sabato 14 ottobre 2017

Anthropology of Globalization for Global Governance #5

11 10 2017. here is the mp3. We have completed the analysis of “culture is acquired” summing up a few points of our definition. Comparison as the main tool through which to acquire awareness and reflexivity.
We moved to the second point of our general discussion: CULTURE IS SHARED. We may have special skills, like my sister who knows how to speak backwards, but that is an idiosyncratic knowledge of her, and does not really count as culture because it is not socially shared. There must be a group that has the same knowledge.
But for a reason or another we tend to OVERESTIMATE the level to which culture is really shared, and we take for granted that shared-ness is the ordinary. We tend to elaborate “spontaneously” the image of cultures as “baskets” that include all and only the members of one culture, and whose content is exclusive property of one culture at a time.
Again, “spontaneously” we tend to think cultures are separated by clear and sharp borders, and we can immediately tell who’s in and who’s out of those borders, who is “us” and who is “them”. We have just to think for a moment about this “natural” thought to admit it is not true, jet it is interesting we tend “naturally” to have it.
We do know that cultural contents may be the same in two different baskets. Many cultural elements may be present in more than one basket. That means that cultural borders are necessarily blurred.
Secondly, what is “inside” one single basket is nonetheless diverse and different. Gender, age, class, education and other inevitable social factors create internal cultural difference.
Bottom line: cultures are less clearly distinguished we may imagine at first, and definitely more articulated within themselves than we tend to think at first gaze. We have told the story of the old Roman lady of seven generations, her grandson who is a football fan and the lady from Ukraine who works as caretaker in the same Trastevere neighbourhood.

Q1. On the same vein of the Trastevere story I told you, briefly elaborate another fictive case study (or a real one of your knowledge) to demonstrate that cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves than we may prejudicially think (hint: think or your “national culture” and it should be easy to spot unexpected connections with other cultures and discover huge pockets of internal difference within your “own” culture.

But why have we elaborated a DISCOURSE (vs. ACTION) that insists so much of cultural internal uniformity and external distinction?
There are TWO SOURCES for this discourse to be so common.
1. EVERYDAY LIFE based on our natural disposition to learn. Since we are learning animals, we tend easily to store what we have learnt in “models”, or “Patterns”. We don’t want to experiment every second new sensations and we tend to funnel them in more ordinary schemes. We elaborate EXPECTATIONS, we more or less know what to expect when we begin to sip our first mug of coffee in the morning (and that is precisely why we are disgusted if we poured in salt instead of sugar, not because the taste in itself be so terrible, but most of all because it does not match our expectations). This system of ordinary expectations is at the basis of communication. We talk and reply without really thinking of the complex interaction that goes on among those who communicate. We take it as “normal”, or “standard” action (which it is, of course, but less obvious than we might expect, once we begin to analyse it) thus we tend to improperly believe that those surrounding us are more or less the same, indeed overestimating their similarities and underestimating differences when not marked by “weird” signs like skin colour, accent, or anything else clearly out-of-standard. Were we not able to elaborate standard pattern of behaviour based on expectations, we would go nuts all the time like new-born babies forced to have just and only new experiences every moment. We could not survive without stereotypes but that disposition of ours entails we normally feel at ease with those “like us”, pretending they are more like us they actually are.
2. POLITICS. Yet there is another source of reliability on the innocence of “culture is learned knowledge”. That is the fact that we all participate in the cultural milieu of the Nation State. Based on Ernest Gellner’s Nationalism and Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities, I have sketched a theory of the way the emergence in modern times of “natural” political entities named Nation States brings about a strong prejudice on the existence of big cohesive, coherent and homogenous groups named nations. Indeed, after the long work of NATION BUILDING, with PRINT CAPITALISM and NATIONAL EDUCATION, we may say that the nation state system has been naturalised. People find obvious and “natural” they belong to one nation and that they can divide anybody else according to their nationality. I briefly recalled that was not always the case, and in many parts of the world (like the Balkans, where I did research in the 1990s) historically people could switch national affiliation (that is culture, language, habits, even religion) while moving along the social ladder.

This system of nation state worldwide political organization started possibly with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and was standardized after the French Revolution (1789). The difference between pre-modern and modern states relies on the way POWER is exerted. In pre-modern State power would radiate from political centres towards periphery with fading waves of control and domination.
With the emergence of the Modern Nation State system the Power was nominally transferred to The People (The Nation) and had thus to be exerted in a uniform way. If political power is now in the hands of “people”, the political system had to know who the people really are, hence the process of nation building and the cultural and linguistic homogenization of the Nation.

We have then briefly completed this short description of nationalism in affecting our perception that cultures are mode of SHARED KNOWLEDGE by describing how the economic system at the root of the modern nation state, that is CAPITALISM, must rely on constant INNOVATION (because of the COMPETITION at the heart of market economy). In order to innovate, national economies need FLEXIBLE and UNIFORM citizens, ready to move within the national borders (to catch up with innovation) and thus in need of a common cultural dowry to share across the country. Internal migrants may know the “national language” and feel almost at home everywhere in the Country because, through education and communication (the national sports, the anthem, the flag and so and so forth), they have come to feel and conceive themselves as uniform members of a national community.

Q2. Think of your specific condition and report some specific elements you have learnt that have infused in you the “natural” feeling of being a member of your national community.

65 commenti:

Marco Siniscalco ha detto...

Cultures are less distant among themselves than we think. For instance, Japan has the culture of joint family as similar to what India has. The eldest member is the head of the family in both these joint family culture. Also, Japanese people have the similar culture of having food just as like the Indian traditional way; sitting on the floor.
Other examples could be the look-alike festivals. Many countries have similar festivals such as Holi in India, The Tomato Battle in Spain, The Orange Battle in Italy and the Songkran festival in Thailand.
Some specific elements that have infused in me the “natural” feeling of being a member of my national community are language and the peculiar features of the Italian culture.

Francesco Bono ha detto...

QUESTION 1: Last October, my mom hired a new housekeeper who comes from Uruguay. After one year of brief chats in the morning, I realized how similar Italian and Uruguayan culture are. She comes from a quite narrow-minded family who wanted her to follow the family tradition becoming an artisan. Obviously, she never wanted to do so, but she came to Italy to become an actress. Now she performs in a theatre company, doing the housekeeper at my place to make up her wage. She told me she couldn’t stand the environment in her hometown Migues, where everyone knows each other and where there is no place for extra-ordinary people like she is. Work and religion are there the main values in which all the community identifies itself. How similar is her story and to the one of any other guy in a random rural small town or village in Italy? At the same time, here in Italy there are many differences in the way young people plan their future, as maybe there are in Uruguay between Montevideo and Migues. In a typical rural Italian village, it is quite common to find families who do the same job since generations. Children don’t consider the alternative of walking different paths from the ones of their parents, and real family tragedies happen when they do it, like the one of my housekeeper. In big cities such as Rome and Milan instead, it is quite common for children to do something different in life rather than having a family occupation. Moreover, in many cases such as mine, parents really discourage their children to follow their path, because “the time of comfort and tradition is over. Young people have to challenge themselves in the complexity of contemporary world”

QUESTION 2: I started feeling Italian when I learnt the whole lyrics of the Italian hymn written by Goffredo Mameli. I was at the elementary school and I had a music teacher who wanted us to sing the hymn at the annual school show so we had to learn it by heart. At that time, I felt that being Italian was both a duty and something to be proud of. I really felt the competition with my peers because if you didn’t remember even a single word, all the other made fun of you saying that you were not a real Italian as they were. However, I didn’t really understand what being Italian meant if we exclude knowing the hymn. Growing up, I felt that being Italian was gaining more sense when I learnt how to cook pasta and tomato sauce. It’s true that the anyone in the world can do it, but I think that I had learnt something unique in world, maybe because of the ingredients or simply because we got used to our style of cooking it. Moreover, when I went to classical high school, I was bombed by teachers who always told us that our school was something unique compared to the other study course in the whole Europe and in the world, a real watchdog of the western system of thought: a real pride for Italy. I was really convinced that they were right and I felt to be really Italian because of it, no matter if people who study classics at high school are a little minority in the Italian society. I am realising that all these are characters which defined my identity not as citizen of my state, but as an individual with a single and different experience, even if compared to the most similar to mine

Sara Marcucci ha detto...

Question one:
During my experience in California, I lived with a local family and an other exchange girl, from Spain. Especially during the first couple of months, we discovered how our cultures were close, and we found some comfort in this closeness. Whenever we were telling something about our country to our family, we were like “oh yes, I know what you’re talking about”, and that was unexpected for both of us.
I can also agree with what the professor said about the distance within cultures, because I met various people from Rome having different habits and perspectives. For instance, some families use to have dinner all together, talking about each other’s day and so on, while others eat watching a movie or anything else, and there’s no talk and exchange. It’s just a meal.
Question two:
As I wrote in a comment on a previous post, I firstly felt part of my national community when I left it.
I know it sounds weird, but living abroad truly made me feel Italian for the first time. I missed my country and my culture, and I started appreciating things about them I hadn’t even notice before.
I was like “Oh, so you don’t study on your books? You only use computers?”. You have no idea how much I’ve missed my school books. But it was not only a matter of practical things. I missed the weird feeling of complicity you have with someone who has your same culture.
That was one of the best experiences in my life; I loved learning different things and living in a different way, but doing that made me realize how Italian I was, not only because I missed things, but also because I learned that people can do things in a way that I like better than the Italian one.
A stupid example might be the coffee. I like expresso, I really do. But. Starbucks. So, as an Italian I should say Starbucks is the closest thing to the devil but, honestly, I just love Starbucks’ coffee. American coffee in general, actually, so when I came back in Italy it was tremendously hard to go back to the espresso. So sad. There’s no philosophy behind an espresso. It’s a drink-and-go thing. You can’t walk around drinking it, you don’t use it to warm yourself up when it’s cold outside, you don’t truly enjoy it. It’s something you take to wake up and then you just run to the next thing scheduled on your day.
But, as for the things I missed, it was not only a practical thing. I also enjoyed the different way of thinking Californians have: most of them are like “you want to do it? Good, then do it.” Everything is possible to them, the only limit is yourself. In Italy, people would probably say “well, you know, it would be super expensive, and do you have an idea of the bureaucracy you will have to deal with?”.
Overall, I can say that going abroad truly made me feel part of my national community, in both a positive and negative way.

martina forbicini ha detto...

Question 1
When I was 7, I visited for the first time my family from my mother side, living in Valtellina, an area situated in Lombardy at the border with Switzerland. I spent few days at their place: I used to go around with them, getting to know the people and the place. It was one of the first time I was travelling in the northern part of Italy: up to that moment I had been accustomed to the roman (or more generally, south Italian) way of living only. Even if my relatives were born and raised in Italy like me, I found out we actually didn’t have much in common: in fact, they were talking a different dialect from mine, they had several typical dishes that I had never tasted before, they followed timetables I could barely agree with (lunch at 11.30 and dinner at 18.30), they were professing a religion I was not familiar with (Jehova’s Witnesses). This made me realize how internally diverse my culture is: belonging to the same nationality doesn’t necessarily imply sharing the same traditions or customs. While we naturally tend to believe that no differences exist within the same nation, we should bear in mind that diversity can be spotted even within the same culture. It is often the case of finding similarities among apparently distant cultures: I did realize it when I spent my gap year in Sydney, Australia. I used to be in a homestay with other foreigners like me: no matter the country we were coming from, we were all sharing the same tastes for music, the same willingness of travelling and making friends, the same ideas about various topics. Thanks to that experience, it was clear for me that cultures are not completely separated but we have much more in common than we tend to believe.

martina forbicini ha detto...

Question 2
What makes me feel I belong to the Italian society is for sure food: the way I cook certain dishes like carbonara or the way I prepare a cup of coffee using the “moka pot” can be considered a part of my national identity. Also, I’m inclined to consider as important aspects of Italian “membership” education and schools: the subjects we learn during these years in the South are quite similar to the ones taught in the North (less focus on English, and more on history as an example). Moreover, gesticulating, the bidet, greeting people with two kisses on the cheeks as well as family values, really help me out in feeling a member of my national community.

Silvia Marcelli ha detto...

Q.1 To demonstrate that cultures are less distant than we are used to thinking I would like to compare one Iraqi cultural habit with some features of the Italian one. When you go back in Iraq after a long period abroad it is custom to be invited to all your relatives house to say hello and eat one of that infinite meals together. If you do not go it is considered a rude behavior not easily forgivable. If we think about it that is more and less what happens in the south of Italy. Indeed last summer I went to Sicily for a few weeks and I crushed the entire time to my friend's house. Almost every day, especially the weekends, we were supposed to go to one of his relatives' house and have lunch with them. We were just five, but when we arrived at the various houses, it was like an army was about to come over and eat with us. The lunch used to star around twelve thirty with the starters and finish at 5 p.m. when you were lucky because sometimes the lunch could go on until evening and then you were obliged to stay over also for dinner. As in the Iraqi culture, turning down the invitation was not an option. This may be a silly example but it shows that if we take away the labels we are more alike than we realize.

Q.2 The moment in which I really felt Italian were actually two. The first one has occurred several times while traveling. It might seem silly but when you go abroad that is the moment where you feel to belong your Nation. This is what happened to me when I went to Uk to study English. At the beginning, I started missing Italy during lunch and dinner, because the food there is cooked in still unseen ways. The second moment was when I met other Italians in England: when you are abroad, start missing your home and you find someone coming from your same place you tend to become a little national, looking at the others pointing out the differences between your culture and theirs, feeling very proud of yours, like probably never before. In such moments even the things you do not like about your country become a way to identify loftly yourself as an Italian.
The second moment in which I felt truly Italian was in 2006 when the Italian football team won the world cup. After the final match we went immediately on the streets, celebrating with all a bunch of people that I have never seen before in my life, and even though they were all stranger it felt like we have known each other for a lifetime. It is crazy and unbelievable how a simple thing like the sports can bring people together making them feel to belong to something bigger and amazing than them. That is probably the moment in which I most felt proudly Italian.

Lavinia Apicella ha detto...

Question 1: The example that I would like to talk about to demonstrate that cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex than we think, is actually quite similar to the one of the old lady living in Trastevere and her grandson. The story is real and took place at the dinner for my confirmation (cresima) five years ago. We were having this small celebration at my house with mainly relatives and some friends. Everyone was talking, eating and enjoying the situation. In one angle, my grandmother and a French old lady were sitting on two chairs, side by side, and discussing Italian politics and other matters. My grandmother is an 85-year-old lady from a small town near Salerno, in the south of Italy. She has been a school teacher for many years, then she retired and now she doesn’t go out much, she stays mainly at home. Besides, she has never been outside of Italy, so she hasn’t travelled much, but she’s a very smart and intelligent lady. The old French lady is a childhood friend of my other grandmother: so she speaks French, Italian and English, has travelled all over the world, and now lives in Paris with her husband. The point is that, when I saw my grandmother and the French lady speaking to each other like they had been friends for years, I was shocked, because I wasn’t expecting such a connection between two ladies coming from completely different backgrounds. They sat and spoke without interruption for about 3 hours: they laughed, smiled, shared memories and exchange opinions on different topics, finding to have more in common that they had thought. What I realized that day is that my grandmother has more in common with the French lady than with me, despite the fact that I’m her granddaughter and Italian, so we are supposed to share the same culture. However, as we said in class, cultural borders are not as rigid and defined as we assume, but rather blurred. Culture is shared, but we tend to overestimate the level to which this culture is actually shared.

Lavinia Apicella ha detto...

Question 2: I think that any Italian could identify elements such as “pizza and pasta” (so food), football, and specific family traditions, that make them feel part of Italy and the Italian community. However, I believe that the identification of these elements is purely “theoretical” because induced by society, until we have the chance to be confronted practically with a different culture. This is exactly what happened to me: when I moved to Sweden, I became in some way more aware of the elements that I felt characterized me as belonging to the Italian culture. For instance, the fact of dividing meals into different courses, so eating pasta in one plate, then perhaps salad in another one, and then coffee afterwards could be one example. Also the idea that dinner in an Italian family is an important moment to talk about how the day went and the importance of eating good quality food are elements that I have learnt while growing up in Italy. When confronted with the Swedish culture, which has completely different values and traditions, I realized how these elements were a part of me and gave me the feeling of belonging to the Italian culture. In my Swedish host family, food and meals weren’t considered as important as they are in my Italian family. Dinner was brief and there wasn’t much talking afterwards or during the meal. Everyone who had finished could leave the table and go somewhere else without problems. In Italy, parents teach their kids that it’s rude to leave the table without asking for permission. In school it’s the same: students have to ask for permission for leaving the room and even for going to the bathroom during class. In Sweden, all these rules don’t exist because everyone is independent and free to do whatever he or she wants. During the first lessons in my Swedish school, I always asked for permission to leave or go to the bathroom and the teachers were surprised and answered: “Sure, of course you can! No need to ask”.
Before going abroad, I thought that all these elements, typical of the Italian culture, were natural and common to everyone, but I was soon proved wrong.

emmanuel Krah Plarhar ha detto...


Many cultures around the world have quite similarities and it is quite interesting how people do not notice unless they are exposed to it. I would like to give some comparison between Ghanaian culture and Indian culture. I know it is strange because each country is located at different part of the world. Let's take the way food is eaten in both countries. Most Indians and Ghanaians use their hands to eat different kinds of their traditional food. Eating Chapati and curry, one must use his or her hands in order to feel the taste. Also in Ghana, the hands must be used when eating Fufu(a traditional food). Both cultures also enjoy spices in what ever dish they cook. Traditional Indian homes comprise of the extended family which makes the Grandmother or Grandfather the head of the family. Also in Ghana, traditional homes are extended. Grandparents are seen as the oldest and believed to have knowldge which can be shared among family members. Also comparing the hospitality of both cultures, both cultures are concerned about hospitality. The Ghanaian community was recently ranked the most hospitable country in Africa. Having some Indian friends has made me seen this fact and it has also made my comparison easy. I did not know this fact because i had no idea of other cultures which narrowed my mind but now i have a feel of other cultures and how it works. Also one cultural similarity i learnt recently was the removal of slippers at the door when one enters his or her apartment. Both cultures shares the same fact and it sometimes makes it easier when relating to an indian.


Being part of a national community is one of the things that every individual is proud of. Some elements infused in me that makes me feel part and proud of my national community includes Traditional festivals celebrated, food, traditional dresses. Living in Europe, festivals celebrated include Christmas, Easter etc. Although these are celebrated in my country it does not make me part of a community but when I celebrate my typical traditional festival, I feel like I don't want it to end. The festivals I celebrate are very colorful which makes me proud and i have realised i do miss it ever since i came to Europe. Especially the food. Although I am comfortable with pizza and pasta, it does not make me feel part of the Italian Community. The reason might be because of my taste in my traditinal food. In my community there are certain spices used which cannot be found in Europe and it makes a lot if difference in my food. Seeing my fellow kinsmen in Europe and them discussing some local things back home makes me feel proud of being part of that community.

Oliver Tomassi ha detto...

lecture 5
question 1
The Trastevere story shows how individuals of different generations in the same context are often culturally more distant than individuals of the same generation who don't share a common background. Another interesting comparison could be between two Italian families, one from Toblach in Alto Adige in Northern Italy and the other from the city of Gioia Tauro in Calabria, in Southern Itaaly. Although these two families may appear similar to a distance since they belong to the same country, the only things that they have in common is the Italian language and constitution. The family from Toblach would eat many meals with sausages and sauerkraut and go on hiking holidays on the Dolomites. Instead the Calabrian family would eat Fileja with goat meat and bread with 'nduja and spend their holidays on Tropea beach. We could say that the first family could be culturally closer to an Austrian or German family with whom they share common habits and tastes, whereas the second could have more similarities with Greek, Portuguese or Spanish families. Therefore we see that cultures are not homogeneous inside the national borders, and may instead be closer to cultures outside the national borders.

question 2
The “natural” feeling of being a member of the Italian national community is determined by numerous learned elements that each Italian acquires throughout their life. Among these there are simple recognisable elements like the country of birth or the language spoken which are features that most Italians from North to South share. In addition there are other elements, that draw the picture of the average Italian: eating pasta or pizza every day, gesticulating while speaking, being great fans of the national football team and being easygoing both with friends and strangers. Even though these elements are often stereotypical, they are some of the determinant values which infuse in me the "natural" feeling of being a member of the Italian community. But experiences also play a fundamental role: for my generation I can speak of school "occupation", the Berlusconi era or the earthquakes in central Italy. Truly, I believe that common experiences strengthen the feeling of the national community. We all are sailors of the same ship, sailing into the dangers of the wild sea.

clara saglietti ha detto...

Question 1:
One, none or a hundred thousand cultures in every culture?
Let’s take into consideration a culture people generally have many prejudices about, the one of Gypsies, or, better, of Romani people.
They are divided in many, many groups, each one with its own traditions, cultural heritage and organisational structure. There are some clans where there is not a leader, other ones with a very hierarchical structure. Women are either venerated or subject to a strict control. Some are Christian, others Hindu, Islamic or animist. And so on for many aspects of the culture.
In the meantime, they have influenced the cultures of the places they moved to, as often happens when there is a cultural exchange. For example, they were considered masters in working copper and other metals and many of their techniques are still used today in artisanship. They were imitated also when working as carnies, horse trainers and soothsayers. Their music inspired Bulgarian wedding symphonies, Spanish bolero and flamenco.
Furthermore, they are usually regarded as those who steal and live off charity, but few people know that some of them are as rich as sultans and share the same standards of living. The Koldash clan of “king” Florian Chioaba for instance is made up of 300 families, with a total income of 300-400 euros per year. They are those who arrive in Roll Royce at the annual gypsy meeting in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and due to their luxury life are more similar to wealthy Arabic than to another Rom asking for a cent.
According to De André, what joins them is the fact that they have been wandering across the world for at least 2000 years, affected by what he defines “dromomania” (wanderlust) without weapons and constantly persecuted, not considered a population because they lack a territory and a State. That is why in his opinion they would merit the Nobel prize for peace. In the song Khorakhanè he attributes them a very important utopic function: when a man meets and knows them, he should not recognise himself anymore and in every land peace should surrender. Therefore, their culture is very complex within itself and at the same time shows how other cultures interact and share elements.

clara saglietti ha detto...

Question 2:
What I am going to say may probably sound as blasphemy for someone, but as Gaber used to sing: “Io non mi sento italiano, ma per fortuna o purtroppo lo sono. Mi scusi Presidente se arrivo all’impudenza di dire che non sento alcuna appartenenza. E tranne Garibaldi e altri eroi gloriosi non vedo alcun motive per essere orgogliosi. Mi scusi Presidente, ma ho in mente in fanatismo delle camicie nere al tempo del fascismo, da cui un bel giorno nacque questa democrazia che a farle i complimenti ci vuole fantasia”.
Honestly, I do not feel Italian (if “Italian” really signifies something of precise), I don’t want to feel Italian or of another nationality. It is not a rejection of my culture or a hate towards it, because I recognise to have assimilate the influence of the place I grew up in and I appreciate some of these elements, like the language, the food, the art and the friendly attitude, to mention some of the most common stereotypes. However, as I have not chosen my origins and as by travelling I have understood that I am shaped by the experiences I made also in different places, there is no sense in defending or praising one specific culture. Even if it is not possible to deeply know other ones and have an impartial eye, I try to learn as much as I can from each culture, merging the new aspects I appreciated with the previous ones, for example cooking mixing different styles. It is not a matter of refusing the hypothetical roots, but of remembering that there is a plant growing over it which interacts with the external world and is constantly changing, with the idea that “nostra patria è il mondo intero” and that maybe one day there would be the “brotherhood of men” dreamt by John Lennon, in a “mundo donde quepan muchos mundos” according to the Zapatist slogan.

elettra schininà ha detto...

1. Cultures are both similar for some aspects and totally different for some others aspects. With my school I used to go to China every final year. We can think that the Chinese culture is completely different from to the all others ones, instead is not like this. Let me explain it better: when I was a child ,my mother used to play with me badminton, which is a play similar to tennis but with a lighter "ball". That because in Argentina ( my mother is Argentinian) they have this culture, also in England they have it too and the same in China. In the university where I was the used to play a lot badminton.

2. I feel part of Italian culture because of my attitude, my tastes and my language. For example in front of a “pasta alla carbonara” and another kind of food from another Country, I will always prefer the pasta. I grew up with these kind of flavors and they are part of me now.

Adriana Grigoras ha detto...


Due culture diverse a prima vista , ma comunque con tanti elementi comuni.Fino dalla scuola elementare quando si parlava delle origini del popolo rumeno ci è stato insegnato anche la storia dei romani"Popolo rumeno nasce dai daci e romani",quindi nelle vene delle due nazioni scorre il sangue latino.Col passare del tempo ci siamo allontanati dalle influenze romane avvicinandosi a quelle slave,tutt'ora visibile di più nel nostro linguaggio.
Ad oggi con l'era della globalizzazione e lo sviluppo delle informazioni si sono accorciate le distanze tra "NOI"e"VOI",le culture e i costumi possono essere conosciute più facilmente .Su quello che riguarda la mia esperienza in Italia,mi sono integrata abbastanza bene e ho trovato molte somiglianze nei modi di vivere (linguaggio, religione, l'educazione,molto meno sulla cucina )
Però ci sono tantissime situazioni in cui viene osservata la mancanza d'informazione su quello che è la nostra comunità. Perché questo? Perché pur essendo una parte della nostra comunità che non è istruita e ci promuove in maniera negativa ,questo non giustifica però il comportamento intollerante da parte del popolo italiano nei confronti della comunità rumena. Questo accade perché sono influenzati in modo sbagliato dai mass-media , perché non hanno una adeguata conoscenza su di noi e rimangono rigidi sui loro pensieri.
L'esempio più eloquente è il paragone tra i rumeni e i rom.È vero che abbiamo una comunità numerosa dei rom con linguaggio e cultura diversa ma nonostante tutto siamo uno dei primi paesi nell'UE che mettono in atto delle misure per la loro integrazione. Sappiamo che più le culture sono distanti più è difficile la condivisione. Come dice Thomas Friedman sembrerebbe che il mondo si sta appiatendo , ma di sicuro non mancheranno gli scontri tra le civilizzazioni.

Adriana Fusaru ha detto...
Questo commento è stato eliminato dall'autore.
Eleonora Cericola ha detto...

Prima domanda.
Sicuramente il primo canale da nominare e' la famiglia; e' da essa che inconsapevolmente ci vengono trasmetti aspetti molto importanti della nostra cultura nazione. Pensiamo alla lingua,da bambini ci imparano l'italiano. Italiano lingua nazionale. Esso e' un elemento importante di cultura canonica, per poi passare alla cucina e ai piatti tradizionali che ci preparavano. Era li' che stavamo apprendendo i primi aspetti della nostra cultura.
La scuola poi ha rinforzato quanto fatto dalla famiglia con discipline presenti nei programmi scolastici,dall'italiano, all'arte e alla musica che ci fanno conoscere aspetti e personaggi primari che hanno formato la nostra cultura,aspetti conosciuti anche all'estero.
Io sono italiana perché condivido idee,valori e credenze tipiche italiane,che vengono rafforzate nel tempo anche dai mass media e dall'uso di internet ai giorni d'oggi. Da una parte "controllano" la cultura che arriva, e dall'altra ci ricordano attraverso programmi sia culinari o da documentari di storia alcune elementi che hanno formato la nostra cultura nazionale.
Mi sento italiana quando tifo per l'Italia nello sport,quando vedo una bandiera italiana, quando riconosco un piatto di spaghetti o dei dolci tipici del mio paese. Sono Italiana con Dante,Manzoni, D'Annunzio,Michelangelo,Cesare...
Questo senso di appartenenza e la nostra cultura ci portano a festeggiare date importanti quali il 2 giugno e il 25 aprile, feste che rafforzano ancora di piu' la nostra cultura e il senso che diamo all'essere italiani.

Adriana Grigoras ha detto...

Uno dei elementi infusi in modo naturale nella nostra cultura è la generosità, una generosità reale e non fittizia dovuta alle mancanze materiale.È un sentimento acquisito da piccola sviluppato e conservato nella mia natura tutt'ora...un sentimento appreso senza che qualcuno l'ha insegnanto.È una condivisione di quel poco..che supera l'egoismo e l'individualismo.Un altro elemento che dimostra il senso d'appartenenza alla cultura rumena sono i abiti tradizionali che vengono usati nelle occasioni festive.Ogni volto che gli guardo sento che appartengo a quella terra.Questa sensibilità è stata di sicuro appresa senza essere consapevole.

Sara di fabio ha detto...

What comes to my mind is the differences in childhood. I was talking with an Italian friend who is almost 30 years old about which cartoons we used to watch when we were children and we realized that we do not have even one cartoon in common. Whereas, my Spanish friend, who is one year younger than me, and I watched the same cartoons and movies. Initially, I thought it was because of the 30 years old is a male but adding details to the argument we noticed that we did never hear the names of the cartoons or the protagonists, thus I realized the only reason was that of the age gap. This is only an example of how two people of the same country experienced a more different childhood rather than two people from different countries. The discussion about childhood can go over saying that nowadays children have tablets and smartphones whereas when I was a child, smartphones and tablets were at their initial stage therefore not so common among people. These age gaps within the same country, as in the Trastevere example, make me think that we may address childhood based on generations rather than country of origin but,in general, we should think of culture in terms of generations because due to worldwide progression and globalization it is more likely that people of the same age experience similar life.

For what concerns my specific situation, I have to say that I have two nationalities and two passports because even though I have been living in Rome since I was born, my mother is not Italian, she is Romanian. Although my double identity, I am not able to speak proper Romanian whereas Italian is my mother tongue. Therefore, in my opinion the language is what makes me feel I am Italian. I have experienced that, when I am with international friends speaking English I tend to forget my nationality and it feels like we are all the same without distinctions. Another reason for this ‘natural’ feeling can be the fact that when I travel I can compare the Italian habits with the others. Most of the time I try to avoid this behaviour but it happens spontaneously in my mind. For instance, when I went to India the first two days everything was a comparison, especially with food, but then when I embraced their lifestyle everything became just normal. Finally, for me is the environment that shapes our feeling of being part of a nation rather than another but in the end, if we develop flexibility, the national identity can be undermined.

Francesca Scanavini ha detto...

Q1. Briefly, elaborate another fictive case study (or a real one of your knowledge) to demonstrate that cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves than we may prejudicially think.
An appropriate example that could demonstrate this thesis it has happened to me this summer. On July I went to Malaga and I have lived for two weeks with some German girls. First of all, I have to say that, despite the numerous experiences abroad, I had a strong prejudice on Germans, that, of course, I have learned to deconstruct after this travel. The most surprising thing to me was that I found to have a lot in common with them, but especially I felt that I had the same cultural habits also with a 32 old German roommate. The thing that struck me the most, was that not only there was a difference in culture, because she came from Germany, but also one of age since she was 10 years older than me. This fact really amazed me because I felt to have more similitaries with her than with some other Italian guys of my same age. We liked to do the same thing, going to the beach, going out late in the night, go club dancing but also we were really close in the way we thought and lived things. This experience helped me realize that sometimes we find more connections with whom we less expect to than we the ones we believe to share the same behaviors and beliefs.

Q2. Think of your specific condition and report some specific elements you have learned that have infused in you the “natural” feeling of being a member of your national community.
Personally talking, I am very attached to my country and I really have a deep feeling of belonging to it. I believe that this sensation that I have is built also on the stereotypes and social constructions that have been referred to Italy by other countries. I feel Italian for the way we talk loud and we use our hand's gesture while we communicate with other. I feel Italian when I realize that we are used to really high food quality and whenever I go, I rarely find the richness and variety of our diets. I feel Italian when I realize the immense cultural heritage that my country owns and the way in which foreigners look at you when you simply say them: “ I come from Rome”. I feel Italian, when with my family we sit at the table and end having lunch at 6 p.m in the afternoon, just because food for us is not just satisfying a physical need but it symbolizes and carries all other values. I feel Italian for the openness and the easy confidence that I give to people that I don’t know. For these reasons and many others more, I recognize myself in the culture I’m surrounded by and in the national community, I belong to.

gloria paronitti ha detto...

QUESTION 1: I am totally convinced that cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves, and I experience it in my everyday life: when attending university there is always a person with which you get on better than with others, and in my case that person is a Chinese girl. She is the first person that I started to meet also outside university and she is now a real friend, not only a colleague. So I found out that I am more similar to her than to other Italian guys attending university. And it is not only a matter of having interests in common, I think that what we share is the way we think and see the world, we have similar personalities despite we come from different countries.

QUESTION 2: There are many moments or elements that make me feel "Italian". One of them is football. I know it can sound trivial, but I must say I am not a football enthusiast, I don't support any team, I only follow national team matches. I usually tend to watch them in company, it is more involving and thrilling. During a match you end up by sharing the same hopes and disappointments of people that you do not even know, creating a sense of brotherhood and belonging. I remember, two summers ago, our University made available a room to see the Italian's matches during Euro 2016, I watched all of them with my friends, and it was great to see all that people gathered for the same reason. It is amazing also to see the Italian national team abroad. It can happen that you didn't meet any compatriot till that moment, then you find a pub that passes the match and suddenly you are surrounded by Italians. Despite they are far, they cannot renounce to support their team.
Another element that makes me feel Italian are my grandparents. They use to tell me lots of stories about their families, so that I know almost all that happened to mine, at least in the last century. I feel Italian when they tells me how was different life when they were young, when they describe landscapes that leave me breathless and are completely different from the ones we see today; when my grandfather tells me about the isolated beaches of Calabria, or when he shows me the streets where he grew up on Google Maps with a bit of nostalgia; when he tells me the stories that his grandmother told him in summer nights in front of a bonfire, or when he tells me about the period he worked in Brescia at the train station, with my grandmother working in a close little town as elementary teacher; when I am in the car and passing near San Lorenzo she shows me every time the flat where she lived, or when she talks about the Roman dialect, saying it was different from today, it was a warm, cheerful, and less vulgar language; when they talk about wars: how their grandparents died, how my grand grandfather was arrested by fascists and many others. I am proud of being part of their family. Every time I see a place that my grandparents have described to me I start to imagine them during their youth, how they looked like and what they were doing there. I feel Italian most of all because of them, thanks to the sense of belonging they transmit me when you see them passionately starting to tell a story. They make me aware of my origins and of all the vicissitudes that led to my birth, and they all had Italy as landscape.

Sara Massimi ha detto...

I always know that sometimes we have more in common with a completely different culture than with older generations, nonetheless, in this summer I’ve had the possibility to participate in a youth exchange with other 50 people from 25 different nationalities, and we talked about the various stages of life: in Greece the birth, in Albania the adulthood and in Macedonia the Old age and the death always with the fil-rouge of the gender perspective. In this situation I’ve learnt a lot about other cultures, but in the sense that I’ve leant a lot of similarities that we have with different cultures. Let me just make a short parenthesis, with the purpose of not sounding too much strange, in the exchange we were divided in groups and in every country, we go the goal was to finalize an activity using the non-formal method of education, having said that, in Macedonia we had to make an activity comparing all the different traditions that revolves around the funerals; don’t worry it was not macabre at all. Therefore, in that situation I understand a lot of different things from different cultures, one of that is that it was normal for me representing Italy, for, Croatia, Ukraine, Syria and Macedonia that after the death of the husband or wife the individual will get married again. On the other hand, it is not normal in Italy for the generation of my grandmother, indeed, it is still visible in some small villages around Italy that old women go around the city dressed every day in all black since the death of their husband. This shows that the generational interchange has more differences even though it is in the same country than 2 different cultures.

Sara Massimi ha detto...

I actually prefer to identify myself more as European than Italian, nonetheless, I may assert that there are typical characteristics that are naturally infused that make me “Italian” one of it is the kitchen. I think that I may talk for the community as a whole, indeed the Italian community perceived the cooking-food continuum, and all what revolves around it, as something sacred. It is typical to hear grandmas saying that you have to know how to cook especially typical food and if you will try with all your forces to ask them to eat a meal that is not from the Italian tradition they will not eat it, because they are so accustomed to what they ate in all their life that the other food, for them just does not exist. A part from the extreme, continuing with the story of the first question, it happened also to me to react as my grandma (I will say, I had a bad reaction but if some Italian will read this story they will no longer consider me as Italian). Therefore, while in Macedonia we were in a Scout Camp, so there were people cooking both for scout and for us. In Macedonia pasta is commonly eaten with ketchup, that as you will imagine is the worst nightmare for an Italian. I actually took cooked pasta without anything on top because I actually even don’t like ketchup, but I tasted the pasta with it and it was not that bad. Therefore, I think that maybe Italians have naturalized so much their eating habits that they perceive it as something sacred as a whole that it is uncopiable if made in another state.

Selene G. ha detto...

Question 1:

All of our life’s are different and individual but there are so many factors that connect us but many people think that a culture connects us the most. But while living abroad and traveling I have realized that there are many connections in-between our cultures and our life’s. While living in the USA with my parents for three years, I always had German school once a week. Other then that I went to a normal public school all the other days. Therefor my mom had parent-teacher meetings at both schools and met other parents. Many of the moms in the German school were stay at home moms and thought it was really weird that my mom worked full time. In the American school there was many stay at home moms as well but also many moms that worked full time as well, therefor my mom found a better connection to many of them and even the not working moms in the US school were more excepting.

Question 2:
This question is very hard to answer for me, not only because I am German and we don´t really talk about our national identity as much due to our history. But also because I don´t feel very much part of a German community. Until 2006 Germans would never show their flag, sing their national anthem or be proud of their country in any way. This changed a bit due to football and our success in world cups. But until today I would probably never say I am proud of my country. When I was sailing on a Danish sailing vessel from Norway to Denmark everyone had to sing their national anthem, I was the only German and couldn´t. All the other viking countries were very proud of their identity but except for the first line I can´t. Until today I am more proud of the countries I have lived in like New Zealand, USA, Costa Rica and Argentina. But studying in Italy has made a slight difference, I have learned to appreciate the organizational part and I am very proud of our public transportation system.

Giorgia Morucci ha detto...

question 1:

before sharing my own experience on the related matter, i would like to give an answer to another question written in this post:
"why have we elaborated a discourse (vs action) that insists so much on cultural internal uniformity and external distinction?
i believe that the allegory of the cave by Plato is suitable to answer to this question. Plato imagines this scenario: three prisoners who have always lived inside a cave, tied to some rocks and can only see the wall in front of them. the prisoners can only see some shadows projected on the wall, given by the presence of a fireplace and people walking behind them. they have never seen the real world so they become accustomed to the idea that what they see on the wall represents the truth. eventually one prisoner manages to escape and as soon as he gets out of the cave he is shocked at the world he discovers. with time, he realizes that he has always seen something fake, while he is now in the real world. the prisoner then returns to the cave and explains what he has seen to the other prisoners, who do not believe him and threaten him to death if he frees them.
In my personal opinion, we are the prisoners. we have always lived within the framework of our own culture, so we have come to believe that we are the only one having some types of cultural features and we only share them with who is inside the "cave" with us. But if we step out of the cave, we realize that we have always lived with a wrong belief, because the real world is made up of different cultures that actually share some features and we are shocked from this discovery. so the cave would represent the modern nation-state, which only allows us to see what is inside it. the prisoners who threaten the escaped prisoner, represent people who support the ethnocentric ideology.

Taking into account what I have stated here, I will provide an example based on my personal experience. My parents are both Italian, but I was born in the USA and I have lived there for 8 years because my father had to move there for working reasons. I will be slightly megalomaniac by saying that i represent the world outside the cave. Here is why: whenever I find myself discussing with other italians about our childhood, I do not find any commonalities. the people with whom I speak are the prisoners: they have always lived in a specific way and have all had the same type of educational background so they believe that everyone else should, and, since I am Italian, white and with Italian parents, they believe that I myself should also have their same background. However, it is not like this. As soon as I share my personal childhood experience in the USA, they get out of the cave and realize that even if I am Italian as they are, we actually do not share the same characteristics.
nonetheless, I also found myself escaping out of the cave, when I have discovered that, not only I do not share the same patterns of behavior with Italians, but I share some of them with people belonging to cultures different from both the Italian and the American one. Indeed I have taken part to an exchange program and one day I was discussing with a Turkish girl about what we do in our spare time. It turns out that even if we lived in two different countries with two completely different cultures, we both spend our free time chatting at a bar with some friends.

Claudia Schiavelli ha detto...

1) Cultural distance can be as tricky as pineapple pizza. " If you truly are Italian you must despise it". That is simply a matter of tastes, not a jump from one basket to another.
My case derives from my binge watching of the Netflix series "Orange is the new black"; set in a female prison sectorized into whites, blacks, Hispanic and elderly people. Besides prisons' arrangements of keeping their dorms and showers divided racially; they usually tend to stick with their "cultural group". The bonds that create across "cultural sectors" tend to be emphasized by quick snaps of lowkey racism but sorted in the most peaceful way. For instance, there is an episode set on mother's day on which all the mothers get to spend a day with their children inside the prison. It is a brief joyful moment until it does not end. All mothers, no matter what race they belong to feel equal about the situation: they all get down at the moment of goodbye and know how that day is going to count very little in their children's lives with respect to their absence. That feeling, need and moral understanding of the meaning of distance in a mother-son relationship makes a Mexican, a Russian and a black woman way closer than those who do not have children, who refer to them as a piece of job.

2) My grandfather used to say that what really unified Italy linguistically after the Second World War was the radio and then the television. As we said in class, to uniform your citizens means to have a bigger marketing target. Since what we can hear on the radio or watch on television became a huge part of people's culture, both geographical and class barriers had been broken, since they are accessible more or less to everyone.
Being my family from southern Italy and spending there my summers since I was a kid, I remember having conversations about songs, tv shows, and movies as soon as I was reunited with my "southern friends". No matter how different our accent or lifestyles were, I could always find a common ground, a song to sing and a movie to comment on with them.

JINGYUAN LI ha detto...

The story of Trastevere showed the difference between two generations under the same big culture background. The example that I would like to take is my experience studying in Italy. Living with a Italian roommate, we have exchanged a lot of stories and values, after one year living together, I really found that in some sense we are so alike. The most obvious one is the importance of family, which I found it so similar with China, and I didn’t expect it so much alike before. A few days ago, my roommate has already booked the tickets for Christmas, and also inviting me to come to her hometown if I stay in Rome alone. Not only her, my another Italian friend’s mother also asked him to book the tickets for Christmas. I would like to say in this point, the importance of Christmas is almost the same like “spring festival ”in China. Usually spring festival will be in February, according to tradition we always have to be get prepared for the returning back home two months in advance. Similarly as Italy, this kind of festival usually celebrates with big family group. The idea of gathering the family together is quite the same, which impressed me a lot.
However, within our culture, although spring festival is really crucial for every family, there still are some young people working in big city to choose not turning back hometown for earning money, instead of staying with their parents. Myself is an example, since I came to Italy, every year I couldn't get back to China in February for spring festival, cause I have courses here to carry on, also my parents feel a pity for that.
In a word, I appreciate the moment when I found the similarities with different culture, which is always a surprise. Meanwhile, I'm also learning to understand the different thinking and values of those who share the same culture background with me.

The moment when I feel myself a real “Chinese” is when I am in a Chinese restaurant in Italy. I observed the different ways of using chopsticks of different foreign customers, by observing the speed and the amount of picking food from the plates. I really feel I’m a Chinese when I see some foreign friends using chopsticks difficultly in a certain way. This small behavior recalls my identity, which I never found the feeling so strong when I was in China cause we were used to chopsticks since we were little, it couldn’t be more natural. ( XD Hahaha sorry for this bad example.)

Riccardo Poggioli ha detto...


The “Trastevere” story that the professor told us,helped us to us reflect about analogies between different countries and differences among the same culture. From my point of you for example. In my family on we usually have lunch all togheter at my grandmother house, so I have the chance to meet my cousins, my aunt and my uncle every sunday. Talking with my friends I found out that this habit is not common, because in their case family reunion take place in special occasion, like birthdays. Another difference that I noticed from some of my friends is that they their mothers chose not to work because they prefer to look after the sons. The choice not to work in order to take care of the sons is something that is not common nowadays. When I studied in Ireland for three weeks I was hosted by an Irish family with two sons. One evening I started watching the Tv with the older one, who was one year younger than me, and I realized that we liked all the same tv programme and the same tv series. As the professor said from this episode I could learn that the distance among different cultures is only a physical matter.


The feaures that make me feel naturally part of the national community are several. I started to feel part of the national for the first time when I was abroad. Because in my opinion we develop a better sense of belonging to the community only we are away, because when we are within it we take as for granted. One of the episode which helped me to strenghten the sense of belonging to a nationa community happened in 2012,during the period of the olimpic games, while I was in London to study English. I was sightseeing with a group of students while I casually bumped in a square where they were showing the ceremony for a gold medal of a sport which onestly I didn’t remember but the winner was italian. When it came the moment of the hymn I went towards the big screen and I started singing the hymn proudly, as I looked around me I realized that I was surrounded by a lot of italian people who were singing like me, it was a feeling that could not be explained. Another episode happened two years ago while I was in Dublin for three weeks to improve my English. After ten days that I suffered because I didn’t manage to drink a decent coffee, I decided to try to get a coffe in a italian place called “ Carluccio”. While I was in the queue a smile appeared in my face because all the people in the line were Italian and they struggling for the same reason as I was. But italy is not only food and sport, in fact during my journeys abroad I visited a lot museum and I could enjoy a lot of beautiful artifacts, but once I came back in Italy I realized the richness and the beauty of our cuture especially for what concern art.I realized the arts that we have it’s hard to find in other countries, maybe I am not partial, but is what I realized in my quite short life. Because of that I can say that art is another feauture that make me feel part of the national community.

Cristina Bottoni ha detto...

When coming to the concept of borders and cultures, we have to speak very carefully. Nowadays, the dialogue between different cultures is one of the main and hot topics that interest the international community as a whole.
In a society in which the borders between different cultures, the “baskets” are blurring and almost vanishing day after day, we can start to think of a new big culture which is the result of the mix and the sum of many, many smaller and different cultures.
Studying in Global Governance, being a careful observer, getting thirsty of knowledge has made me develop the idea that we are not so different as it may seem.
Different cultures that could seem to belong to completely different universes may result closer that we have ever expected: analysing in depth different societies all around the world we could identify some similar features and characteristics that are shared by almost every culture.
Taking the example of the Italian society, the Chinese one, the Turkish one and the Rwandan one, we can for sure identify substantial and structural differences, but if you take these apart, you can see that they can result quite close. All men in these societies, despite religious and political discrepancies, seek happiness, seek professional satisfaction, look for a family, a partner to spend the life with, children to give birth to. In every societies all around the world men have to study or practice to get a job or they have to pay the ticket to take a flight. Okay, we all have different gods, but we all have gods. We all believe in something, and this make us all equal. If you think in this way, you can abolish the borders between societies and cultures all around the world, or at least make them a little bit more blurred.
Analysing a society in itself, we can find that it could be more heterogeneous that may seem at a first sight. The French society suits perfect as an example: many ethnic groups coexist in the same territory, attend the same school, go to the same cinemas. All people speak French, but they have different native languages. They have different traditions but they follow the same rules. They are all French, but they have different physical characteristics.

Cristina Bottoni ha detto...

Personally, I am very concerned with the issue of being patriotic. I feel that in Italy this concept is not stressed enough. I do not think that Italians feel a great sense of belonging: people are keeping going away from the country to study and work abroad, and every time I met an Italian guy outside Italy he/she did not have any good word to spend for the country. I think that much depends on the fact that people do not feel themselves well represented in the political scenario. The first thing to make you feel that sense of belonging, of national feeling is a good political class which tries its best to feel people satisfied of the country they live in. If people see that the services of a country do not work, they will lost faith in the country itself, and prefer to migrate, to move from a situation of discomfort to a situation in which the quality of life is better and they can receive more benefits. According to me, the main features that make me feel “at home” is being surrounded by people that speak my same language, which can make jokes on the same things, with which I can share traditions and behaviours. A particular thing that makes me feel at home is when I feel the Italian climate on my skin. I can see that, wherever I go, I feel different sensations regarding the climate: this makes me feel not at home.
The landscapes are very important for me: I feel that sense of belonging whenever I see the specific features of the Italian countryside or of the Italian architecture.

Giorgia Morucci ha detto...

Question 2:

As explained in question 1, I was born in the United States and I have lived there for 8 years, raised by Italian parents. If I try to reflect on what other people may think is my national culture I would come to the conclusion that they will see me as Italian, due to the fact that my parents are Italian and so far, I have spent most of my life in Italy rather than in the US. Nonetheless, I do not see myself, in cultural terms, neither as American nor as Italian. First of all, I feel that spending only 8 years in the US has not provided me with enough knowledge to understand the greater picture, which is American culture. Even though I have lived in close contact with American citizens and I have shared some of their habits, I do not feel comfortable in presenting them as my own. The same is also true for italian culture: I dont like neither pasta, Nor Italian music - which are popularly seen as the main Italian cultural features.
Nonetheless if I have to pick some specific habits that i have naturalised I will say that I feel American because I celebrate thanksgiving day every year and on the other side I am Italian because I have naturalized the bad habit of smoking which is more accepted in Italy than in the US (in US smokers are linked to drug addiction)

Zikang Zhang ha detto...

Question 1
The first example to my mind is greeting card. Most of us would like to write a card to express them wishes for the New Year. One of my hobbies is looking Japanese TV drama and anime, which made me have interesting in Japanese culture. Thus I have some Japanese friends, we always talk about our culture. We find that we have some common points which are I mentioned before --- greeting card. They also like writing greeting card in the new year, giving their close friends and eating with family. And another example is people from different countries likes or hates the same celebrity. Those show cultures are shared and mean the border of the culture is blurred. Culture is less distant among themselves and complex. 

Question 2
The “natural” feeling of being a member of my national community is that I am living abroad, and finally found a Chinese restaurant, ate a familiar taste, felt part of my national community. Remember the first year here, my roommate took me to eat the first Chinese food. When I tasted the taste, my tears almost flow out, because I missed this taste so much. There is the need for cooking ingredients, some spices and ingredients can only be bought at the Chinese supermarket. Once and abroad, drink "milked tea" (a kind of Chinese milk tea), my friends felt the very strange taste, but I feel very good to drink and like it. Another example is when I first came to Italy, inadvertently speak Chinese. At the end of the first year, when I got home of the plane, it became very practical. While the plane fell to Beijing, let me think: I finally got home, the sense of security brought home makes me feel Belong to this national community.

Riccardo Santini ha detto...

There are some fields in which the differences within one culture are greater than the differences among various cultures.
Nowadays we consider attending high schools and universities as the standard pattern of education. Indeed, most students worldwide successfully completed high school and kept studying, eventually obtaining at least a three-year degree (bachelor’s degree). Many friends of mine after high school decided to attend university and are now studying Engineering, Economics, or attending majors in Communication and Business, and so on.
For what concerns other cultures, when I have the opportunity to travel and meet people of my age, I always ask them if they are studying and what they are studying. During my last trip, I shared my bedroom with many international students and we also shared our educational experiences. I met three students who attended Business School in Madrid, then there was this girl from Paris, who is currently enrolled in law school at Sorbonne University, and a boy from the University of Twente (Enschede) who is studying Technical Medicine, and many more. I realized how the opportunities to study are so vast nowadays and lots of new disciplines are emerging, which attract a great number of students coming from all over the world.
As a matter of fact, I consider education as one of the huge difference among generations. Indeed, an appropriate education is deeply expected in our generation, as many employers do look at your academic results. On the other hand, older generations (our grandparents’ for sure, but even our parents’) did not have much opportunities to study and instead stopped their studies sooner or later to start working. The focus was more on working than on studying because past generations did not have those educational advantages we have today.
In contrast, my generation is provided with lots of chance to study abroad, such as the Erasmus program or the many exchanges which universities (and also high schools) are offering. Older generations, instead, did not have the learning systems of today, and it was definitely harder for them to keep studying after compulsory education.

For what concerns specific elements which have infused in me the ‘’natural’’ feeling of being Italian, I must mention the hand gestures. Indeed, we Italians have given great importance to body language throughout the years that it became a sign of cultural identification. I cannot remember the exact moment when I learnt hand signals, but I can definitely say that when I was a kid, still not able to talk, I used to touch my cheeck with the index finger in order to let my parents know that the food tasted good! Our language is spoken with gestures too, as most words and sentences can be expressed by a specific hand signal. I just think about the gestures I make when I am talking on my phone, and how my Italian friends can do the same.
In contrast, other cultures do not gesticulate so much, or at least not with our Italian elegant coordination!

Federica Barbera ha detto...

I have noticed that during these lessons every time that we needed to bring an example we always invent a fictive family or we use as protagonists its members. This it might be due to the fact that the family unit is always associated with the smallest representation of society and I have to say that this belief many times has many negative consequences. First I want to comment a little bit the story of the old lady of Trastevere compared with the daily life of the Ukrainian woman who works as a caretaker. I have observed that many of the similarities that they shared are indirectly caused by the influence of the surrounding environment. However I completely understood that the two women could share same cultural characteristics or values due, for example, to similar( not identical) religious creed. Moreover I think that sometimes we overestimate the cultural diversity which is most of the times directly link with nationality. We also tend to forget that now globalization has brought some western values to the global level and that before this colonization did the same. Therefore it is not uncommon to find similarities between two cultures in fact maybe now days we can find a completely alien culture only among inhabitants of a village in some tropical forest on an island at the edge of the world. Nevertheless we have to remember that we are all social animals therefore we may discover that at the end ,the reasons way people behave in certain way or wear a typical dress are the same. Now I want to show you the other face of the medal and in order to do that, on the vein of the trend started in class, I want to report the fictive story of a family. Once in southern Italy there were three brothers who had been raised up in the beautiful city of Messina and they were used to share every event of their common lives. But when the elder left to join the military he was compelled to move into the North but after many years of service he bought an house in Rome for his wife and children and he settled down there. Nevertheless he has never stopped travelling and moving up. The second brother found his mate soul in Mestre, they married and they bought a house there. As time passed by in order to be accepted by the society he found there, he also lost his strong Sicilian accent. The youngest remained in Sicily and he settled down in a small seaside village. Now do you think that they all share the same culture? And if the answer is yes, what is it? Is it the Italian or the Sicilian culture? If we observed it in details we may see other problems coming. What will be the culture of the children of the three brother who have been raised in such a various cultural environment? My conclusion in that culture is the result of a continuous mixing process and that the individual culture is a melting pot of environment and traditions. I hope that I demonstrate how culture is more different within itself than among others.

Since I was a little kid I have always felt part of my national community. I strongly believe that this is due to my personal background which is founded on the education that my parents gave me. My dad is an officer in the Italian army and so I was taught to behave in a certain way in some institutional situation. When the national anthem starts I always stand up and put my right hand on my chest. I was taught also to respect the national flag and the institutions that it represents and when I saw it I feel a sensation of belonging to the nation.

elisa felici ha detto...

We tend to think of culture as a well defined, structured thing. The language I speak, the uses, costumes and traditions I share, the history I inherit: these are all same schemes which in the general opinion do compose the essence of a culture. However culture is no fixed element. It is fluent, constantly evolving and plural, full of varieties among and within itself. It is a huge opposition the one we highlighted here: something that should be homogeneous such cultural identity, especially if thought as nationality and belonging, is actually not, as culture can be plural even within its same schemes.
To verify this very analysis one may think on the composition of the american society and its culture. The one thing we want to highlight here is how sometimes we can find extreme differences even within the “same” cultural identity.
United States have (in my opinion) a peculiar cultural identity, for their social stratification is the outcome of decades and decades of different types of immigration processes, which shaped the country’s structure and history. It is peculiar for it is also the only example of “stratified” reality we normally think of. Probably because is the most recent and striking one, but actually very few society could be defined as closed, throughout centuries very few did not experience the same processes Us lived.
The cultural identity of the Us is therefore unique since it is composed of thousands of different ones. From the old continent, many population and ethnicities settled down. First they were separated, let’s just think of neighbourhood such as China Town or Little Italy, but then they inevitably mingled. And they all mingled into one of the strongest feeling of belonging existing, the very fact of being an American. Was it the feeling of being like first settlers exploring new lands, the idea of the frontier, the start anew, the conquest and independence, the so called “American Dream” enriched by modern literature. There is (or used to be?) such a pride in being American. Such a great common identity which combines so many pluralities. The american culture is so complex within itself. For historical reasons as we have seen, as much as the american society moves today. Let’s just think of the political orientation of the country. It is a proven dualistic political system, where the public opinion or political orientation is basically divided into two groups, precisely the two existing parties Democrats and Republicans, there is no in between. After the 2016 election a documentary was released: “The Disunited States of America”, showing exactly how this political division was made even deeper by the different and contrasting candidates. The country was divided in two, a deep and sharp line was drawn. And what was interesting was seeing who was supporting what. Harley davidson bikers supporting Trump, feminists lesbians supporting Hillary. There it was the plural reality of the same cultural identity. Such a divergent ways of thinking and approaches within a same structure, the same national anthem. One could ask what does it mean to be american today then, especially now that, as a song says, “idealism sits in prison”.

elisa felici ha detto...

It is surprising to me to realise that I have never thought about what, in my own perspective, makes me italian. What does make me say when asked that I am italian, what does make me feel “different” from someone who does not share my same nationality. May it be papers, written words on “official” documents globally recognised, language or traditions. But is there something more? Let’s call it a “feeling” of being an italian, there is the idea of belonging first: where my parents are from, therefor of what I am the heir of, the environment where I grew up etc etc…Probably I consciously first felt italian, especially roman, when at the elementary school I learnt by heart the song “La società dei magnaccioni”. I also remember going seeing the military parade in Via dei Fori Imperiali on the 2nd of June. These are some of my own individual patterns of membership to the italian community, which however are probably mostly shared by the whole nation, or city. Meaning that within a culture we are all points of a same circle, we all equally are both represented and the representative of a same identity.
On the other hand, despite these symbols of belonging, sometimes I do not feel italian, especially roman. I curiously notice that when I am abroad, surrounded by different people and different cultures, my being or appearing italian stands up. Conversely when I am in Rome I am asked whether I am roman, sometimes even if I am italian. And this is because, I believe, I do not share some of the common features of the roman way of being, such as the accent, or others behaviours I am not aware of.
I would like to point out another aspect of this matter. I believe that this feeling of membership, its meaning and demonstration, differ from time to time. National identities are less and less strong now. I asked my dad about his feeling of belonging: he grew up during the years of lead, he was politically active; military service wa also mandatory, and he did it. These facts shaped its feeling of “italian-ship”, being italian for him meant this. Nowadays it is different, both historically and socially. May it be because of the highly quoted “process of Globalisation” where singularities move, melt and change, or may it be because the very idea of “community” is weaker since the tendency to hide out into our individualities, comfort and personal space to seek certainties and avoid confront is strong. But right now I can’t see any strong feeling of community membership. I previously talked about the Us society: even the most pop culturally strong feeling of belonging, the american citizenship, is now falling apart challenged by cynicism and centrifugal forces. Plus, if my dad felt italian because of his political involvement during the years of turmoil, on the basis of shared ideals and common goals, I would point out that this engagement is today less and less critical, therefore national identity less solid. Why? Because the real challenges which should be the new real common goal are now on a global scale. And this complicates things a lot, it complicates things so much that we hide into our own backyard. These lasts point did not answer the question, but they do exemplify why in my opinion this “natural” feeling of belonging has changed, as well as the feeling and idea of aggregation.

Nicolas Dietrich ha detto...

Question 1:
In class, we’ve seen that culture was shared in a group and that we tend to believe that cultures between different groups have clear borders and one culture could be easily distinguish from another one. However, we’ve discovered that the borders cannot be well defined and are indeed blurred. Moreover, even in one “basket” i.e. a group of people sharing the same cultural features, differences can be found according for instance to gender, age, education or social class.

In order to demonstrate that, I’ll take two characters seeming to be belong to the same basket: a young Swiss (German) from Zurich and I (from the French part) and the Peruvian family of my girlfriend. In fact, I study in the Swiss German part, but I share my apartment with two other Swiss French friends. From my apartment, we can see the kitchen and living room belonging to the Swiss Germans. What has really astonished us at the beginning was the time at he and his flat mates took their dinner in the evening. It was indeed around 6.30 pm while in Geneva we are used to take our dinner at 8.30 pm, not before. We started investigating to see our neighbors were some exceptions but we concluded pretty quickly that most Swiss German ate at the same time. At the opposite, when I went to Peru with my girlfriend to meet her cousins, I met people, although I believed we hadn’t anything in common, eating at a time I’m used to. I can thus affirm that belonging to the same country does not mean to have the same cultural habits at all, and even more when you live in Switzerland where four languages are spoken.

Nicolas Dietrich ha detto...

Question 2:
As previously said, Switzerland is not the best example while illustrating the concept of “State Nation”. First of all, Switzerland is a federalism state that and every “canton” (Switzerland is composed of 26 cantons) has a high degree autonomy, what could be almost described as “States in State”. Then, four officially languages are spoken and for example in the German language, each canton speaks a slightly different dialect. Moreover, not everybody at all is able to speak more than one national language and Swiss people from different linguistic parts speak together, English is often used as common language. I’m personally from the canton of Geneva, where people tend to be much prouder to be from this than from Switzerland.

Underlining some specific elements I’ve learnt that have infused in me the natural feeling of being a member of my national community is not an easy task. In fact, we hear most often is that our diversity makes our strength, what in a certain way describes the diversity within the same “basket”. Then, I could say the principle “compromise” is a common feature that share Swiss citizens. A good example is to look at the election of a new federal council, one of seven members composing the executive power. This process is something fascinating because lots of criteria must be taken into account such as linguistic region, political party or gender, and couldn’t work if we hadn’t been educated in this way at school. I think thus it is the element that links all the Swiss together and could distinguish in a way from other countries. I’m not sharing the opinion there is a so-called “Swiss identity” but I find Switzerland can be seen rather as different communities having established rules in order to live and move forward together because they could achieve more things standing together. There will be always some political formations affirming we all share the same culture and we must be proud of our country, but it is definitely not my view on it. I don’t feel “proud” to be Swiss (as I wouldn’t feel proud to be Italian, French or Chinese) because the notion of Nation is something quite blurred for me and I can’t represent what it is really. Nevertheless, I could rather say I’m thankful to the people that have enabled the development of our society and our well-being because it’s a chance to be born in Switzerland.

Sonia Matera ha detto...


This summer I spent one month working as a receptionist in a hostel in Bangkok. I was the only foreign worker in the structure. The owner was an old Thai man and the other receptionists and house keepers were Thai young boys and girls.
I am telling this story because in Thailand there is a very big gap between generations. The elders are traditional and follow many rules of the Thai tradition. On the contrary the new generations have the desire to get freed of such a strong and, in certain cases, limiting culture. They are attracted by the West and try to look like European or American guys.
Going back to my experience, I was surprised that myself, a young Italian girl, was accepted and could get along so well with the other coworkers. It was like we were part of a big community formed by young individuals, we had the same values, sense of humor and hobbies.
However, I noticed that they did not get along well with the owner of the hostel. They could not understand each other, his believes were very strong and was not able to create a good working relationships with them.
This story made me reflect on the fact that the “baskets” of cultures do not have precise boarders among them. On the other hand, I realised the distance that there could be between two people who were born in the same country, in the same city but in different times.


If I have to think about the elements that have infused in me the natural feeling of being a member of my national community, I cannot do it but through a comparative approach. When I go abroad, I feel Italian by the way I dress and eat. One cannot underestimate this two aspects of a culture. They are fundamental and sometimes they are one of the biggest gap we have with other cultures.
When I traveled to Indonesia and Thailand and I had to live there , what struggled me the most, apart from the language, was the way I had to dress and eat. I always went in the summer time and temperatures in South East Asia are very high, as europeans we are not used to them. In addition, I had to wear long pants and t-shirts to respect the culture and I had to eat rice for one month. While I was there I really felt that, as Italian, I was missing my food and the way we like to dress. Almost at the end of my experience I met an Italian boy who shared the same feeling I had. We immediately felt as part of the same national community.

Melani Perera ha detto...


For this question I would like to share my personal experience. The reason I came to Italy is my studies. But I was very scared about this culture because Italy is an European country and I am from Asian country. No one can live alone, everyone need someone or more than one to spend their life happily and share their everything. I am a person like that. I need friends for my life but I thought it may be very difficult to find friends in this Europe who has same habits and qualities like me. But then I found the way I thought is wrong because after three weeks in Italy I met a friend and her life style is also similar to mine. For an example always, she tries to be a simple girl and also, he likes to stay at home or visit her friends’ houses on weekends. She refuses to smoke and at night she does not like go out with friends. So, I found out so many things from her very similar to my culture. Normally in my country girls do not go out alone or with friends after six their parents do not even allow it. Also in our county girls should wear neat and women in our country are almost not smoking. Then I realized sometimes people come from different countries but they have similar things in their lives. Cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves than we may prejudicially think.


I think everyone proud about their own culture an being a member of their national community. When I think about my own culture, what makes me feel I belong to the Sri Lankan society is for sure the way of lives and food. First of all, I should tell, I really love way of life in my country because in my country all Sri Lankans like to spend their time with people who around them and they do not forget to share their happy and also sad moments with their relatives, friends and as well as with neighbors. So, when I am in my country I do not feel drowsy, because I have so many things to do or talk with the others and nobody would be reluctant to help another person when they need a help. The other thing is Sri Lankan food. Mmmm I love to eat Sri Lankan food.The way I cook using so many species and ingredients and plane tea with the ginger or jaggery can be considered a part of my national identity. So, these are some specific elements I have learnt that have infused in me the “natural” feeling of being a member of my national community.

Chiara Muzi ha detto...

Q1. To answer this question, I feel almost obliged to refer to the most culturally diversified environment I know: GG2. Since the first day I stepped into the class I was amazed by the incredible number of different nationalities you could count: I was thrilled by the possibility to discover all those different culture, hear their stories, travel with my mind in those diverse country thanks to the power of their words. One year after, many things happened in the meanwhile, so many adventures and days spent together and I listened to the most incredible stories, and they never really end; however, I discovered also many unexpected things: the first one is that we are much more similar than we think. Even if we come from different continents we like to party and have fun in the same way, singing louder and louder the same songs and dancing until our feet hurt. We all use the same social networks, watch the same TV series and gossip on the same topics. It is incredible how similar in our diversity we are. It is a part of my habits that I could not share with my parents for example, who at my age used to do very different things and had very different hobbies, and in that case it feels like they are the ones coming from another world.

Q2. I think there are two main elements that make me feel Italian: language and food. Starting from the latter one: it is the most immediate thing you miss when you go abroad for some time; moreover, it is the element I like to share more with people asking me of my culture: cuisine embodies in itself history, tradition and the territory and doesn’t requires specific skills to be understood. The other element, language, it has a more emotional dimension to me: listening to someone speaking in my language immediately makes me feel empathy towards that person, in my mind I associate the fact we speak the same language with all the set of traditions and habits that defines my life. A stranger can understand me better than another stranger from foreign country just for the fact that he speaks my same language? Probably it is not entirely true, it depends from person to person, but I think our minds associate the language with our infancy and family dimension as well as all the things we learnt at school: we imagine that a stranger speaking our language has somehow had a more similar path and many similar experiences and therefore is able to better understand us.

Lavinia D'achille ha detto...

question 1

the story of Trastevere that professor told us made me realize that even if we Italians are coming from the same culture and even if we have the same roots, our traditions might be very different and on the contrary, we could have common points with other cultures that could seem to be very different from our perspective.
This made me think of the way in which I spent my summer. Three months ago I shared my everyday life in Rome with Margherita and Alma who comes from Lombardy(northern region of Italy). Even if they both are Italians like me we soon realized how strange and completely different our habits could be. After spending two days together we immediately realized that our families have completely different habits and traditions from the way of cooking to the way of hosting.
A practical example that immediately made me think of this issue is the way in which Romans drive. My friends coming from the provinces of the north of Italy were completely terrified about the way in which Romans drive, especially talking about respecting road code. During our time spent together, we realize that we had so many different habits linked to the way of life of our cities and in certain moments we had the impression of coming from different parts of the world very far from each other.

question 2

Also, the second question makes me think of my friends, alma and margherita.
I don’t actually remember the first time in my life that I really felt Italian, but now thinking about that many feelings and thoughts are coming to my mind and in particular the first meeting with my two friends.
First time I met them we were in a small village in China, (near the North Korean borders) hosted by Chinese families. We spent a month there together and in that period I realized how eradicated is my sense of belonging to my Italian culture. maybe the distance made me feel more conscious about that and of course, the national belonging was emphasized when I was with my Italian friends. But the most surprising thing is the fact that my culture has some common characteristics with the Chinese one even if this could sound impossible, it’s the truth.
For example, let’s think about the Italian/Chinese propensity to host, both cultures have quite the same culture of hospitality,they both care a lot about guests and they really want to make them feel comfortable.

Tamoi Fujii ha detto...

Let's take a Brazilian biochemist and an American biogenetics engineer, who work together at the labs of the Sao Paulo State University, in order to find a way to combat the Zika Virus. They live in the same neighbourhood, they often go drink a cold one together after work, and they both love playing tennis. The Brazilian scientist's life, his education, hobbies, habits, life experiences (travelling, going to restaurants etc.) are more similar to that of the American scientist, than that of another Brazilian living in the same city, but in aFavela. The Favela guy would earn his living by selling motorbike parts on a sidewalk, play football in some dirty playground at the outskirts of the city, and would face discrimination and mistrust if he would walk in some richer neighbourhood of the same city.

I have never been able to identify myself exactly with one national culture, since I am a Japanese grown up in Italy.
But I feel part of a national group with other Italians when it comes to some aspects of national culture, like having to study Dante's Inferno at school, or talking with gestures.
There some common points between Italian and Japanese cultures, like the usage of Bidet, that make me "distinguish" from people from France or the UK. But there are also Japanese costumes, that I follow like the one of showering before going to bed, that make me "Japanese".

Lucia von Borries ha detto...

Question 1:
The example we spoke about in class made me think of an encounter I had during the summer while visiting family in Germany. My father’s side of the family comes from a long line of noble generations, the old aristocracy of Germany one could say. While growing up I attended family gatherings and played in old mansions, but despite the background my father was always opposed to the kind of arrogance and “elite”-thinking that unfortunately exists in those circles, so he mostly kept me and my siblings away from it. Therefore, despite technically being part of this social class, I feel very distant to some of my closest relatives and I find the concept of this exclusiveness very bizarre. I still get invites to the annual winter ball of my fathers’ former fraternity even though I never had direct contact with them in my life. And the topics of conversation in those circles are not even comparable to the ones in other German social classes. I believe the culture within these social classes could be more comparable to the culture lived in British elite University Clubs. Actually, multiple western countries I know of exhibit a similar kind of high society, mostly driven by conservative and traditional world views. All these differences were once again made very clear to me when we visited my godfathers’ family in Hamburg during the summer. Even though we technically should have a close connection I hadn’t spoken to him in years and while being at his house he showed very little interest in me. It made me realize that mentally I will have more things in common with any of my international colleagues in Global Governance than with this man I have known my entire life.

Question 2:
One element that shaped my natural feeling of being member of a nation or culture is the word we use to greet each other in Bavaria. Bavaria probably has one of the richer individual cultures compared to other German states, which includes the very different dialect. As well as the casual “hallo” (hello) that is used as a greeting all over Germany we use a more respectful/formal greeting which is “Grüß Gott” (may god bless you) which reflects on Bavaria’s catholic background and is also used in Austria. One of my High School teachers for example insisted that “Grüß Gott” was the only proper way to greet each other in German. When I am at home in Munich I usually make an example of using this greeting when interacting with shop-employees and people I don’t know too well, but as soon as I am outside of Bavaria I feel a little weird, because I always get the feeling that “hallo” is too casual of a greeting for certain settings, but “Grüß Gott” as a greeting will immediately tell the person that I am from Bavaria. There are a handful of other words in Bavarian dialect that I have subconsciously introduced in my “normal” German dialect.

Arianna Patrizi ha detto...

Last year i started my university experience in Global Governance together with other people from all over the world and i had enough time to personally see how cultures are less distant among themselves than we may think.
In a small class of 40 people we had the possibility to see how two people coming from two opposite places of the world, with two totally different eating habits, have the same custom of using food as a way of celebrating and as an excuse to meet with friends and family.
I was also surprised when i knew about people from Africa with a real strong christian faith, which i had always associated to italian people.
In the same class, one year ago, i also met 20 people of my same city but for some of us the city was the only thing in common.
For instance, it has been immediately clear that the division between Roma Sud and Roma Nord was not just a matter of geography, the “two groups” in fact, were totally different in the way of dressing and speaking and in things they like (also in the way of walking as we stressed in a previous class).
The fact that cultures can be more complex within themselves can be better understood if we extend the division between Nord and Sud to the whole Italy, whose history has always been marked by the struggle between these two parts, who in some way felt citizens of two different countries.
To sum up, cultures are basically made up of millions of shades, thus, is very easy to find common aspects with different ones, as it’s very easy to find out big differences in the same one.

I have spent most of my life thinking about myself as an expansive person and i had always saw that as an aspect of my innate personality, but few years ago something made me changed my mind:
During the highschool years i did a very brief exchange of two weeks in Berlin which made me realize how much more i was italian than i felt to be.
I had the fortune of being hosted by a fantastic family so at the end of the exchange period, when the greet’s moment arrived, it was normal for me to say goodbye and express my gratefulness with an hug, which on the contrary make them feel totally uncomfortable.
Looking at their faces, it was clear that they were embarrassed and they didn’t know how to react because that gesture was definitely too much for them, even if they were very nice and kind people.
This suddenly made me realize how my expansive personality and my tendency to act affectionately in some way belonged to my culture and my way of “ being italian”.
In fact, Italians are well known for being warm, loving and very easy-going but until that moment i had always see that as an unfounded prejudice.

Ganna Korniychenko ha detto...

1.A big contradiction is to think that different cultures implies huge differences in people’s needs. Some cultures are popularly defined as strongly family linked such as India, most African countries and South America. Western society could be seem ‘colder’ to family but it is not right. This happens because they have different priorities due to the complex society which can make think of subordination of family’s affairs. Time is also perceived in different ways around the world. Checking the time several times during the day is natural for people belonging to Western societies on the contrary the countries above mentioned perceive less pressure from the clock.

2. Recently I have changed citizenship from Ukrainian to Italian. I have lived in Ukraine for eight years and then I moved to Italy: for this reason, I do not feel completely Italian nor completely Ukrainian. I am a perfect mixture of two different cultures; I have an emotional attachment to Ukraine where I spent my childhood while in Italy I have grown up and formed as a person. The fact that I speak both Ukrainian and Italian at a mother tongue level shows this peculiarity about myself. I cook dishes belonging to both the countries and my family appreciate them all.

Ilaria Miligi ha detto...

Question 1: Cultures can be closer between themselves than a culture could be within itself. The trastevere story had been a peculiar demonstration about how far people can be in the same city, they are likely not to share anything. If we think about cultures, we can take lots of examples to defend this theory. Let’s think about hospitality, a very peculiar feature belonging to different cultures. The italian culture for instance is full of hospitality, positive energy. The latvian culture for instance, is a very hospital one too. They are used to share things and they are very hospital with foreigners too, and they are very generous people. Going further we can take a look on the example of hospitality in China. They are very hospital too: we just created a connection between three different countries: China, Italy and Latvia. Even if they are so distant in terms of space, they are close in cultural terms for some aspects. Then we can look at the cultural differences within the same culture, it will be easier for me talking about the italian one. Customs and traditions for instance, change significantly, even from one region to an other. Even if we are belonging to the same culture, we all are italian, we notice significant changes of traditions or ways of life. There are plenty of films based on this ‘differences’ among regions to regions, or areas and areas. ‘Benvenuti al sud’, an italian film, or ‘Giù al nord’ a french one. These two films are based on the fact that ways of life significantly change according to the territory. In Italy, the south is famous for the relaxed life, the quiteness and lazyness sometimes. The north instead is well known for the productive and active work life.
Question 2: Some specific learnt features make me part of my community: the respect for the elders. This is a learnt feature, and I feel it as part of me, but I learnt to respect old people, and I learnt it from my parents and from my community. This peculiar characteristic of course makes me part of my community.

Rebecca Biraschi ha detto...


In this lecture, we came to the conclusion that cultures are less distant from themselves than we are naturally lead to think. Being in a Global Governance class, I have the fortune to be a daily spectator and an active participant of the encounter of cultures, which at some points diverge, whereas at others converge in an unexpected way.
The first time I came face to face with this thruth was 4 years ago. I undertook a journey to Ireland in order to improve my english. Therefore, I attended an english class. It was the first time I was in a room with 10 people coming from 10 countries. I spent with them almost three months of my life, and I can honestly say that never in three months came into my mind the idea that I was spending my time with people from “different countries and different cultures”. We were guys, obviusoly different from each other, but I had never associated the divergences to our backgrounds,wheareas I linked them to the natual predisispotition to uniqueness that characterizes human beings.
My daily life, my experiences, encounters, and relationships with friends, family and collegues, confirm me in my awareness that most of the time I feel closer and more connected either ideologically and socially, to those people that I met in Ireland, or to my global governance collegues, than to those who “share” my same culture, my same roots and traditions. Gender, age, economic conditions, are social factors that determine divergences between people that are thought to share the same culture. the choise of the pub to go to for a drink, the clothes we wear, our hair-cut, they are cultural facts representatives of such differences.

If i have to think of moments and experiences in which I felt "italian", one of the memory that comes to my mind is the final match of the World Cup of 2006 against Germany. I remember that the victory of the football team that represented my nation had been for me a moment of pride of being part of that group, the italians. I rembember that I went around the city of Rome with my older siblings and I still remember that sensation of membership and exlcusiveness that I felt.
and several times in my life i had experienced this feelings, excpecially when it i went abroad. it happens when a guy comes closer to you askling "where are you from?", or when you cook pasta with your foreign collegues, or when people look at you saying "mario, luigi, colosseo, totti".

alice occhilupo ha detto...

Q1. On the same vein of the Trastevere story I told you, briefly elaborate another fictive case study (or a real one of your knowledge) to demonstrate that cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves than we may prejudicially think.

I feel more similar to my Mormon, American best friend than to my Italian friends. Me and Hailey come from different cultures, religion and from different part of the world, however we get along so well, we think the same way, sometimes I feel like she understands me more than other people who are from my own culture. She has so many habits different than mine but still we have the same mindset, this made me realize how much we limit ourselves by thinking that only people form our culture can understand us, we are missing a huge side of ourselves, the one to discover through knowing people similar to you but from different cultures and in different situation. You can find honest and dishonest people all over the world, and it does not depend from where they are from, it depends on the choice they make, yes, it is true that we often informally acquire knowledge in a specific way depending on the social environment in which we grew up, but we can always like or dislike the way in which we perform innate behaviors. Another example, which comes to my mind is the concept of burping, and the different meaning given to it by different cultures. I did some volunteering in Indonesia, where I finally felt myself and free to burp without having my mom screaming at me or people looking weird at me waiting for my excuses. Over there, burping is not disrespectful, but is actually a sign of respect for the chef, it means that you appreciated the meal, and also that you are full, so you are ”rich” because you had the possibility to buy such an amount of food which made you full. I always thought that burping it a necessity of our body, and not doing it means limiting your body to express feedbacks, moreover, I hate when people look bad at me because I am a “femminuccia” (little cute girl) so I am not supposed to do those kind of things, but who said so? Why should I be less free to burb rather than a boy is? In fact, I am not, I burp if I am with friends just like boys do, of course I do it only if the situation and the context is the “right” one. So, once again I felt more on the same length of wave of a different culture than with my Italian fellows.

Q2.Think of your specific condition and report some specific elements you have learnt that have infused in you the “natural” feeling of being a member of your national community.

I realized how Italian I am for some aspects, when I went living in America, first of all, giving kisses on the cheeks to say Hi is such a peculiarity of Italians, and not only (Spanish people, Latin Americans and so on), but more in general we, Italians, are very warm and “touchy”, which could intimidate people from other cultures, but at the end of the day they will realize they like it, because contact is an essential element in communication, physical distance can create barriers, however is important as well to avoid the violation of personal space. I feel Italian, for the dedicated attention given to the quality of the food but also to the taste, I freak out when I see spaghetti left on the strainer for several minutes and then someone passing by and putting them on the plate adding “tomato sauce”.

Iza D ha detto...

Q1: There are less distinctions among cultures than we might think. Boundaries between one culture and another have also to do with gender, age, perspectives and many factors. For example there are similarities between Italian culture and the cultures of south American countries.
Q2: Actually I lived in Romania for the first five years of my life raised by Romanian parents and then I moved to Italy. In this way I have been living in both cultures, knowing both languages, both cultures, both dishes, habits etc. I still go to Romania once a year or once every two years but I have lived most of my life in Italy. I don't feel neither Romanian nor Italian... Italian more than Romanian, but not completely.

Elsa Maria Festa ha detto...

Q1. I would like to start with few assumptions that may sound obvious maybe for someone but are actually, in my view, to be stressed. I would say that, often, simplified pictures of something complex as people and cultures are, easily lead to constructed ideas and prejudices that give a distorted idea of what something is.
I have always lived with my parents and my two sisters in Orvieto, Umbria, but my family is from Tuscany. My hometown in the middle of Italy has a relatively big community of Eastern European’s people, in particular from Moldova. When I and my sisters were kids my parents hired a lady from Moldova to help them taking care of us and the house.When Silvia, that’s her name, arrived from Moldova she temporarily moved to our house and she has been part of our days as a family for ten years or so. Therefore the memories of my childhood are characterized by her presence. Something I remember clearly is the time we spent in the kitchen, me and my sisters playing and my mother teaching to Silvia how to cook typical Tuscan food.She became really good at cooking delicious recipes from Tuscany. Silvia can probably cook better than most young people from Tuscany that may know better how to prepare sushi, for instance. We often take food as a point of reference that distinguishes our culture from the others but most of us probably do not even know how to prepare a “soffritto”. It sounds like we consider our culinary culture as something that personally and deeply belong to us while maybe when it comes to practice we personally know nothing about it

Q2.I personally never thought much or identified myself in the strict sense of saying “I am Italian”. I am not saying that I have no links with the Italian culture, I do have links and I am deeply connected to it from food to literature to art and so on; but simply the truth is that whenever I think about who I am, being Italian is not the first thing that comes into my mind and I do not even want it to happen. Italy and the “Italian way of life” of course shaped me, an ordinary example could be regarding the idea that I have of what a real lunch is. When I lived in Vancouver for one year my eating habits changed, suddenly one day my lunch started to be a sad cold lonely sandwich. Before living in Canada, I used to get back home from school and have a quiet big lunch with all my family. In Italy for many people lunch represents an occasion to share your day with the rest of the family, it is an important part of the family routine. At the same time, there are typical Italian habits that I do not follow at all, one simple example could be coffee. I almost never drink coffee, I tried to have it every morning for a certain period but I understood that I live better without it. I am not sure what coffee and lunch have to do with the “feeling of being a member of your national community”, I am not even sure what a national community is supposed to be in the mind of who created the concept of "nations". Sometimes I feel nothing in common with my country and the Italian citizens, other times I do. What I think is that we are shaped by so many (dis)connected experiences that are above the political idea of nations. What does a coffee or a lunch have to do with nations? Maybe nothing, maybe everything; maybe I do not know.

Alessandro Germani ha detto...

Question 1
I would like to propose my own experience as case study. I was born and raised in Centocelle, a working-class peripheral neighbourhood of Rome, but I attended the high school in Prati, an upper-class area near the city centre, since only there there is an experimental school I wanted to attend. Even if I was Italian as all my classmates, I felt the presence of huge differences. We diverged not only in the way we dressed, but more importantly in the way we thought. Since our “inner lenses” were different, our entire vision of the world was different. On the contrary, when I travelled in Europe and met with working-class young people, I could easily notice the same habits, problems and aspirations of my friends in my neighbourhood. Diversity in psychology and behaviour according to social class is also confirmed by researches of the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University and Northwestern University. Of course, the link between social class and life is dialectical and not mechanistic, with other factors playing a role, otherwise my example could not be explained.

Question 2
Feeling Italian comes so natural when talking about food. Our gastronomic tradition is so special that it is difficult to avoid a natural sense of belonging, especially when abroad. Even if there are local specialities that differs all over Italy, according to regions and sometimes even provinces, it is a uniform element which pervades all the country and its national community.

Mohammad Almulla ha detto...

Question 1
Three years ago I volunteered at a refugee school in Jordan, it mainly had Palestinian refugees and to think about there is a huge difference between Iraqi culture and Palestinian culture, of course we have food and language and many other things in common but we did not live through the same history and the way we think can be completely different,but when I went to the refugee school I have realised how these children have adapted since a young age to act like the Jordanians (the locals) as they were using the jordanian dialect and also having the same ways of acting with the community around them.One example that was obvious to us is how they learned the traditional dance and surprisingly enough they knew how to dance the traditional dance more than the Jordanians themselves, that shows how these refugees adapted and they took what the locals taught them and they actually learned how to make it look better.

For myself, it can be a bit complicated to write a comment about this as I am from Iraq but I lived most of my life in Jordan, but nevertheless, I think it would still be great an example given the circumstances. Even though I only lived eight years in my own country Iraq but ever since a young age I was the national anthem, taught that I have to be really proud that I am from Iraq and the great history of this country and I carried that with me even though I was a foreigner in another country. As for in Jordan first of all again going back to the national anthem learning it and reciting it every day, observing how everybody was proud to be from that nation also how that flags of the country are everywhere. So in a way, I can say that I felt that feeling of belonging to two countries.

Carlotta Frasca ha detto...

Q1: Cultures could be similar if they believed in monotheism ( monotheism is, of course; the belief in one God). Judaisim, christianity and Islam share infact some shared features. Most monotheistic religions have a God that has certain common characteristics.The typical monotheistic God is Omnipotent (infinitely powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), the supreme creator and First Cause of all existence, and personal (it cares about, and communicates with, individual people).
They of course have different names, and different origins but as we look it from a bigger framework we can see some resemblances that are closer to these three very different religions.

Q2: What makes me part of my national community is for example food, I can taste the dramatic difference between the pasta that my mom makes and the one that I tried when I was in Canada.
Also the soccer passion, that characterizes my sundays; the wormth of people welcoming me in their hourses; the beutifulness of structures that sourround us and that sometimes we don't fully appreciate.
These are some examples that make me feel part of my national community,

Badriyya Soltanli ha detto...

Culture is such a delicate word that I usually try to pay attention to the use of that word. I always support the idea of mental barriers rather than the language. As we have all been there, we see that your mentality, mindset decorates you as a human being, either bad or good (each has his or her good or bad). So, it is your culture what you're left with. Your habits, your interests, your behavior… These all create the one’s culture for me.
While living in Lithuania, I was staying at the dormitory for the students who were from all over the world. We had people from any continent living together. I had roommates from Canada, Turkey, South Korea. As it is the dormitory, we do not decide with whom we want to stay with at the beginning. With my roommate, Kyungsun from South Korea we ended up with being very close friends. Our mindsets were so alike, compared to most of the Azerbaijanis living in the dormitory that were not even able to recognize me as I had a distance with them. A culture that we were sharing Kyungsun made us so close, but the same culture puts such a large border between my current Azerbaijani roommate and me. Culture is shared, but within the same country, even the same community, there are a lot of diverse cultures. So, this is how we end up with the few people in our lives being close friends, as we are different with our own perceptions.

Badriyya Soltanli ha detto...

As I have mentioned in the previous comments on other blogs, I do not feel belonging to my nation. Recently I have started thinking all the possible cultural features that we have in Azerbaijan because of this class. And thanks to this course, I feel less and less belonging to any culture and nation. As we do not choose our parents, we do not decide where we want to be born. I am not saying that I feel regret about being an Azerbaijani; I am feeling sorry about the fact that the place that you are coming from can decide a lot about you, your future and has a lot to do with who you are. The strange cultural traits that we have primarily connected to the mentality keep me way too apart from the “simple Azerbaijani.” I feel pleased about it. Yesterday I was talking to some Azeri friends of mine about the general issues, how we got fed up with Rome, some Italian behaviors and so on. I realized that even if there are enough negative cultural traits, however, they are also some interesting ones that make me still have a connection. I have a culture of sharing, mainly food. I love sharing whatever I have with people. This is a common trait for most of the Azerbaijanis. We do have a saying “Eat the breakfast yourself, share lunch your friend, and share dinner with an enemy.” Apart from this, there is something else that I appreciate a lot of “us,” “slippers culture.” If you are a guest at our houses, do not expect us to allow you to enter the house with the shoes, haha! Do not worry; you are provided with the “guest slippers,” we usually have a lot of them. This is what I do here in Rome too.

Marianna Sabatini ha detto...

Q1) Last May our GG1 class went to the Accademia Aeronautica in Pozzuoli in order to attend a course about leadership. We attended the course together with some of the cadets living and studying in the Accademia and we had the possibility to talk with them about our life and I had never imagined I could feel so distant with others 18-years-old Italian guys. Their lives were so different from mine that I thought language was the only thing we had in common. They had to follow very strict rules, everything in their lives was scheduled, when to study and how much, when to have a shower and also how long the shower had to be and they could not go out in civil clothes.
Whereas when I stayed in Finland I could relate much more with the young people I met there. I found some differences in our lives of course but they were not so severe as in the case of the cadets. They and I both went to school in the morning, came back home and did homework in the afternoon, had dinner with the family, watched TV and went out with friends in the weekends. So this has showed me that sharing the same culture does not mean that we have the same experiences.

Q2) Until we live in an environment that fits with our culture we tend to forget that culture is an acquired knowledge and we only understand this when we travel to other countries with different cultural habits.
I started feeling really italian when I had my first true experiencr abroad, in Finland. Living there I got to know Finnish habits for sure but I also became aware of what are the true Italian culture's features. Family reunions, kissing on the cheeks when we meet and physical contact in general are all normal concepts in Italy but they were not in Finland. I really felt Italian when I coocked "carbonara" for my host family or when I proudly talked about Rome in my history class.

Rossella rao ha detto...

Briefly elaborate another fictive case to demonstrate that cultures are less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves than we may prejudicially think.
Taking inspiration from the trastevere story that explains how cultures are not distanced from each other I decided to talk about our class. As we started our first days in Global governance, we were asked to present our own countries, what is our culture, what is our tradition, religion etc. Only now I realize the many communalities we have. This is to say that cultural borders are blurred and as we said in class, is not necessarily true when we say “us” and “them”. To make a concrete example, I can talk of a good friend of mine from Azerbaijan, Badry. As we were discussing this specific topic, we came across many similarities. Mainly, we noticed the importance of respecting elderly people, how in both of our cultures we stand up (if we are sitting) whenever an older person comes in. We talked about how our generation is different from the previous one, for example how people would react towards smoking in public, kissing or holding hands with your boyfriend/girlfriend. The reaction in both of the counties regarding those topics is not positive, in Ethiopia as well as in Azerbaijan people would criticize, disrespect you if you smoke in public for example. Lastly, talked about how we feel bounded to respect those things even though we do not completely agree.
I have to say that stating my specific condition is not easy. I was born and raised in Ethiopia, my father is Italian and my mother Ethiopian. Even thought I lived all my life there I was raised in an “Italian” environment. I attended an Italian school, I would say that Italian is my mother tongue since in my family is the only language used to communicate, I used to go to a church where the mass was celebrated in Italian, I used to be a member of an Italian scouts group. Therefore I can say that the environment I grew up in, even though it’s in foreign State, had an impact on what I thought it was my “national” community.

Shahmar Hasanov ha detto...

Question 1:
My standpoint in this topic will be based on practical experience, as I’m living in Italy for more than a year and more or less had the chance to get acquainted with the Italian, even Roman culture and their daily life habits. Despite being located quite far from each other, Azerbaijan and Italy share several (I would even say many) similarities. I assume, there are historical and logical explanations for this phenomenon, but it’s still fascinating to discuss and try to understand.
First of all, the family values are strong in both countries. I precisely recall the times, when some people from old generations in my city were saying: “In Europe they don’t appreciate the family connections as much as we do. Most of the parents are cutting off all the relations with their child, when he/she gets 18.” These theories were completely disproved the day my Italian landlord invited me to have dinner in his mother’s house.
Secondly, I’ve several times encountered how the emotions are surpassing rational and objective thinking. Having emotions are the main thing distinguishing us from the robots, and I’m kind of sure that any person, regardless of nationality has this trait. However, Italians and Azerbaijanis both score high in this case and that have concerning outcomes. Just imagine, a student goes to the oral exam, knowing that professor doesn’t really like him (being more precise, despise him). His chances for perfect score…
There are a lot of similarities to show, but I’ll stop now and move to the next part of the question. In my personal opinion, the two things might close anyone, no matter of culture, believe or other human developed identities: interest and ambition.
Setting an example, 17 people who like the art of extremely specific painter and they gather in the certain event regarding this. During the interaction, they will feel somehow closer, in spite of having absolutely different backgrounds. The idea of sharing common sense should make them feel less alone in their extraordinary interest. Certainly, the same notion applies also for the usual features: same religious belief, football team, economic school, political party, favorite rock band and so forth.
I’ll just use my last Rome Model United Nations Simulation to fully describe the importance of ambition in the understanding of why culture sometimes doesn’t really matter. We were around 30 in our committee and were debating the deeply sensitive issues such as income and gender inequalities. Coming from the various parts of the globe with completely diverse knowledge and worldview, our prior target was to write the best resolution paper for the ongoing problems and getting the enough votes to pass it. When you have the common important ambition, you compromise on your principles for the greater good.

Shahmar Hasanov ha detto...
Questo commento è stato eliminato dall'autore.
Shahmar Hasanov ha detto...

Question 2:
I truly felt Azerbaijani when I started to enjoy the music from my country. It happened the last May in Rome, and I was quite shocked, because I’ve never liked that sort of songs before.
There are several indicators to find out which is your native country. However, I think all of them are not inherited but learned, and the person who is not completely radical might change his national identity.
Let’s start from the point of humor. Each group of people, distinguished by profession, region or intellectual level will find different things funny, that constitutes what we consider laughable is based on our knowledge and understanding of the current situation in a particular society we live.
Another case is when the individual deeply cares about his country, mostly it’s political situation and reputation of his/her country globally. This circumstance is easily explainable, as the any event related to that particular country directly affects the life of individual in both directions. Furthermore, abundant knowledge that most of us get forced to learn at school, such as national anthem, important dates and etc. make us to feel more connected with the certain community.
As always, when we talk about the deep meaning of the things numerous opinions and confrontations arise. Nonetheless, in the end, I stay in my position and state that national identity and belonging might change over time, depending on personality and efforts. And as my father is saying: “Home is where you feel like home”.

Md Ashique Ali ha detto...

QUESTION ONE: Its true, cultures are more complex within self and we may easily find similarities among the diverse cultures and worlds. In this context, I always feel honor and blessed about my journey and interactions with cultures and places. I born in a village of India, life was very simple and smooth, everyone knew each other in details way (name, father, family, profession and religion etc.), and it was not only within the village, they also shared this information with surrounding villages. For the higher study, I migrated to New Delhi, and I found completely self-oriented culture, even they had no clue who lives behind the flat of the building. But, slowly I started notice similarities between of that culture and my birth place, language, food, dresses, religion and most important the mind set of daily life were very close, of course, it was different but with much similarities. Then, I came to Italy (Europe or Western World), certainly my brain was on boil point that I am going to live in different world, everything will be different. Now, it’s going to be 12 months in Italy (Rome) and I am living with ease, feels like second home. The point is, if we see broadly, the humans are same, our basic needs, emotions, life cycle, and problems are common all over the world, but if I focus to find distinctions in cultures, I go back to my village and find many differences and complexity as religion, class, and groups. So, it depends, how we see the world.

QUESTION TWO: This is an interesting question for me, and for every Indians. No doubt, I carry some life styles that prove me an Indian, and for me, it’s very tough to bend them. Let’s start from the food, I always cook Indian food, if I don’t eat my food even for two to three days, I feel like lost. Sometimes, I really enjoy other food and appreciate them but it nearly impossible to breakup with my food. The appearance, generally I am recognized easily as Indian in public, its cause of physical appearance and skin color, of course some say Pakistani or Bangladeshi, that’s okay, as we know these countries were part on India before 1947. I would like to say something related Indian English accent, it’s quite famous in Europe and western countries, Even I speak in same accent, the reasons behind it are national and regional languages, and I think it’s common for others as well as. But, there are many Indians who speak very well in British or USA accent, the cause could be to be NRI (Nonresidential Indians), educational background or hard learning process to gain the specific accent. Anyhow, during the communication in English, Indians are known for their accent. Therefore, these behaviors really infuse me as national cultural identity.

Giorgio Severi ha detto...

We tend to think that culture is something natural, something shared exclusively by a group and impossible to be understood by everyone outside it. But this idea of a world divided in cell, where the belonging of people is clear and evident, is not natural at all and comes from the peace of Westphalia and the consequential creation of nation-states. The political process of nation-building needed indeed a cultural and linguistic homogenization because from that point who ruled was entitled by people and became therefore necessary to understand who belonged to the nation:"Fatta l'Italia, bisogna fare l'Italiani". Standardization occurred also because of economic reasons since it was a basic requirement of modern capitalism.
Culture has nothing to do with nature but much more with planning and therefore many times cultures are less distant among themselves and complex within themselves.
Many years ago during the Summer I went firstly in Trentino and then in Spain and in a sense this two trips one after the other made me think about this comparison between cultures.
Indeed the travel in the foreign country was the one in northern Italy, since I experienced a totally different way of living. From the language, many people spoke German, to the food, tasting dishes I had never seen, different aspects of the daily life were very distant to the ones I had been exposed to untill that time. On the contrary in Spain I found a very similar environment and habits which made quite difficult to realize we were far from home.

To feel member of a comunity is necessary to share something together and I think that for what concern national identity a first and essential role is played by school. Indeed during the years from the primary to the high school, students learn the history and litterature of their own culture, as they were "discovering their common roots". This common and basic knowledge is totally shared by everyone, I remember when a math professor said that if someone is not able to solve an equation none will say anything but if someone doesn't remember a verse of a famous italian poetry everyone will get really angry. The study of Italian litterature and history, and even Latin and Greek ones, both helped me in deepening a knowledge that gradually I started perceiving as my own heritage and also in understanding all the environment I was sorrounded by.
I think that food also plays a big role in defining "the borders" of our national identity, I still remember the first time I went abroad alone, talking to other Italians, the thing we all missed the most was a good pasta.
Moreover I think that another element that strenghten the idea of national comunity is the national football team, in particular the 2006 world cup. It was really a national common experience which put closer mostly all the people of the country which in those moments were experiencing the same feelings and hoping exactly for the same thing.

Uroš Ilić ha detto...

Question 1: Culture interconnectivity and complexity

The late Ottoman empire governed a vast territory of countries stretching to the Arabian Peninsula on the East and the Western Balkans on the West. Countries of diverse tribal and religious origin. Nevertheless, this vast land mass shares many things in cuisine, crappy folk music and small mannerism’s. Kebabs are different in every ex-Ottoman country I have been to but they are certainly kebabs. The traditional concept of being a host is very similar. The guest is treated with great respect and is provided with food, drink etc. Who knew that three hundred years under the same flag could bare cultural similarities, right?

As far as social complexity goes, Germany would be a fine example. First of all, the religious difference between Protestants and Catholics. Secondly the language and mannerism difference between Bavaria and the Rest of Germany. Thirdly and possibly most importantly, Germanys modern history is a period of different and tubular times. From the first to the second world war to the cold war and the fall of the Berlin wall to modern times Germany. The generational rift in Germany is huge. An array of political beliefs is present growing more liberal and open with each generation by drastic measures. Not to mention the multiculturalism aspect brought with the 2nd and 3rd generation Turkish and Eastern European immigrants.

Question 2: Elements of national community

I would say that there are three key pillars of Serbian identity. The first and greatest being the Orthodox church. Even though a lot of Serbs are not necessarily religious, the orthodox church has historically played a great part in Serbian culture and enlightment stages. Many famous Serbian scholars and writers came from the church. The second would be the Kosovo myth. The battle of 1389 was a symbolic last stand of the ailing Serbian empire against the invading ottomans in which a knight killed the Ottoman Sultan. This battle and the knights brave act solidified the Serbian national identity. Kosovo however has played a part in the Serbian identity long before that as many kings from the Nemanjic dynasty built their monasteries there. Most of them still stand. Another, more modern, element of our national identity would be the cafe culture we have developed during our time between the Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarians. As far as negative traits go, we are bad at admitting we don’t know something. Everyone’s an expert and has an opinion on everything. Or rather that’s what we joke about.

Iva Budakova ha detto...

During the summer of 2015 I had a visit from my friend who lives in the North-West part of Bulgaria. My hometown is on the see in the East part so she came to visit me for a few days. In the begging everything was really good we were so happy together and every evening we were just lying down and talking about our differences in the zones which we both live. We started to realize how different they are from the part which we had a totally different accent but we understood each other very way. We tended to see that for example some of the Christmas traditions were different in way that they put the table in a totally different way of ours or the music that they listen. Her family was very strict about following specific rules and speaking in a specific way and for me that was unexpected because I have never considered that a small country like Bulgaria can even have that many differences in the different parts. On the other hand, she was surprised by the behavior of the people from the West side. She thought that Western people are more open and more adapted to changes but actually it is the other way around. Anyways, we were both positively surprised from the differences that we had among each other so coming from the same culture could be more distant among itself. Personally it was interesting to see how different cultures are actually similar. Example of that could be when I visited Finland. I met really nice people and I found that we have a lot more in common that we thought. We share the same visions of certain topics, we see the world in the same way even the taste of music is the same. When I was there I understood that no matter where you come from you can find so my similarities and see that sometimes different culture are way less distant among themselves and more complex within themselves.

I feel like a have so many things that make me a membership of my national community.
Education is one of the things that I feel are making me a part of the Bulgarian society. I choose it because I think we have first of all a good education system and second in the different parts we have the same subjects. I think it way sounds stupid but it is true. Another thing that I could think of is the way that we have fun. I think is pretty unique and interesting for other cultures to see but to me this makes me feel part of my community. Some specific dishes that only the grandparents can do and meal that cannot be eaten in another country are also facts which makes me feel more close to my community. Unfortunately, not many countries have those products that we use in order to cook and that definitely makes me feel a part of the Bulgarian community.

RIAS UDDIN ha detto...

The American culture fiercely values and demands punctuality in every area of life, be it at work, in school, or anywhere else. It is expected that individuals reach their destinations on or even a little before time, but not even a little late. A laid-back attitude is generally not tolerated when it comes to time management.

The Chinese culture too values and appreciates punctuality a lot. In fact, the Chinese view punctuality as a virtue, and one is expected to be on or before time as a mark of respect to the other party. Since the Chinese culture puts a lot of emphasis on establishing and maintaining relationships, honoring the others time is a key requirement of the same, which must be followed.

I do not know how, to sum up, this proud. But firmly least can state one thing is common in our nationality is to respect the elders. I could share how it worked for me. Our home was mostly gathered at the arrival of guests. It is an entirely more prominent joint family. I used to play in the afternoon. It was mandatory for me to be present to the guest and to say 'Salaam'(hello), to each of them, quite politely with a smile. Often time both my lunch and dinner was with my family head, my grandfather, the paternal one. On a summer, at lunch hour he sat next to me. We were having lunch together. I had been thirsty while I was eating, he noticed. He poured a glass of water, but he didn't offer me to drink neither he drank. Quite a Silence! Both me and him for a while. 'You have grown up!'- he replied as soon I said, "this is yours, you are older." His contribution has been appreciated through my attitude everywhere I traveled, and I salute his everlasting gift. Irrespective of relation, color, religion, "Respect the elders!"- he sealed the message in my heart.