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Some time ago I was interviewed for Multicoolty Italia. They do an amazing job interviewing expats all around the world, but with main focus on foreigners in Italy. You find the interview in italian here:  La Mia Vita e' piu ricca oggi

Please like their page here: https://www.facebook.com/multicoolty.italia/?fref=ts

Translation in English

"Today my Life is Richer"

My name is Johanna, I come from Sweden but in my veins runs finnish blood. I'm in Italy, Sicily, since 2009. Self-employeed in the organic sector in agriculture and tourism. I'm preparing two new activities and also started writing books.
Why Italy?
I wanted a real challenge in life and Sicily seemed to be the right place. I'd say that I got what I asked for and even more. In Sicily, learned a lot about life seen from a different perspective and learned even more about myself. I chose Sicily because I saw Inspector Montalbano in Sweden and fell in love with the beautiful things I saw, the area of Ragusa! Then I moved there as a start.
What was it like to learn Italian?
Easy because the grammar is very similar to finnish. But I'll never speak perfect Italian because I speak different languages every day. I learned it myself: with the magazines that interest me and talking to people. Sicilians are great because they correct me if I'm wrong. So you learn quickly. Then it took me a bit 'of time to understand that here they speak Sicilian, which is very different from Italian. I was a bit' confused at first.
Do you think that speaking Italian living in Italy is important?
It's essential wherever you decide to live. Otherwise you never know how a country functions and you will always have problems if you don't understand people. Also for the respect of the new country you have to learn.
Which problems did you meet when you arrived in Italy?
Everything, because the system and the life in Sicily is totally the opposite from Sweden. It worries me to see that the local people don't want to know their rights and duties. Often we foreigners learn the system better, so you can also protect yourself against a corrupt system and know how to get around.
What do you like about Italy?
Here I learned to value things. In Sweden we have an incredible consumerism, buy and throw away. Here I learned the value of money and saving, because I saw true poverty. I like the people, they are very kind to us foreigners. I like the sun, the food, the Sicilian mountains and the rich history. Here I also started to appreciate Sweden and understand how lucky we are there. There you go blind because you live in the system and everything goes smoothly. Here I learned to fight, to defend myself, I lost my swedish naivity because the world is not as at home.
What do you don't like?
I don't like the church and the family system, two structures that destroy the person from the first day. I don't like ignorance, laziness and how people mistreat their own land, a land so beautiful. Here often lacks the grit, perhaps because of the "mammismo", children do not learn to fight the system nor to stand on their feet. Not everybody, but many.
What about the Italians?
The people are very kind to us foreigners. You laugh a lot with the Sicilians. When they trust, you begin to meet fantastic people. Very easy to work here with men. I didn't have "classical" problems so far and I don't think there will ever be. The Sicilians give you everything when they see you do something for their territory.
One thing that makes me tired is that people always want to give advice and sometimes men don't understand a No!! Ignorance and mammismo does so much damage. The phenomenon of the "Italian mama's boy" is famous all over the world, but I couldn't imagine so alarming. Double-sided, one side out and another behind and hidden. Difficult to have female friends here. I have only two after 7 years !! Often they not even greet. I believe that women learn that other women are rivals or something similar.
Have you ever had an experience of "racism" in Italy?
Only once I have heard a man complain about immigrants, but it's very rare in Sicily. Sicilians do much for immigrants and it's a shame that they are left alone. Against me ever, only some women give bad comments because they often think bad of us foreign women, but I don't consider it as real "racism". Only that they don't know what the world is like.
What surprises you about the Italian culture?
Ignorance towards the environment, neighbors and themselves. Parents teach their children that everything is the fault of politicians, so take away their hope for the future at the beginning. Then they see us foreigners do many things here and don't understand how it is possible.
True religions here are football and food. Still don't understand how you can eat so much: I once tried to eat as the Sicilians and will not do that again, it was an experience close to death.
Patience to the incorrectness in society. Why don't the people rebel? The Sicilians always want to help foreigners, this is a very nice thing.
What did you have to give up when you moved in Italy?
Ever ything in my life: the family is far away, good salary, house, career etc. But it was worth it, because the things that I know now, I would not have been able to learn otherwise. My life is richer today.
You feel "integrated" in Italian society?
Yes, immediately. It's easy to integrate into society. It all depends on yourself. You have to go out, be curious, the phone doesn't ring ... you have to make calls at the beginning. I'm a very open person, I get in touch with people wherever I go.
How has your lifestyle changed in Italy?
I live a very Scandinavian style, otherwise I'd go back in time. I put some things of Sicilian culture in my life: relax more, eat healthier, give time to people, greet the neighbors etc. The world circles even if I don't answer the phone. Here I learned lots of patience, because if the road is broken you go another day or do a longer ride. Here it doesn't work as in Sweden and if you live here to wait for a change, life will become very difficult. You have to take Sicily as it is and create your reality as you want.
Do you like italian food?
Sicilian cuisine is one of the best and healthiest in the world. The first year I gained almost 10 kg, but I was happy because I was too skinny before. I love to eat and I turn off the phone during lunch and dinner.
In Italy, do you eat Italian food or continue to eat the food from your country?
I eat foods from around the world. I grew up that way. Thanks to Ikea, and the Internet I can send things here. Then also my family and friends bring swedish foods.
What did you think of Italy and Italians before moving?
Now Italy is well known in the world, but Sicily was different. There isn't much information online. I didn't think so much, just threw myself in the system and in society. I took things as they came: good things and bad, then I made my way.
Do you think you will return to your country of origin?
Yes, at least half time. I'm working to be able to live in Sicily and also in Northern Europe. I want to do things for my country and I have a couple of ideas. Then I'd like to create a family and Scandinavia would be the place.
What do you miss most about your country?
A system that works. People smiling on the streets. Sweden doesn't lack anything and you can find anything you can imagine. I miss female friends and public offices who answer the phone. Cleanliness, respect for others and a strong people. Men with whom you can have an intelligent conversation without trying more ... not all are like that, but many. True love that isn't meant to "settle down well."
Which stereotype of Italians has been confirmed?
Hospitality, playful, great eaters. Difficult mother-in-laws, crazy I would say. Machismo ridiculous.
Do you think the multicultural society can exist?
Multiculturalism exists since the time of the vikings, we have always been great travelers. In Sicily passes and people living from around the world, since the times of the greeks Sicily was multicultural. Everybody has been and passed here. So, what more has to be done?
The modern model of multiculturalism they want to create now I don't think will work, because it has no human purpose, but only the interests of politicians and corporations. In Italy there are other things to be resolved before we talk about multiculturalism.
What is "multiculturalism" for you?
How was the ancient Rome; every religion/culture was next to each other and each one took care of their business. Then something very bad happened. In Sweden we had a nice multiculturalism only 10 years ago, but now we use ridiculous words as "racism" and "phobia" if officially you say that you don't support Islam. But things are changing. In multiculturalism everything must be told, criticized and respected ... otherwise it is not.
Multiculturalism exists in your country of origin?
Before yes, but today not entirely. If you want to know the modern trends and political intentions for the future it is good follow Sweden because from there begins all things new and crazyness. There you must live with a "cold head". We already have the third sex in the system and now trying to find new words to describe female masturbation. A country very interesting I think. You have to be very open.
Why are some Italians afraid of strangers?
If we talk about what is happening today, I do not think it's fear. They just want to protect their culture and origins, that is ok. The world is varied and colorful, that why it is nice. We can not say to a people to give up their native only to insert a new one. The new is welcome, but must live together with what already exists. Then with time everything will be adjusted without us having to force things, with respect and love, you can create many things.
What do you think of the relationship in the mixed couples?
For me it is very difficult here in Sicily. Many men / families are not accustomed to a woman to be independent, to have an opinion, who can repair the car and build a house, comes and goes as she wishes etc. For me it was very difficult, I left it and put focus on northern European. My experiences are not positive. They don't hate me as a person, but they don't know how to handle my freedom. In Sicily things are changing; young people have traveled and speaks English. They're often more open and "modern".
What differences are there between Swedish and Italian culture?
In almost all. Sicily already in general is different from Milan. Milan is more "German" while Sicily is still very "Arab". Scandinavia is seen as the best area in the world where to be born and grow up, and I agree. We're secular, but there's a lot of tolerance for other cultures and religions, in Sicily it's more difficult because for example the Vatican stops development. Here as a foreigner it's good to be in tourist areas because the locals are "accustomed".
Between Sicily and Scandinavia everything is different; as we talk, eat, think, how you do things, the environment, animals, family, respect, civility, men, women, traffic, the behavior ...
Drive through Catania and see how they park the car, and then go to Ikea and see cars in a perfect row. I always laugh about this. Everything depends of the "management".

 

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In Sicily we talk much about the crisis in Italy and how people suicide because they can not pay bills nor pay loans and increased taxes. It is a sad thing that people chooses that option instead of protesting. Hundreds of thousand of people has though won against banks for taking out illegal loan rates and other non agreed fees, and that is a positive sign. In north Italy over 400 has chosen suicide as the last option, but in Sicily only two people has committed suicide; one worker at Fiat when that fabric was closed and one man in Ragusa because he could not pay the 7,000 euro that was left to pay off family's home.

The reason for the low suicide rate in south can be explained that south has always been neglected of the Italian government and people are more united and used to handle crisis because the government is never present in the south. People do not trust the government nor are used to have any support from them. Government has chosen to invest much more in north Italy and northern population is used to have some kind of a governmental support. In south you do not have that. Somehow the neglect has also saved the south because the planned industrialization in south than has not made any success has not hit as hard here as in the industrialized north where the industry has a terrible crises to deal with.

Svenska

På Sicilien pratar vi mycket om krisen i Italien och hur människor tar självmord eftersom de inte kan betala räkningar eller betala lån och höjda skatter. Det är sorgligt att människor väljer det alternativet i stället för att protestera. Hundratusentals människor har även vunnit mot bankerna för att de tagit ut illegala låneräntor och andra icke överenskomna avgifter, och det är ett positivt tecken. I norra Italien har över 400 valt självmord som sista alternativ, men på Sicilien har endast två personer begått självmord; en arbetare på Fiat fabriken stängdes, och en man i Ragusa för att han inte kunde betala € 7000 som var kvar att betala av familjens hem.

Anledningen till den låga självmordsfrekvensen i söder kan förklaras att syd alltid försummats av den italienska regeringen och folket är mer enat och vana att hantera kriser, eftersom regeringen aldrig är närvarande i söder. Folk litar inte på regeringen eller väntar något stöd från dem. Regeringen har valt att investera mycket mer i norra Italien och norra populationen är vana att ha någon form av regeringsstöd. I söder har du inte det. På något sätt har försummelsen också sparat södern, eftersom den planerade industrialiseringen i södern inte har gjort någon succé och inte blivit drabbade lika hårt som i den industrialiserade norr där branschen har en fruktansvärd kris att hantera.

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A woman has left hundreds of messages all over Catania to her ex-boyfriend, saying Vito Chiarenza in Cibali (part of the town). I beg you to come back. I do not feel well.-  Vito Chiarenza, call Giusy. Come back to Rome. / Guisy. And these messages are not enough, she has also written the same message on 150 local buses. Costed local bus company thousands of euros to wash them. Then what it has costs the house owners....

Svenska

En kvinna har lämnat hundratals meddelanden över Catania till sin före detta pojkvän, sägandes VitoChiarenza i Cibali (stadsdel). Jag ber dig att komma tillbaka. Jag mår inte bra. - Vito Chiarenza, ring Giusy. Kom tillbaka till Rom. / Guisy. Och dessa meddelanden är inte allt, hon har skrivit samma budskap 150 lokala bussar. Kostade lokala bussbolaget tusentals att tvätta dem. Sen vad det kostat husägarna...

P1130372P1130373

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I was quite upset by the swedish media many times before and have stop reading it, I just read some articles I see others post on Facebook. One that made me very upset these days was an article claiming that the immigration situation in Sicily is a sudden situation. After the catastrophe with hundreds of immigrants who drowned in the sea not much has happened. People die everyday in the sea.

Politicians have been here...and looked at the situation...and then gone home. It's not a sudden influx of refugees. It has been like this for years. Year after year !
Mediterranean sea is known locally as  the sea of Dead". When I lived in southern Sicily and drove home at night so often I saw groups walk on the way towards north or hide at the beach or the greenhouses in the area. They do not stay in Sicily, the goal is often France, Belgium and Sweden. Syrians often mention that they 're going to relatives in Germany (where they already transferred the money).
E.g. Malta does not let in a single boat, and they must face Italy already at sea and be collected by the Italian Coast Guard to e.g. Sicily. Here they are on the shore... those who have survived the pass over. Sicilian police have recently arrested a trafficker in Tunisia who made ​​millions on "tickets to the other side." In Sicily, they end up in a former U.S. military base, get 30 euros / day. If they get sent home, they receive a one payment of € 500 in their pocket.

Svenska

Jag var ganska upprörd på de svenska medierna många gånger tidigare och har slutat läsa den, jag läser bara några artiklar jag ser andra posta Facebook. En som gjorde mig mycket upprörd dessa dagar var en artikel som hävdar att invandringssituationen på Sicilien är en plötslig situation. Efter katastrofen med hundratals invandrare som drunknade i havet har inte mycket hänt. Folk dör varje dag i havet.

Politikerna har varit här...och sett på situationen...och sedan gått hem. Det är inte en plötslig tillströmning av flyktingar. Det har varit så här i år. År efter år!
Medelhavet kallas lokalt "De dödas hav". När jag bodde på södra Sicilien och körde hem på natten såg jag ofta grupper gåendes på vägen norrut eller gömda på stranden eller i växthusen i området. De vill inte stanna på Sicilien, målet är ofta Frankrike, Belgien och Sverige. Syrierna nämner ofta att de ska åka till släktingar i Tyskland (dit de redan överfört pengar).
T.ex. Malta släpper inte in en enda båt, och de måste vända mot Italien redan till havs och samlas in av den italienska kustbevakningen till t.ex. Sicilien. Här är de på stranden... de som har överlevt passet över. Sicilianska polisen har nyligen grepit en människohandlare i Tunisien som tjänat miljoner på "biljetter till den andra sidan." På Sicilien hamnar de i en före detta amerikansk militärbas, får 30 € / dag. Om de skickas hem, får de en engångssumma på € 500 i fickan.

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I never thought that Italy's problem is the politicians fault, for if a society works or does not work actually depends on the family structure. So says even the Italians; the people, politics, the law and the church.
If a society does not work, it's because the family structure does not work. Everything in society depends on how children are raised for these children are then sitting in Parliament, government offices, banks, schools, healthcare etc.. If they can not take care of themselves, how will they then be able to take care of a country?
This is my only socio-political opinion in Italy...but I never say it straight to Italians, because they do not want to hear and there it is actually nothing that I care about. Have seen enough these five years.
It is the children who are the future, not the parents!

As the mother bird, she pushes her baby birds from the nest, to try their own wings and then they can fly by themselves.

Nuff' said...

Svenska

Jag har aldrig tyckt att italiens problem är politikernas fel, för att om ett samhället fungerar eller inte fungerar beror faktiskt på familjestrukturen. Så säger även italienarna själva; folket, politiken, lagen och kyrkan. Om ett samhälle inte fungerar, beror det på att familjestrukturen inte fungerar. Allt i samhället beror på hur barnen uppfostras för de är dessa barn som sedan sitter i Parlamentet, myndigheternas kontor, banker, skolor, sjukvård osv. Om de inte kan ta hand om sig själva, hur ska de sen kunna ta hand om ett land?
Detta är min enda samhällspolitiska åsikt i Italien...men detta säger jag aldrig till italienare, för de vill inte höra och det är faktiskt inget som jag bryr mig om. Har sett tillräckligt dessa fem år.
Det är barnen som är framtiden, inte föräldrarna!

Som fågelmamman. Hon puttar sina fågelungar ut ur boet, att prova sina egna vingar och sedan kan de flyga själva.

Nog sagt...

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...the sicilian ex-president Lombardo got convicted to a jail sentence of 6 years and 8 months for his personal affairs, mafia affairs.

Svenska

Under resan till Sverige dömdes den sicilianska ex-president Lombardo till ett fängelsestraff på 6 år och 8 månader för hans personliga affärer, maffia affärer.

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Well, after we got the new family member of course we started to look for dog insurances. Got a quite big surprice that italian insurances offers only insurances that covers damage against a third part, meaning if the dog hurts another animal or person. Nowhere is to be found insurances that covers Vet. bills, illness, surgery, travel costs and other "normal" things. We are now looking for an international insurance where the "normal" things are always covered and damage against third person is just a side note.

I do not know how to translate this; if Italy is way behind in these things or if the damage against third part is a hudge issue and says alot of pet owners here. For me it was a big shock to see only one type of insurance.

Jack London 001

Little Jack London

Svenska

Nåväl, efter att vi fått den nya familjemedlem började vi naturligtvis leta efter hundförsäkringar. Fick en ganska stor överraskning att italienska försäkringar erbjuder endast försäkringar som täcker skador mot tredje part, vilket innebär att om hunden skadar ett annat djur eller människa. Ingenstans går att finna försäkringar som täcker Vet. räkningar, sjukdom, kirurgi, resekostnader och andra "vanliga" saker. Vi söker nu en internationell försäkring där de "normala" sakerna är alltid täckta och skador mot tredje person är bara en sidoanteckning.
Jag vet inte hur man översätter detta, om Italien är långt efter i dessa saker, eller om skadan mot tredje part är ett stort problem och det säger mycket av djurägare här. För mig var det en stor chock att se endast en typ av försäkring.

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So Italy has a new illegal government with Renzi as prime minister.
Berlusconi got democratically voted by the people and then pushed out. New prime became Mario Monti and was not even elected. He just raised and put more taxes. Then a new election was made and italians voted Berlusconi again. Monti had organized his well being by becoming a senator that guarantees him a "gold pension" and created a new party that is not doing a shit.
Some powers were not happy that italians voted Berlusconi again and suddenly his business got some tax problems and he got convicted. And then the Ruby story where he wad accused of having sex w a minor and the truth came out just weeks ago that she wasnt a minor. So mr. B is out again and on comes Letta. In this phase the party M5S get majority of the votes and the government do not want a new election so Italy keeps on w a non-elected government and more taxes arrives from Letta. And also IMU confusion. Now Italy got a new prime, Renzi, and a new government is coming this week. This is the third government that is illegal because people has not voted. The man who pull the strings is the italian president Napoletano.
= Politics in Italy.

Svenska

Så Italien har en ny olaglig regering med Renzi som premiärminister.

Berlusconi blev demokratiskt röstat av folket och sedan tryckts ut. Ny premiärminister blev Mario Monti och han var inte ens folkvald. Han bara kom med mer och högre skatter. Då gjordes nyval och italienarna röstade Berlusconi igen. Monti hade organiserat sitt välbefinnande genom att bli en senator som garanterar honom en "guld pension" och skapade ett nytt parti som inte gör ett skit.
Vissa krafter var inte glada att italienarna röstade Berlusconi igen och plötsligt fick hans företag lite skatteproblem och han blev dömd. Och sen Ruby historien där han anklagades för att ha sex med minderårig och sanningen kom ut bara några veckor sedan att hon inte var minderårig. Så nu är mr. B är ute igen och in kommer Letta. I denna fas får partiet M5S majoriteten av rösterna och regeringen vill inte ha ett nytt val så Italien håller på sin icke- valda regering och mer skatter kommer från Letta. Och även IMU förvirring. Nu har Italien fått en ny premiärminister, Renzi, och en ny regering är på väg denna vecka. Detta är den tredje regeringen som är olaglig eftersom folk inte har röstat. Mannen som drar i trådarna är den italienska presidenten Napoletano.
= Politik i Italien .

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets between ten and twelve million for the commercial with Volvo. Now launched abroad commenced where Italy is among the first countries out, where it has become a success.
A version where Zlatan speaks Italian.

I like this advertisementvery much.

Svenska

Zlatan Ibrahimovic får mellan tio och tolv miljoner för det kommersiella med Volvo. Nu lanseras utomlands påbörjats där Italien är bland de första länderna ut, där det har blivit en succé.
En version där Zlatan talar italienska.

Jag gillar den här reklamen väldigt mycket.