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Cultural Perspectives of the Country of Italy Essay

Italy has been a democratic republic since 1946 and it has a population of about 58 million. It is surrounded by Tyrrhenian Sea on the west and Adriatic Sea on the east. France, Austria are some of the countries that border Italy to the north. Italy is covered by sea and mountains “While Italy has a huge range of climates and natural features, ideal for mining, cultivation of crops, fish, livestock, and other natural resources, the majority of raw materials its industries require are imported” .

The country of Italy has gone through many changes throughout its history and has been in the forefront of the European economic and political unification for a long time now. Though it has faced many obstacles, it has however remained patriotic and keen for union. Culture and lifestyle of Italy Italians are warm and welcoming people, who adore relaxing, celebrate and socialize with family and friends. Their celebrations and relaxations regularly happen around the table either at home enjoying their cuisines or out in a restaurant. “One thing visitors in Italy notice right away is the people’s openness and sociable nature.

Italians have a love of life and enjoy life’s pleasure to the fullest” (Winter & Jermyn, 2003) Family is the guiding force and the focus for loyalty and this make the family very fundamental. Many families put a side a special day to spend time with other relatives for a special meal. The father is always regarded as the provider of all needs and interests and maintained his powers with firm orders. The mother was seen as subordinate and had the right to be heard in family plans and meditated between the father and often numerous children.

The Italian’s family structure, food, native costume, music, and religion all play a major role in creating a definite culture that allows them to convey their behaviors in the general public as a whole. Italy is a country in Western Europe that is well known for its food and it is no accident that Italian cooking is so popular due to its rich flavor cuisine. Italians value home cooking so much and especially their pasta as their favorite cuisine. “Italians remain the largest known European consumer of pasta and cereals.

“They have greatly eliminated such culprits as fats and animal proteins from their diets, as well as reduced their annual consumption of alcohol” (Mure. N. S. , 2008). Italians value the way they dress and it is a priority to them; their dressing is normally very conservative for both men and women. These dressing are always accompanied with elegant accessories which compliments their costumes very well. Religion The Romans worshipped many gods and goddesses before Christianity gained a firm grip on the Italians and that’s when the Roman Catholic Church came into existence and became the most powerful church in Italy.

Catholic is the major religion with a majority of 85 percent of the population and just about 20 percent attend worship services unless there I any religious celebrations. The head of the church is the Pope who has full lawful, executive, and judicial powers and at the same time lives there. Their constitution allows for the freedom of religion and worship which is respected by the government. There has been a good relation among religions which has highly contributed to religious freedom.

The history of the Roman Catholic Church is based as much on politics as it is on religion, and in some ways this holds true today. To expand the faithful, the catholic Bishops were confident to make their existence known among the ordinary people, and there were more urge to train more clergy and build more churches. “Though the mixture of religion with all the common events of life is anything but an error yet I could not avoid regretting that like heathens ancestors, the modern Italian had supplied the place of one great Master mover by a countless host f inferior agents” (Blunt 1823).

The Vatican City is the head of the Catholic Church in the world that gave the region both spiritual and temporal power and that makes majority of Italians Roman Catholics though very few of them attend mass regularly. Rome has the most beautiful art of architectural and the best ancient churches are situated there. Cultural Holidays and the celebrations Italians always have a reason to celebrate in, whether it’s an historical event, holiday, or other festival. Italy has a large number of public holidays during the year and some of these have a religious background.

The way they celebrate their holidays is one of the greatest tourist attraction worldwide. All this festivals are always accompanied by their cuisine which is always an essential part of the celebration. Sacred holidays like Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving Day usually have their special foods that have been practiced over the generations. Same applies to other holidays that have also developed their own cuisine based on their tradition. These festivals are marked not only with indulging in good food but also share with the less fortunate in the society.

Compared to other countries in the world, Italians public holidays are celebrated with parades that color the country and display their patriotism. Economy of Italy During the years, Italy’s economy has extremely prospered in that the country is able to import raw material for the countries industrial sector which has encouraged labor flexibility. “An economic miracle has indeed occurred in post way Italy, manifested by on of the highest growth rates in the world unbroken in its advance for nearly two decades and unmatched in its vitality in any previous period in its industrial history”(Hildebrand, 1965)

Even though inflation has usually been a key test for Italy, it has been able to bring it down to levels that can be managed. Italy has very little to boast in agriculture but its economy has been highly lifted by the services and industrial sector which contributes the highest percentage of the economy. Growing family owned business has been the backbone of the economy and the northern part of the country concentrates with capitalistic economy, where the private sector companies account for the total productivity and profitability. Italy has the best world paintings which they exhibit and has been a good boost to the economy.

”Venice is a beautiful sight to behold. Anyone wanting to linger in its romance, architecture and canals can find themselves immersed in Venice through the eyes of artist Marco Sassone” (Mure. N. S. , 2008). Industrialization of modern Italy from it inception until today, has been a classic case of even development. Italy has been known to be the largest producer of selected wines. People are invited to the wine tasting event which has attracted many people around the globe just to come and enjoy the art of grape cultivation and processing of the wines.

Being a member of the European Union, Italy has taken an active role in European trade and has been the chief trade partner of majority of the European countries as well as America. Italy has the most favorable conditions for business investments and trading that has been able to attract many investors even though much of it is curbed by high levels of corruption and the mafias. Though since Italy adapted to the economic and monetary union requirements, it has experienced very low inflation rates. “Metals, fuel oil & railway equipment are fastest-growing Italian exports to U. S.

while pharmaceutical preparations & precious metals lead American imports into Italy” (Workman 2007). Employment services have been customized recently and government has enacted a law that different organizations have to act as employment offices. Most Italians work for low wages and without any social benefits and protections; the most affected are women and the youth who experience higher rates of unemployment. This is going to create an aggressive room for the employment service and advocate to the public employment services to increase their effectiveness and to create networks with private organizations.

Italy has a very well-organized and modern infrastructure and it has failed to come up with subways and more railways to facilitate the movement of goods. While most goods in Italy are always transported by road, the upgrading and improvement of the systems is a major interest to the government. “The government of Italy has began to address reform on the rail sector and has advanced more quickly than many European countries” (O. E. C. D. 2001). The railway system is also highly developed and this has made it the most preferred way of travelling for its punctuality, comfort and affordable to all commuters.

The country’s impact on the US It is generally normal these days for other countries to adapt to the American culture and the introduction of this western culture to Italy has been very pervasive. Italy and America enjoy a warm and friendly relationship because of their efforts to fight terrorism. Most of the Italians have welcomed the American culture but despite all that they have been able to save their cuisine from the changes because they believe that their foods are healthier than the fast foods.

Fast food restaurants have gained the peak in Italy which was mostly a common place in America. Italians have also tried to change their dressing and fashion which is most fancied by the young generation. Italy holds the most famous fashion designers in the world but despite all they still go for the American fashions because their clothes are very expensive for every citizen to afford. Most Italians went to America to escape poverty and they believed they would find a better life for their families and other went to work in search of better jobs to get enough money to go back to Italy.

The ones that settle were able to completely mix with the Americans and were able to change their cultural behaviours in a way; some turned to criminals especially the mafias who decided to settle in America. There is so much to learn about Italy, their welcoming spirit and the wonderful and the architectural beauty of the country. The many musicians, the operas and even the painting are some of the things that make Italy a beautiful county. References Mure S. N (2008). Abbondanza: Specifically for those with a Passion for Everything that is Italian p. 1 Winter K. J. & Jermyn L. (2003). Italy: Cultures of the world, Volume 4 p.

57 Hildebrand H. G. , (1965). Growth and structure in the economy of modern Italy, p. 3-4 Workman D. (2007). Top Italian Exports & Imports: Most Popular Products Traded Between Italy & America. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from http:// international-trade-leaders. suite101. com Blunt J. J (1823). Vestiges of ancient manners and customs, discoverable in modern Italy and Sicily p. 2 Kwintessential: How Italian holidays are celebrated in Italy. Retrieved December 9, 2009 from http://www. kwintessential. co. uk Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2001). Regulatory reform in Italy, p. 31


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