Monday, November 19, 2012

The Church

Catholicism and the Italian people are so entwined they make most ivy look independent. The Catholic religion has been around since the time of the Apostles. The Catholic church is the basis of all of today's forms of Christianity. It is also largely the basis of Italian culture, or the Italian culture is the basis of Catholicism, no one is really sure any more. This is how the Catholic Church is set up.

The Catholic Religion is the Christian Religion set up with a hierarchical system that leads to a man with funny hats. The Pope or the King of the Catholics as Protestants may call him is the head of the church, he is the successor to Jesus’ right hand man St.Peter. Underneath him there are cardinals, they are kind of like the congressmen of the church, and yes, they too argue to no end preventing any sort of progress in the church. Below the cardinals are the arch bishops, the archbishops are like a bass player in a band. The arch bishop is quite important, he rules over a whole region of the church, but when it comes down to it you are more attracted to the Lead singer and the guitar player. Once you get past the arch bishop you have the regular bishop. There is a bishop for every cathedral, bishops are kind of likes lords in England, you have to respect them because they have their own castle but in the long run, they’re really just the arch bishop’s pawn. Under the bishop is your local priest, he like a sales man, he travels from church to church telling stories and trying to get you to buy his product. Under the priest are the deacons, deacons are simply alter boys who liked being alter boys a little too much. Finally you have the congregation, that is all of you out there who sit in the crowd and sing along every Sunday.  Having said all this, I am a devout Catholic and will have to go to confession for writing this blog. I’ll explain what confession is in a later blog, but it isn’t what the press makes it out to be.

Sunday, October 28, 2012


To the Italians, family is the most important thing, family and pasta. Family, which extends beyond blood, is the structure that supports Italian culture. The best example of the Italian views of family comes from the movie the Godfather. Granted the movie is an example of the corrupt side of the Italian family, but it also shows many of the good sides as well. For example, Tom Hagen is the family's lawyer, and a Irish-German man. Tom Hagen made friends with Sonny Corleone as a young child. According to the movie the Corleone family took Tom in, they adopted him, made him a son, sent him to law school, and eventually made him the number two in the family business. This is one example of the family and the tight connections that Italians make.
The Italian family is also largely patriarchal. The Godfather also illustrates this point in a scene during the first movie. In the movie the father of the family and the son, who is to be his successor, go to a business meeting. The family made its business through racketeering, a man from Turkey wanted the family to get into drugs. The son saw potential in the business, the father refused to get into the drug business for moral reasons. The son broke two prime Italian rules, he let someone outside the family know what the family was thinking and he went directly against the ideas of his father.
In my family, my grandfather use to joke that his wife was his property, and that he owned and controlled her. This was a joke, but there was a bit of truth behind it. Grandma would spend her day in the kitchen and after slaving over the oven all day, she would let everyone else eat, she would clean the kitchen, and when it was all done, then and only then would she eat. The men are in place to control things and the women take care of the house.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Italian Passtime

To Italians, soccer is the equivalent of a religion. Soccer, or as the Italians call it, Futbol, is a way of life. Italian soccer fans make American sports fans look tame. Americans watched the Stanley Cup riots in Vancouver with disgust, yet there is gang related violence that surrounds soccer teams and their fans.

In the past couple of weeks the qualifying rounds for the world cup started. If you don’t know, the world cup is a soccer tournament that pits country versus country. The world cup is held every four years, with qualifying starting two years prior to the tournament. Italy historically is one of the tournaments top teams. The Italians  have won the cup four different times, including back to back cups in the thirties. They also boast a European championship.

In this qualifying match the Italians tied the Bulgarians. The Bulgarians are not one of the top teams in the European division. The European division is consistently the toughest division to win in. The division is home to perennial power houses such as Spain, Germany, England, Portugal, and France. The only other division in the same league as the Europeans is the South American division.

The fact that the Italians could not beat an easy team like the Bulgarians has sent a shock through the Italian community. This  falter  has scared many of the Italians, they are scared that their team will not make the upcoming world cup. If the Italians miss the world cup it would be the equivalent of team USA not making the Olympic basketball tournament, or not making the baseball world cup. However, the Italian soccer fans are nothing compared to Irish and English soccer fans.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Italian Peninsula

Italy is possibly the world's greatest country, it is rich in history, culture and unbelievable food. Italy was home to the world's greatest empire of all time, the Roman Empire. The Italian peninsula is around 116,346 square miles according to encyclopedia Britannica. It holds a population of sixty million people. According to Travel there are twenty different Providences within the Italian borders.
also with in the border of Italy are two smaller countries or microstates, both the Vatican City and San Marino reside on the Italian peninsula. According to the Vatican's Website it has a population of one, the Pope.

Amazingly, the United States mirrors Italy in some ways. For example, both the north of the United States and the Italian north are highly industrialized areas, where the southern portions of the countries are much more rural. Italy was the world's greatest empire, controlling the majority of Europe the Northern coast of Africa and large portions of the middle east and Asia. The United states is today's great empire, while it has not colonized many countries like the Romans, the United States has its hands in countries all over the world. Both countries are the leader in technology and have helped the world to progress in unbelievable leaps and strides. For the Romans it was the Arch, the aqueducts, and lead pipes, for the United States the rise in technology has come in the field of computers and the internet.

Thanks to the Vatican's location, Italy is one of the most devoutly Catholic people in the world. But religion in Italy is a lot different than religion in the United States. In just one example, Italian Priest will perform well over two thousand exorcisms in a year. Exorcisms can treat a range of personal demons from Alcoholism to unsettled spirits in the house.

This has been a very brief description of Italy.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Death of Martini

In a phenomenon unknown to the United States, The city of Milan (the business capital of Italy according to shut down because a religious leader died. Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini's funeral was Monday morning. I chose this story because religion is a large picture of cultural design. Italy is the home of the Catholic Church. As stated on the Vatican's ( Vatican City is the Capital of the Catholic Church as well as the home of the Pope, who is the leader of the Catholic Church.

The interesting part of Martini's death is the interview that came out the day after his death. ( Linked is the article posted by the Huffington Post with their interpretation of the interview.

In the interview Martini states that he believes the church is 200 years out of date. Personally, I would have to agree with him. Although I am an active member of the Catholic church there are many areas that the church needs reform in. The key area being the marriage right of Priest. Priest are to be married to the church, but it is time to allow them to also be married to a woman. If the church had changed this value/ideal it is my belief that they could have avoid the early scandals.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Starting Out

This is the blog for my class, it should have about ten post on different intercultural communications. My other blogs include Predspress and MKYsports; take a look at them and hopefully I can give you some insight into other cultures here.