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IMMIGRANTS IN NAPLES

Published December 14, 2013 by Tony

– VUO’  CUMPRA’ ? –

The Italian term “Extra-communitarian” (Non-EU) refers to immigrants who come from countries outside Europe, but usually here either we use it in a more general way, to mean any person who comes from an underdeveloped/poor country, or to identify, in particular, Africans and Indians (and even Chinese). For us, the “extra-comunitari” are all those individuals who run away from their countries, often with “no art and no part” (like we say), hoping to make do and earn money just to survive. Most of them end up doing the beggars as is the case for almost all of the gypsies (Rom) coming from eastern Europe. Instead, for the majority of Africans and Indians, if things go well, they become street vendors. With the help of friends and relatives, they buy cheap merchandise, then exposing them on the sidewalks, in the local markets, in country’s parties, or strolling on the beach during the summer. If things go wrong, adults or children,  they stop at traffic lights trying to clean windshields or sell Kleenex to the motorists for some coin. In Naples and south Italy in general, with a so high rate of unemployment and lack of jobs, what future may have these individuals?
Their repetitive (selling) recall, “vuò cumprà?” (want to buy?), in a sort of Neapolitan dialect that probably they needed to learn and shoot for first, over the years has become so famous that we often use it to identify any African peddlers.
The items most commonly sold by Africans are: African crafts (wooden carved items), fashion jewelry, sunglasses, swim suits, leather handbags and belts (often contraband items).
Indians are more specialized in selling fashion jewelry (gemstones) coming (from India and clothing, as Chinese in small cheap electronics devices.
In the village where every year I go  to spend my summer vacation, I find many “vuò cumprà”.  For years, some of them regularly sojourn in this small village, staying there for a couple of months. Every day, many of them trace the beach – back and forth – with their cargo of goods. In the afternoon and at night they display their wares on the promenade, directly on the ground or on small stands. They are generally friendly pwho greet all passers-by, and those who have learned the language, often chat with holidaymakers. And it is not unusual that one of them makes friends with some vacationer. When things go well, someone let even his wife and children to come in Italy, and then we see them all together next to their stand.

Usually these immigrants live in groups in small flats to share the expenses, and needless to say that theirs is a poor existence in the balance, evidently not so bad as the one lived in their countries. They live isolated, in poor hygienic conditions, and often you see them sleeping on the sidewalks between pieces of cardboard or in small huts arranged for the occasion. Sometimes, the smell of piss forces you to hold your nose….
The bordering neighborhoods are often the best place for them. Remote districts where there still find small spaces and where in a flash their slums make inroads.
The only people we Neapolitans fear most, are nomads and gypsies. They move in groups, always attended by their family, usually dirty and smelly, not looking for a job, but simply to beg, sometimes trying to pity the passer. Often, they wander around the neighborhood with wife and children in tow, with a guitar or a music-cassettes  playing some old Neapolitan song. They scream and call below any dwelling or buzz so that some coin is thrown from balconies. Others rummage through the garbage looking for items that they can sell to those that treat old and used objects.
Unfortunately, these immigrates have the reputation of being thieves and especially their children, that if they can, steal and run away. Sometimes it has happened that even our children have been kidnapped, then being reported as missing and very difficult to trace if you don’t know that it has been a gypsy to do that.

I’m not racist and I feel very sorry for these people, but although they know Naples to be a city with a good heart, I do not think it is appropriate to make them freely get into areas already at risk, with no money, no job and no a fixed abode. 

Despite all this, you’ll never heard a racial slur against these people, and usually they are left alone, even by storekeepers and police. If a cop or a financial police would approach one of them, many Neapolitans tried to help and devote a good word for the victim.
These are Neapolitans, for better or for worse!

CHRISTMAS

Published December 6, 2013 by Tony

LETTERS TO SANTA

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Christmas, time for gifts and evaluations.
In Italy, several say that Christmas is a celebration for children, but I’m not at all convinced.
Maybe because it represents Jesus’ birth, but also those who are not observant or true Catholic Christians are involved in its tender and compassionate atmosphere. Others say that they decorate the tree or make the crib because they have children at home, but underneath it all, the first to find pleasure in doing so are just ourselves, the adults.
Christmas and New Year are also holidays when family gets together, people have meal together or meet to exchange greetings.
A moment of aggregation, dialogue, openness.
In the end, everyone becomes better and, believers or not, the Christmas‘ purpose and true meaning is safe. Too bad it only happens once a year and lasts only a few days!
Whether it’s Befana or Santa Claus, this is also the period for toys to children.
Who have never written a letter to Santa Claus?
Italian children are always polite and respectful in their requests. As usual, they write to have been good kids and end the letter by saying : “I promise you that I will be more good in the future… “, in the hope to get the toys they want.
Usually, children write their letters to Santa with the help of parents or teachers, and many of them before puberty already are aware that it is only a childish thing.
In my day we were content with little, even a simple plastic gun became an important gift for us children, where Christmas was the only time to get a toy. Then, it was custom to hide gifts, so, early in the morning, we woke up excited and went in search of the package for the whole house.
I do not deny that when my son/dau were babies, I repeated this ritual.
In the night, before sending children to bed, we together put the socks hanging somewhere with their letters, and to pretend that Befana or Santa Claus found something to eat, I let a slice of cake with a drink nearby.
They are considered to be short-tempered and you have to treat them well!
Then we all went to bed. As soon as children had fallen asleep, I got up and carefully substitutive socks with colorful stockings filled with sweets, took off the cake’s slice, leaving a few crumbs here and there, emptied the glass, and then I hid the various toys in the room.
Needless to say that the next morning, they were the children to get up early, not in their shoes to see if Befana or Santa Claus had come.
Their astonishment at seeing the crumbs, empty glass and sparkling socks really is priceless!

The tenderness and naivety of children leaves you speechless.

After the first moments of perplexity, shown by their eyes wide open and sweet expression of wonder, the first gifts, the biggest, were sighted.
“Oh … mom, dad, look at that!”
And then opening the package to see what’s inside… another moment of surprise and wonder….
Really beautiful experiences you never forget.

                           inquiries  ladygaga

                             oryoudie  1_amazon

MY BEST WISHES

for a Happy and Saint Christmas to you all.

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ART SAFETY

Published May 13, 2013 by Tony

– ARTWORKS ON LOAN –

 "Birth of Venus" by Botticelli

Back to what I have repeatedly stated, namely that Italy is the country with the biggest  concentration of works of art and archaeological finds in the world, the realization that major foreign museums ask for some works to be exhibited in their cities, this endorse my statement.
Works of art that come and go, becoming “loans” worldwide. It seems that nowadays the positive image of Italy is more “conveyed” by its "wooden Crucifix" by Cimabuemasterpieces.

The most beautiful archaeological remains of Pompeii are currently on display in London, and it is a recent news that the “wooden Crucifix” by Cimabue and the “Dancing Satyr” of Mazara del Vallo will be exhibited in a museum in the United States.
In 2010 fifty masterpieces of the Italian Baroque of inestimable value were exposed to the Smithsonian Institute in Florida and in the Italian Museum of Fitzgerald Foundation of Florence, while last July, 67 works of art from Florence,  they were useful to the Chinese to celebrate the centenary of the birth the National Museum in Beijing."Dancing Satyr", Mazara-del-Vallo-IV-sec.-a.C., Mazara-del-Vallo-IV-sec.-a.C.
Many Sicilian artworks are around:  the Auriga‘s marble from museum of Mozia, a work unique in its kind, sent to London as a result of trade agreements at the Olympic Games, and now in Malibu, in the Getty Museum, where it will be on display until August 2013; the Efebo of Selinunte is located in Shanghai on display at the exhibition organized for the Triennial, which will close on January, 2013; the Dancing Satyr, sculpture of extraordinary beauty attributed to the school of Lysippos, from Mazara del Vallo is in Shanghai for the Expo, along with the “Aries” from the archaeological Museum of Efebo of Selinunte
Salinas in Palermo.
Yet, the Satyr, Aries and Auriga are part of the twenty-one works that should be immovable, but, on the contrary, they continue to travel by special permits that let them be away also for long periods.
In 2007 there was controversy on the “Annunciation” by Leonardo, which left Italy to reach Tokyo. And while the borrowing request about  the “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli of some non-European countries is still being considered, the foreign tour of “Riace bronzes” has always been rejected by the archaeological superintendent of Calabria, events that reopen the debate on whether or not works of arts, preserved in our museums, should  travel around.Riace bronzes

I do not want to be accused of catastrophism, but those who has even a bit of acquaintance with this subject knows that the displacement of ancient works is always a risk, even without wanting to get to extreme cases such as the “Le peintre” by Pablo Picasso, destroyed in a plane crash on September 2, 1998
In addition, beyond the risks, an ethic issue should give any visitor, especially if coming from a distance, the right to find in a museum every work that is there stored.

"Annunciation" by LeonardoAnd last but not the least, the possibility that the exhibition of works of art in different states can be disadvantageous for the tourism in Italy. Something that this country needs, and  by way of example I can say that if I had the chance to see “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo, here in my country, I would certainly have  one “less reason” for visiting the Louvre… uh?!

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UNITED STATES OF ITALY?

Published May 12, 2013 by Tony

A NATION THAT NEEDS LOVE

Italy is the country of emergencies!
Living a situation of perpetual emergency, including media with a monothematic information, this has created irreparable damage to our democracy.
From long, we are not having a stable government, political parties that fight each other like gladiators in the arena just to gain power, laws and decrees designed to favor castes, politicians easily corruptible and fixers and crime present wherever there is movement of capital or a business, while the real needs of the country are constantly disregarded and postponed.
In the face of significant economic, structural and political issues, it is normal that some civil rights and social issues pass in second order, if not even appearing useless. As like as thinking about this country such a great and inimitable place on the planet that, because of its history, that focuses the major artistic and natural beauty of the world, and that
even could revive the economic fortunes of the country.
A unique and small country geographically, administratively divided into regions, but that appears to be politically and socially as a huddle of small separated lands, where everyone competes and speaks ill of the other. For this reason, there is no national unity, a forward-looking view of understandings or a national patriotic love.

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A NEWS

Published April 22, 2013 by Tony

SEX IN THE CHURCH

I have read that there are polls determining who has sex in the strangest place and the couple who was arrested a few days ago, in the province of Livorno, could clinch the top spot in the standings.
In the afternoon of Tuesday, some believers who were in the cathedral of Cecina heard (unambiguous) moans coming from a confessional and horrified called the police.
Once at the church and opened the confessional, the agents found themselves in front of a half-naked couple engaged in a sexual intercourse. Although the two tried to escape, were arrested and charged with resisting at public officers and obscene acts in public.
Umm, if the case, they will participate in an upcoming poll when they will come out of jail.

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