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.