15 May Italians and La Bella Vita
“I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and unwise. So as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also.” Romans 1:14-15
The Italian personality is shaped by geography, influenced by politics and religion, and dedicated to honoring the past with much resistance to change.
Some see Italians as noisy happy, energetic people. Others believe them to be cynical and burdened by the 3000 years of history.
Italian children are raised at the table. They grow up sitting on the laps of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They are held and kissed. They learn all the family stories and secrets of neighbors and friends (not all as I found out). They learn to talk and listen simultaneously, to talk loud enough to be heard. They learn the joy of being with family and the value of a lazy Sunday afternoon – or in some cases- a lazy Mon, tues, wed. ….like the Puglia region where we lived-LOL . It is nice that most stores are closed on Sunday but when Monday comes and they are still closed until 4 pm??? Italians learn to value not only SLOW FOOD, but also SLOW LIVING to take a nap, or a walk and to spend time with friends. Much is learned by their elders. They learn to paint by watching an uncle. They learn to cook by watching mamma or nonna. Generally they don’t speak quietly except at a funeral. Greeting each other -hello and goodbye- is of extreme importance. Sometimes in our Bible study if someone arrived late, in the middle of the lesson they would interrupt it by kissing each person in the group before sitting down. And often saying goodby would take half an hour!
Italians are alive to life and what it has to offer. We love our Italian friends!
Thank you Lord, for earth’s great variety of people and places. (by Jane)