Wednesday, April 02, 2008

All things Italian

Things have been very busy around our house as we all prepare for the upcoming NCHEA children's conference. I am the team leader of "Team Pisa," and have greatly enjoyed learning all sorts of interesting things about Italy, hopefully being able to pass a few fun facts on to my team... Different cultures are so fascinating!

...cutting out the beginnings of a leaning tower of Pisa...

For instance, did you know that in Italy:

  • when dining, you are not to keep your hands in your lap during the meal, nor rest your elbows on the table, either
  • when giving flowers, do not give red flowers as they indicate secrecy, and do not give yellow flowers as they indicate jealousy
  • the color purple is avoided, as it 'brings bad luck'
  • punctuality is not mandatory -- you may arrive between 15 minutes late if invited to dinner and up to 30 minutes late if invited to a party
  • in southern Italy nobody gets married in May because it 'brings bad luck'
  • never give chrysanthemums as a gift, as they are used at funerals

Our Leaning Tower of Pisa went up much faster than the original....3 hours compared to 200 years! But then again -- people from all over the world won't be traveling to see ours... :)

And like in most countries, the Italians have their own sayings to live by, both humorous and true:

  • How poor is a home without a woman!
  • A good start is half the battle
  • The liar needs a good memory
  • He who scrubs the head of an ass wastes his time and efforts
  • A good anvil does not fear the hammer

We owe a lot to the Italian people: Christopher Columbus was Italian, as well as Amerigo Vespucci (whom our country was named after). For the beginnings of our modern day battery, thanks go to Alessandro Volta. Lenonardo da Vinci drew the first rough draft of a parachute, and Bartolomeo Cristofori invented a pianoforte, which is now our piano.

And there you have it folks, a smattering of Italian culture!

Watch for more pictures after the busy weekend is over... [smile]


::Mars:: said...

How interesting those facts brought some chuckles! Love it! Marlene

Anonymous said...

oh wow, that is so cool! :)
and what FUNNY sayings indeed :D

Brittney said...

wow, what fun! I wish I could be there this weekend! (((HUGS))) I'll be thinking of and praying for you.

Ruth Ann said...

looks like lots of fun!! love the quotes and all. it's interesting to hear different things about other countries! :)

Goldfish said...

I so enjoyed this post. Italy has long been my dream destination. :) I'll have to remember those rules if I ever go. [smile] I wish I could be with you. Oh well, soon camp will be here!! :)

Anonymous said...

Love it!!!! You guys did an amazing job!!! Have fun doing your programe!!! Praying for you all!!!!

My aren't we lucky to have Italy and Mr. Bartolomeo Cristofori!!!! : ) Lucky, lucky, lucky!!! God was certaianly watching out for us!!! : )

Melody Whitney

Unknown said...

That is an awesome tower! You did a really good job. It was a good post to read too. I learnt more than I knew before about Pisa. I hope that you have a wonderful conference.

Jacob said...

Italians have a long history in the United States and are still a major people group.

You might be interested to know:

+ Italians were the leading group of immigrants to the US from 1930 to 1970, and were in the top ten for most of the 20th century.
(Census 2000)

+ The Italian language is spoken at home in the United States by over 1 million people, making it the 6th most common language.
(Census 2000)

+ Italian is the 7th most common ancestry claimed in the United States.
(Census 2000)

Viva Italia!

Unknown said...

Very nice Leaning Tower! Looks like you will be having a wonderful time in 'little Italy' :)

Go Team Pisa!!


P.S. 'Ti Amo' is 'I love you' in Italian :)

Unknown said...

The tower looks great, and the facts were very interesting/humorous! Hope you have fun!

Bontrager Family Singers said...

You're all in our prayers, Bethany!
Hope the week end goes well!

Anonymous said...

My, my, Bethany -- you must feel quite indebted to Mr. (or Mrs.??:S) Volta for your camera battery!! :)

The tower looks great, the facts were great. And if I ever go to Italy, I'll be sure to remember not to hand anyone a bouquet of chrysanthemums. LOL!

Nicole 妮可 said...

I am so impress with your tower.
Did you come up with all these ideas yourself??!
I'm not surprised.
Love ya!

*~cici~* said...

what a great idea to project a real picture onto yours! I just got back from Italy a week ago! your post makes me wish i was back! Check my blog soon, if you want to see pictures!

Anonymous said...

How very interesting! I didn't know many of the things you wrote about Italy...