Thursday, June 28, 2012

Tonight we are Italian!!

This evening we joined our good friends on their garden to watch Italy vs Germany in the European football championship semi-finals.  They threw together an impromptu festa.  They took the TV outside, and set it up in the garden. There was an amazing feast of salads, grilled vegetables, fresh fruit and veg and 'carpaccio con rucola e parmesan'.

Upon the promise of a late night victory swim, the children cheered loudly for Italia.  My beautiful neighbour from downstairs looked at me and said 'we are one', and tonight we were, tonight we were Italian, win or lose.  We tried to sing the Italian national anthem, we yelled Viva Italia! It was a great experience for our children to experience not only this enthusiasm for the sport, but the national pride.

These are the experiences that bring meaning to our journey.  I remember when we were first in Australia and my cousin asked me who I would bet for in the Melbourne Cup.  I had never bet on a horse race, generally only gamblers bet on horses in Canada.  But in Australia, they set up special betting stations for Melbourne Cup, parties are arranged, fancy dresses and hats are picked.  And on the first Tuesday of each November, the country nearly grinds to a halt as people celebrate and watch the cup.  It lasts only a few minutes, but the parties last a few hours and the memories for me have lasted years.

When the clock ran down this evening and Italy had won 2-1 over Germany, we could hearing cheering from the village, and squeals of delight as are group jumped into the pool.  A win for Italy and a win for the children.

Being a part of something special to a country, like horse races, medieval festivals and football matches enriches the experience of the place we are in, it is a window into what makes that country what it is.  As I type I can hear voices from the village still singing.  I hope that someone visiting Canada could have a similar experience when watching hockey, enjoying a tailgate party at a CFL game, eating a pancake breakfast during Stampede or watching our national sport, lacrosse.  And I hope that visitor enjoys for that moment being Canadian, as I have enjoyed being Italian.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous! We've been watching the Euro here as well, what a great experience for your crew over there. We were cheering for Italy in the finals, so sad they didn't cause an upset for Spain.