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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Culture, water and basins

I want to record the reply of my friend, Marco Bettoni, to my question about if he felt like Swiss-Italian or an Italian-Swiss or neither or both or "it depends on the circumstances". I loved the way he put it:

"My 'national' or 'cultural' feelings do not have a definite shape, like a rock, they are more like water, they take the shape of the bottle or basin (circumstances). One reason is, that I grew up (about 0 to 10) in two languages. Furtheron multilinguality and emigrating are a tradition in our family: My great-grandfather Domenico (born 1855) was already bilingual and emigrated from Italy to Germany and Switzerland. Another reason has probably to do with previous lives: I feel attracted by England and english culture (at high school I prepared my final english exam on Oscar Wilde) as well as by Greece and (ancient) greek culture. In Switzerland I like certain aspects of the (alternative) political culture (see for instance Andreas Gross In Italy I like the cooking and all what has to do with the aesthetics (architecture, cars, etc.) but am afraid of the mafia (which, of course, does not exist ...)"

I hope it's just my current headspace, but I worry that there although there are more people whose 'national' or 'cultural' feelings don't have definite shapes nowadays, there are more people concerned with defining the bottles and the basins.


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