Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Yakkety Yak

My A-Z Challenge series is about Italy, it's lifestyle, the country and other miscellaneous things in regard to it.

Italians do like chiacchierare, or chatting. They chat all the time, at home leaving home when they bump into neighbours, while walking to the shops in the shops, when bumping into friends after leaving the shops, going for their evening passeggiata (walk), with shop keepers bar owners, bank staff whoever they see, really. I don't mean discussing things of impotance, just general chit chat. This is part of the reason they know everyone in the vicinity of the area they live. Not only do they know them they know all about them. Gossip. To them gossip is just part of life, it's what would be called nosiness in other countries but there it's accepted that what you do in the morning will be known by the local pizzeria owner by evening. Life is lived outdoors as much as possible and secrets are hard to keep.

This poses a problem for some, including teenagers wanting to do something their parents (and Aunts, Uncles, Grandparent) may disapprove of, holding hands with the wrong boy or girl will be back to the parents in no time. It does help with keeping people on the straight and narrow, it also causes some conflict but no-one gets cross about the actual way the news travelled.

Once something is known it will be talked about. If that news was not what people approve of they will let that person know. Someone has decided to leave their job for another and someone else thinks they should have stayed they will tell them - not your business is something else not done here. It is their business, so they believe. Everyone feels they have the right to tell people how to behave, tell them if they think what they do is wrong, including things to do with appearance so if that dress makes someone's bum look too big they will be told, no need to ask.

This is frightening and a nuisance for non Italians moving over to Italy, expats need to develop a thick skin. They can't understand how Italians can be so rude, so nosy, so gossipy. It takes a little while but thy start to realise that it's all part of they way things are. No offence should be taken nothing is meant maliciously, people just like to talk about things, anything and everything. But food is still the main topic of conversation so if you are there and want to take the flak off yourself just mention you've bought some new vegetable and what's the best way to cook it and all attention will move to everyone telling you the best way to cook it is their own way.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Daydreamer - Chiacchierare .. is a great word .. I studied a little Italian - typical English person who cannot speak another language!

But they have the good weather for standing around, chatting away - don't they ...

Very good Y for Yakketty Yak .. cheers Hilary

DayDreamer said...

Chatting is practically a national law in Italy. But yes, the weather helps enormously for it.