Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I was about to go to Milan for a long relaxing weekend but unfortunately few things came up and oh my, I have to stay in Rome instead. Not that I can complain.. Rome is the place to be right now because exactly 150 years ago, on March 17th, 1861, Italy became a nation! You can only imagine what kind of a festive atmosphere we breath here right now! Official celebrations started lastnight and continue today. From lectures to dynamic scenographic projections, from concerts to disco buses and trams circulating all around the city, the center of Rome shall be literally turned into a huge cultural entertainment park! There is going to be a total casino. Usually I'm the kind of person who categorically avoids all kind of crowdy events but this time I will participate. We have been waiting for it for months now!
Talking about this kind of enthusiasm, I'd like to share with you my thoughts on the matter. Being multi-national I have never felt myself 100% estonian nor russian. And as consequence I have never felt particularly strong feelings for Estonia. When changing opinions with my friends, all of who have always been very very patrioc (this is quite common for all estonians), I have never suffered for my neutral position, on the contrary. In my opinion, this boundary, often a little bit exaggerated, got on the way of having an open-mind towards the rest of the globe.. and I must admit I found the idea of being a "citizen of the world" much more fascinating. After moving to Italy my feelings for my homeland became even weaker (which are not to be confused with the enormous nostalgy for my family, best friends and my previous life), and at some point I forgot about them at all. Let's say they were obscured by the excitement I felt for Italy! However, for my own surprise, a few months ago I started seriously analysing on my lack of devotion for Estonia. I still cannot (and I don't know if I shall ever be able to) say I am a patriot but I'm realising the importance of it. Who we are today is, in part, only thanks to the ambient in which we grew (and continue growing). It is the collective conscience of that specific society to shape us. To deny it equals denying yourself, to deny all your path! You can view it also from a another point of view. A healthy sense of patriotism can be intended as the will to preserve, bring on and share with others all the particular positive aspects and uses, ideas and traditions of your country/nation/village/or whatever cultural ambient in which you grew in order to (yes it is going to sound soooo clichè but what the heck!) make the world a better place. In this way each one of us becomes a spokesperson of his/hers comunity and manages, even though in his/hers small way, to sensitize the rest of the world. One cannot pretend to be a "citizen of the world" without first accepting, respecting and appreciating its place of growth. It is only then that, through confrontation with others, one is able to learn to love the rest of the world for its plurality. I'm very happy about my thought's evolution and without this experience in Italy I wouldn't have found my way.
My italian friends (on the opposite of the estonian) seemed to have lost in part interest for their country. I can see the reasons but I don't think it is right and yet no-one can blame them, Italy is going through a very difficult period. There is too much pessimism in the air and giving too much attention to negative things does not help to resolve them. That's why one should concentrate on all the good there is, and trust me there is plenty of! This event, damn we're talking about 150 years!, is the perfect occasion to enforce italianity! I hope all my italian friends, when reading it, agree with me.
I would be VERY interested what do you think about it? Are you patriotic and if so why and why do you think it is important to be patriotic in the first place? And if not share your reasons!
For more information about the event (unfortunately in italian, but try google translator) click on the official website.