Italy seenthrough England’s eyes
London (Public Survay) – During the ages Italians have been often defined as a population made of saints, poets and sailors.
Since the dawn of time Italian cities have been “regardedas”\considered important cultural capitals and just for this cause a great number of writers, both before and now, has expressed some opinions about Italians and their culture.
However, how are Italians seen today?
Well, in order to answer to this question one need to consider. first of all, the globalisation trial which has regarded a lot of Occidental countries. This trial has had two results: it allowed many nations to achieve an aim, namely the economic and politic improvement, but on the other hand it has allowed the difficulties of other nations to come to light, such as Italy, ?
In order to understand what English people, and particularly the Londoners, believe about Italians, some students of an Italian group, attending a training for the Italoeuropeo magazine, have made a survey report consisting of two important questions: what do Londoners think about Italians’ behaviour and what do they know about the famous Expo in Milan.
Students ask about the Expo in Milan because England itself has got an area within the Expo, and also for reasons related to the above-mentioned globalisation, as the Expo in Milan will certainly help Italy to reach the well-being that many countries have already achieved
The sample of the survey is composed of 2000 people interviewed in several areas of London. In this case is important to consider that two different features which could influence opinions both in economic and politic among a sample in a city as big as London: the cultural background and the age of each person.
To avoid these limits of the survey , the Italoeuropeo has tried to be quite thorough, choosing to interview people of any age and covering broad areas of the city. In fact in addition to very important areas in economic field, like Bank or Canary Wharf, students went also in commercial district, such as Piccadilly, Oxford Circus, Embankment and South Kensington, in the young areas of Shoreditch, Greenwich and East London.
In the following paragraph there will be shown results of the survey. Results could be described as very homogeneous: 90 % of the people interviewed declared that they appreciate Italians’ attitude, while the remaining 10 % has claimed to even hate some aspects of the Italian reality specially for reasons connected to the incompetence of Italian politicians. Otherwise, for what concern the question about the Expo, results seem to be almost opposite. 80,2 % of people interviewed don’t know the Expo or hasn’t never been there, whereas only the remaining 19,8 % has heard of it or would like to go to Milan within the Expo’s conclusion (the 31st of October 31 of this year).
Among different people who have been interviewed, even a lot of them wanted to deepen their own beliefs about the topics of our report . These last regard principally the great quality of the “made in Italy”, that is represented by food, by the automotive industry and finally by the design in general.
However there are also several stereotypes concerning some aspects of Italian society or history because both of them caused laughs from other European populations towards Italy, even before the Italian unification when the so-called “Mafie” were born. Mafia is related to a the stereotypes of a selfish Italian who want to improve only his own life and not the entire society and this mentality originated because of the abuse derivated from foreign invasions. The highlight of discrimination towards Italians was reached during 1977 by the German magazine “Der Spiegel”, which published on the front page a ridiculous picture representing a pistol that was situated above a spaghetti dish, in reference to the contrast between the most ancient Italian traditions and the terrorism burning during the so-called “years of lead”.
This subject was underlined even by John Hooper, a journalist for “the Economist”, during the presentation of his book “THE ITALIANS” at the Italian cultural institute of London, the fourth of September . In the course of this event there was also the Italian journalistm Barbara Serra, who has published the book “Gli italiani non sono pigri”, again in response to the above-mentioned stereotypes.
It is possible to do many comparisons between these two books. One poin in common for example is the close dependence of Italian with their own parents, particularly the mother. However, according to the books this aspect represents a consequence, and not a cause, of some economic problems which the Italian society is facing. The above-mentioned dependences are caused by the work’s deficiency, which doesn’t allows young Italians to reach an economic stability in their life so they are not able to create their own families. As a consequence young Italians have to live with their parents in their families’ houses.
From another point of view it is possible to read the economic crisis differently. The Italian educational system is still very theoretical, increasing the discrepancy between school education and work environment. According to this point the Italian premier Renzi said he would like to bring Italian workers to the same level of English ones, because those have their first experiences of work at the age of 16. This point was praised both by Barbara Serra and by the modern historian Andrea Mammone.
For the above discussed problem Italians don’t reach the high level of English workers, who usually regard Italian ones as very incompetents or “sluggishes”, to remember the address of Barbara Serra talking about the opinion of English regarding Italian ones, affirming: “English people certainly love us, but on the other hand they don’t respect us”. Although a lot of English would to learn Italian culture and language.
Again, a great number of Italians arrives in England to improve their English and so to obtain some possible facilitations about the work research in Italy, as the general Italian consul in England, Massimiliano Mazzanti, said in a meeting. During this meeting students asked to the General Consul his opinion about the Italoeuropeo’s survey concerning the Expo of Milano. He reported that this fair could give a great contribution to the Italian economy, increasing the number of foreign visitors.For this reason we have asked him how many English people knows about the Expo. His answer has been positive: “ Many British workers are moving to visit EXPO and they take advantage also to visit Milan.” But as we have seen, our dates show us a different answer, because the 80,2 % of 2000 English people don’t know it.
However the UK population are very interested about actuality. One could note, also in tube, that about 8 on 10 of them read newspapers. So it is possible that the problem is a lack of information. In fact online and paper magazines are focusing the majority of news on the emergent immigration. Naturally, if there have been more hints about this exhibitions, the Italian economy would get an high increase. Naturally one would to know which are the causes of the unknowledge of English people about Milano’s Expo. Surely this last one symbolizes the multiculturalism, by means of the selling of products regarding principally the food and various technology’s, but which kind of city could be considered as the symbol of multiculturalism better than London?
England is a nation that loves travelling. So, maybe the problem isn’t the multiculturalism, contrary to the opinions of some people, because England, and London particularly, presents a great “melting pot”, but for this cause Londoners would have to be interested to the cultures that are holded within London itself. Infact just for this reason London is now regarded as an “open and hopeful city”, because it connects greatly the respect of various cultures with the economic growth of London itself. However, Londoners wouldn’t to move to Expo only, for these reasons, but also because England has got one of most important pavilions, into his fair, which represents so the goodwill of UK to improve the economic grow of this world.
So, opening own mind to Expo would surely have a result: all inhabitants of the world would be really become “Citizens of world”, at least for the time of the visit.