Italy for iPhone

28 09 2010

It is quite funny the outrage I read today on some Italian newspapers about how an iPhone application “defines” Italy, in an ironic way: Italy = pizza, pasta, mafia and scooters. Even a left side parti is moving officially against it, as if they really had nothing better to think about!

Historically, everywhere in the world, the Italian stereotype has been “pizza mafia spaghetti mandolino”, ironic, funny, insulting sometimes.. But we Italians abroad have always been proud for our food and for, in the recent years, the victory of the State over mafia, thanks to judges that fought with their lives in the front line against criminality. Honor to people like Falcone and Borsellino and many others unknown or less known! It’s true, you don’t want to make fun on a phenomenon that produced several deaths, but still it is a quite Italian typical phenomenon. But that is not my point.

In China, Italy is identified by food, even if there are not so many Italian restaurants (none in Hefei) and still as we in Western country do not really know real Chinese food, over here they have a quite fuzzy idea (for the least) about Italian real food. I tried once “Chinese pizza”.. no, not going to try it again! On the other hand, one of my first funny experiences in Hefei was realizing that here the typical Italian was the Friends character Joe Tribbiani and his famous “Hey, how you doing?” winking to a girl.. Also scooters and motorbikes (Vespa but even  more Ducati) and cars (Ferrari) are Italian symbols. And football.. so many sad Chinese when Italy was thrown out from the World Cup. Baggio, Del Piero, Totti, Pirlo.. heroes over here!

But in Norway, closer and more attentive to European tendencies and politics, Italy has a completely different image. Italy, for the negative part, means.. Berlusconi, messy government, p*rn actress being elected to the parliament, corruption at every level of society, sport and politics, garbage in Naples roads, Padania and division from South, residency of the pope (few knows that the Vatican is actually a country) and all church related problems.. For the positive parts, Italy still means good food and wine, even if France is catching up, good lovers, but there too we have strong competion.. Monica Bellucci, but she is married with a French man!

Being Italian to me means also being able to laugh at our own flaws. Self-irony is my best quality, as Italian, and it is represented by our long history of comedians. And politicians too maybe 😉

So, in conclusion, I am so happy these developers still used the old images, stereotypes for my poor Italy.. I fear the day that a funny application will have the definition:

Italy = berlusconi, garbage, anti-politics, pope



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