Italy’s and the Italian’s stereotypes abroad



The image of our country to foreigns’ eyes is often accompanied with numerous and expected stereotypes. Whether we talk of food, traditions or behaviour, the average Italian is often victime of an amount of prejudices. Surely we can’t relieve us from being guilty, since these phenomenons were born with the image that the Italian gave of himself abroad during the first emigrations in 1900. From then on the Italian was seen as a gesticulator, turncoat, who shouts and talks only about frivolous things. The studious will even coin the word Antiitalianism in order to express the hostility against italian people.

Winston Churchill, UK’s Prime Minister during the Second World War, said that: “ The Italians lose wars as they were football matches and football matches as they were wars”. We can’t say that he is wrong.

But it’s also wrong to generalize. We must remember that the Italian is not only this. Italy is also culture, art, innovation… and much more. Unfortunately the prejudices are hard to die and often they cover the abilities and the potentials that we really have and that we use every day sometimes without being rewarded.

The 21st of January of 2015 the Ministry of the economic development published a video called: “Italy the Extraordinary Commonplace”. In this video the stereotypes that the rest of the world has on Italy are put in light and right after refuted with the enumeration of the preeminences of our country. It’s a very evocative video because it consists in the reversal of the viewer’s expectations. An example is the clip where we can see a lady having fun who could immediately take place in the stereotype of the playful italian. But it’s not so, because right after the range of the camera widens out showing us the same woman training to go in the space. The video remind us that Italy is the homeland for the production of aerospace technologies and also the third country to send a satellite in the space. Beside this example we have many more but we don’t want to ruin the surprise.

We must remember that the prejudices will always exist. What matters is that we learn to know other cultures before criticize. Like Albert Einstein said: “It’s easier to destroy an atom than a prejudice” Here you have the video:

Christian Emidi, Andrea Ferraris, Hugo Gervasio, Zainab Kitchilan, Pierluigi Vescio. 4b linguistico Primo Levi.



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