The Lost Italy

Posted on October 14, 2012

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I have never been patriotic and I have always disliked those people who, blinded by an endless love for their country, put themselves above other ethnic groups.

I will be honest: if few months ago you had asked  my opinion about my country, I would have certainly answered: ‘I do not like praising my country, my culture, my beliefs, my roots. To me this is just stupid, hypocrite. There is no reason why I should be proud to be Italian since being Italian is just a matter of numbers and coincidences and ancestors who chose to have sex together’.

For years and years I didn’t even feel part of a society which I perceived as too small and suffocating and the absence of fresh air led me to move abroad.  I thought I had finally found the freedom I was chasing, in London, where tens of different cultures live accustomed to each other.

As the time went by, being an Italian abroad allowed me to analyze my country, bit by bit, and to finally discover that I am in love with Italian culture, a culture that is constantly threatened by laziness, consumerism, wrong and tremendously harming political choices and thieves, who sit in the parliament and bark at each other and do anything but caring about the population.

Only when Berlusconi  and concepts  like Bunga Bugna party  have become the first emblem of Italy, overcoming even the image of pizza (!), and Big Brother  has become the most watched program; only when my culture, so  rich and full  of writers, painters, sculptors, thinkers, scientists, actors, directors, inventors, has been put at risk, the risk to be sunk by nowadays lightness; only when my past, that combination of numbers and coincidences has been publicly derided I understood my duty to defend my person, my past, my Ninna Nanna sung by my mum to make me fall asleep,  my pasta with pomodoro,  my long summers on the Adriatic coast, the joy of a lunch together with relatives all around an immense, so immense you can never see the end, table, arranged at the moment because “ where two people can eat, there is  room for three.”

I have never felt attached to Italy like I am now, it took me to leave my homeland to fall in love with it, to feel this love throbbing into my veins, to get angry, upset and furious when I hear about families destroyed by the lack of jobs, youths who cannot trust a university system unable to stimulate their minds, youths who struggle to find a job, a house, a future in their homeland, youths who have lost any faith in the leadership that represent them, a leadership made by strippers and prostitutes who, all of a sudden, discover solid principles and start up a career in politics accompanied by filthy men devoured by corruption who waste our money in sex and drugs, holidays and villas. I would scream to all these  ‘politicians’ to fuck off,  to give our money and our rights back, to change job or  to die, for what matters to me.  Because all of a sudden Italy has become mine and I will fight to protect it.

My love is burning for a country fallen asleep, whose consciences have become too  lazy, too distracted, too spoiled, unable to understand that all our treasures are in danger;  the calm, the joy to share a meal together, the rituals, the old women sitting by the house door chatting, knitting, peeling vegetable, and sometimes shaking their heads horrified by the ‘progress’ of a world that is becoming  much worse.

Italy is tremendously  beautiful and rich , with so much to tell, to offer, to show to the world and at the same time  Italy is slowing sinking and is needy of political, social and economic reforms aiming to reestablish those strongholds that made my peninsula a marvelous land.

So it’s time for all these sleepy consciences to wake up and to fight, to protect our rights, our  roots, the deaths of  our ancestors who fought for us.

It’s time to get back what belongs to us, it’s time to scream and let people hear our dissension.

It’s time and it’s already late.

 

 

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