this is something to be proud of because if we, Italians I mean, want to do something we can, we aren't only the pizza people.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

A neapolitan Braveheart: Davide Imberbe

Davide Imberbe, 35 years old, is our Braveheart who has decided to struggle "O' Sistema" (name of the criminal organization in Naples, a.k.a. camorra) by rebelling to the racket.
Davide and his family, currently, live under the Italian police protection because they have been threated of death many times, nonetheless Davide keeps on speaking out about O' sistema both at TV programs (LE IENE) and in square.
He revealed how the criminal organization headed by Vollaro family forced him to pay an extortion, if you own a shop with ten rolling shutter, you must pay 10.000€ for three times (Christmas, Easter and mid-August holiday) a year without arguing! the poor bosses need money for their holiday and gifts!
Davide lost his old friends and now the guards who protect him are his best friends, Imberbe's life has dramatically changed, but he still fights.
He remarks that Italian government helps who denounces the racket and invite other business men to join him in order to defeat O' sistema definitely, if we are tens, then hundreds, then thousands; who can kill us? Davide says earnestly.
I hope other people will follow Davide Imberbe's suit and all together will beat O'sistema, because they can...

Good luck, Davide

Thanks to Selma for her corrections

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

The Carnevale day

On 5Th February, in Italy we celebrate Carnevale.
On this day every child masks themselves with a costume, and makes tricks to the people, indeed a famous byword says "E' carnevale ogni scherzo vale" (It's Carnevale day every trick is valid).

Some masks worn this day belong to our ancient tradition and symbolize a specific city, for example in Naples we have the funny and poor Pulcinella, in Bologna there is the fat and rich Balanzone and so on.

Just a few words about Pulcinella; he is the symbol of the poor side of Naples the tale tells that he is a negligent worker, always angry and looking for someone to cheat by selling his fake swills, but he is also kind and sensitive.
For some aspects, Pulcinella represents what Neapolitans are.

Going on
To celebrate this day we also make some sweets: the crispy chiacchiere, the cold sanguinaccio and the round castagnole these are their name here, but in other cities they could be named differently, for example in Liguria the chiacchiere are also known as "bugie".

Chiacchiere's recipe needs few ingredients: eggs, butter, flour, lemon skin
flakes. After making the dough, roll-out it and cut into narrow strips, then fry them. In the end, dust them with icing sugar.

Castagnole require the same ingredients of chiacchiere but you have to add rum for cooking too, make the dough and shape it in little balls which will be fried.
Like for chiacchiere dust them with icing sugar.

Finally the sanguinaccio, in the past, lots of years ago, it was made with pig's blood, but today we no longer use the it ( could they eat it? madness).
To prepare it you need: milk, sugar, flour, cocoa, cinnamon.
Put them into a pot, keep the fire low and mix the cream slowly for a while.
Let it get cool and then take some chiacchiere to dip into it... what do you think I'm doing now :)

I was going to forget migliaccio ! which is the one I like the most....
take some sugar, milk, butter, seed corn, eggs, ricotta.
Place the sugar, milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat, when it stars boiling add ricotta and seed corn, stir them for a while then let it get cool.

Since I'm really busy with my exams I can't help my
mother and sister in making them thus I play the tiring role of taster :)

Thanks to Zsofia for correcting me


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