Tuesday, March 15, 2011

150 years of Italy woke in me a sense of patriotism (for Estonia of course!)

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.

Cornflower - fiordaliso - is Estonian national flower.

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.


Paola said...

:) being italian, I'm very proud of your thought about our history and about our time today.
There are many reasons for the italian's negative feelings about 150's. Italy was born with idealistic values, with the participation of all intellectual minds and brave hearts of all the Peninsula states. Cavour, a statist, said 150 years ago "Italy is made, now it need to make italians". Precisely, Italians still not be made, after 150 years.
Indeed, it is assumed what means to belong to a country, that is above all share in his life!
But you have all of reasons to say that "There is too much pessimism in the air and giving too much attention to negative things does not help to resolve them", and for this, I think that I'll try to change my own thoughts by now! Why waste time?
:) a kiss


Grazie mille dolcissima merilin.
Il mio pensiero al riguardo è questo: Vivo in un paese che non mi rappresenta, non parlo solo della situazione politica, che assomiglia sempre di più al gossip, o della situazione economica che dipingono buona e cattiva a seconda del "vento", ma mi riferisco alla libertà individuale. Pur vivendo appieno la mia libertà in Italia non mi sento libera.
Patriottismo? valori? concetti importanti sempre più dimenticati. Del mio viaggio in California mi ha colpito come in ogni casa ci fosse una bandiera stelle e strisce,ho invidiato il loro patriottismo, ho invidiato il loro attaccamento così sentito alla patria, le loro lascrime del cuore per l'11 settembre...gioie e dolori che uniscono una popolazione intera...in Italia questo, aimè, succede solo con i Mondiali...



Café Naïveté said...

You know they say smile is contagious. I think it's the same with all positive things.

Sometimes when things get way too complicated all you can do is just... TURN PAGE AND START OVER, FROM A BLANK SHEET. The only thing to do would be just to concentrate on the will to wash off all the dust and trash by spreading positive messages, starting with the few people around you. Stable and serene small steps are the key to the success. It is too easy to walk bitterly away. Imagine all the people all around the world abandoning their society just because they don't like how it is. Not saying it isn't hard. IT IS! But maybe because I've grown in a different society where changes are much easier to happen.. I believe it's possible. And besides.. Important is not the result but the attempt. All we have is to ally our forces (even if they're few) and act!

Café Naïveté said...

ps! grazie per i vostri commenti
psps! kri ti volevo rispondere separatamente in italiano ma poi automaticamente ho unito tutto in un commento solo

Concetta said...

I believe in roots.
Your homeland is the one you choose and the one you feel you belong to.
I grew up in many different cities, in Italy and abroad, but the place which I feel I belong is southern Italy. Maybe because my family lives here, maybe because after all the travels people need always to mind about WHERE everything started for you.
I don't mean your birth place, but the places where your identity became stronger.
Even if is impossible for me to live there, I'm very proud to say that I'm from southern Italy.
I feel patriotic for my country, for all the countries in the south, since Rome.
I can say I'm italian, but only an Italian can understand which are the differences between all countries in Italy.
I belong also to Rome, where I studied and spent the most beautiful years of my life, she choosed me, she's my HOME where I'd like to come back, one day....
Actually I live in Milan but I don't like this city, so different from me...

Really I don't feel anything for this new bank fest....I'm sorry @__@

Concetta said...

p.s. By the way, I feel more patriotic during Liberation fest on 25th April.
In Italy this date remainds about the liberation of Italy from fascism, thanks to the great alleances in europe but made in the first line by PARTIGIANI, italian proud people who fighted against the dictature during the second world war.
I feel closer to this important italian historical event then Italy political union in 1861, made from great northern Statists only for economial interests.
Partisans where really Italians, not politicians.
That's it.
In this way I'm REALLY patriotic :)

Bonnie said...

I'm not patriotic, really. It's a shame. I am, at times, but then I also see some of the things going on, and I just ... can't be.

Twitter: @GlamKitten88

ania said...

well, an interesting post. thanks for it. hmm, i'm in rome since one month, staying till half of july but i'm seriously thinking about staying here... not sure about rome but in italy in general. i'm not excited about this fest... i think it's kind of bullshit since really don't see italy so united as maybe people here think they are. i don't know but even an american who lives since 25 years here is saying exactly the same thing.
i'm polish and remember every time was saying i'm happy that i'm polish or proud maybe, my best italian friend was keep on saying you cannot be proud of something you didn't choose (like the place of your birth). yes, maybe he's right but at the same time i didn't mean the thing he understood. it's not about being proud of your country which is never really better than others but i've been always happy i was born in this place which gave me so much, all the values, the culture & tradition, the people around... europe is spoiled, especially the west one and "european union" however we will call it, is coming to an end... this is the truth. we have many problems in poland, shit politicians, many young people willing to study but no jobs they could do after university. anyway i'm still thinking i prefer all that than people of west europe who doesn't know how lucky they are and how much they have. i see young italian people still complaining about no oportunities here, about lack of work etc etc... but the problem is they are lazy. and they are complitely spoiled. they live with parents till 30 or more, have no experience but also they don't do anything to get it and change something.

love italy beyond all this radiculous things here and maybe i'll stay but at the same time i'm grateful to my native country for all i got. and for reasonable point of view.

Kadri-Ann said...

to ania: You took my words! very welll put! Because I am from estonia and for history and patriotism poland and estonia aren't that different.

I have been living in finland for 7 months and learned about patriotism here. Learned HOW much I love my own country! Finnish take their country for granted and that is the big difference between Estonia and Finland. Although we say estonia is 93 years old (that is olny 1 year,acutally 3 months, younger than finland!) we have had the REAL independence only for 21 years. So you can feel the history, pain and thoughts about past in every person who is older than 21 years. That is why estonians and maybe other eastern europe countries are so patriotic: they still remember, what it feels not being allowed to love your own country.