"Si bedda commu u suli. A ma vita fussi vacanti senza ri tia!"

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Sicily is vary

Some days ago I got the perfect day as an example how vary Sicily really is. The same day some women accused me of not being a good woman; not married, not having kids and be a stay home woman. They said I was a bad woman working and travelling. The very same day another woman told me that the work we do is important and she is happy that I and her husband works well together and hope that we can realize our projects. She works too.

Of course I listen to the last woman because when I have managed to work myself up a little bit I meet another world of Sicily which is not so easy to reach. There are those ignorant people who always tries to explain Sicily to others and the version is very old fashion and very depressive, because they live in that world….in their homes. Then we have the women who travel, seen other parts of Sicily and have projects in life…and I share the same vision of Sicily as they do. That Sicily varies and you have to make Sicily to what you want it to be. And mind your own business!

Svenska

F?r n?gra dagar sedan fick jag den perfekta dagen som ett exempel p? hur Sicilien mycket egentligen varierar. Samma dag anklagade vissa kvinnor mig f?r att inte vara en god kvinna; inte gift, inte har barn och bli en hemmafru. De sa att jag var en d?lig kvinna som arbetar och reser. Samma dag sa en annan kvinna att det arbete vi g?r ?r viktigt och hon ?r glad att jag och hennes man arbetar bra tillsammans och hoppas att vi kan f?rverkliga v?ra projekt. Hon arbetar ocks?.

Visst lyssnar jag p? den sista kvinnan eftersom n?r jag lyckades arbeta mig upp lite, m?ts jag av en annan v?rld av Sicilien som inte ?r s? l?tt att n?. Det finns okunniga m?nniskor som alltid f?rs?ker f?rklara Sicilien till andra och den versionen ?r mycket gammeldags och mycket deprimerande, eftersom de lever i den v?rldeni sina hem. Sedan har vi de kvinnor som reser, sett andra delar av Sicilien och har projekt i livet och jag delar samma vision om Sicilien som de g?r. Att Sicilien varierar och du m?ste g?ra Sicilien till vad du vill att det ska vara. Och skita i resten!

Street talk…

Today I heard a catanesi man complain to his friend that his wife has started to work and she does not “use her head anymore”.
I told him that “perhaps she has now seen how great it is to earn her own money instead of having you as a boss at home!”

Svenska

Idag h?rde jag en catanesisk man klaga till sin v?n att hans fru har b?rjat arbeta och att hon inte anv?nder huvudet l?ngre”.
Jag sa till honom att hon kanske har nu sett hur underbart det ?r att tj?na sina egna pengar ist?llet f?r att ha dig som chef hemma!

To experience a 2,5 year renovation…

So we hit soon 2,5 years of the facade renovation and it is really nerv wracking for all of us in the building. I had enough of the nagging around and went to see the workers. Asked where the manager is and of course he is not available so I spoke to the workers in front of me. Clearly explained that a facade renovation in Sweden takes 10-14 days for a building like this and cost much less than people here has paid. If their manager wants to get an update to the real world, tell him to contact me and I can put him in contact with some companies in north Europe to see how renovations are done. Then after this information I was talking to the manager anyway! And I said Good, then the message got to the right person. This renovation is ridiculous!

The renovation has cost each apartment in general 15,000 euros (15,000 x 3 apartments x 4 floors x 2 buildings = 360,000 euro !! ). Everyone has paid, but the company started to create some trouble by asking more money and at the end the people here had to pay 3,000 euro more to finish the work which no one knows when it will finish. Look at the photo and you see that everything is made by hand and they have to pull up even the sand for the cement to blend it. Then they have these indoor rollers to paint the facade. Then the company has lured the people that the floor they have on the balconies is not legal (???) and they have to buy new flooring from them and of course people believed it and everyone had bought new flooring. Even the woman next door who just spent 3,500 euro for a new flooring the year before the renovation started.

Many construction companies blames the government for the trouble they have in their sector and also blame the new law “Zero Cemento” which means they have to put focus on environmental friendly solutions. Guess how many sicilian construction companies has updated themselves? Perhaps 1 or 2. This is the main issue in Sicily in general, no interest to make changes and just do things as they have always done. Banca Italia has clear statistic that updated companies in Sicily has no crisis at all, in fact are increasing their turnover, but those who refuse to develop are also those who fail!
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S? vi passerar snart 2,5 ?r av fasadrenovering och det ?r verkligen nervigt f?r oss alla i byggnaden. Jag fick nog av tjatet runtomkring och gick f?r att se arbetarna. Fr?gade efter chefen och naturligtvis ?r han inte tillg?nglig s? jag talade till arbetarna framf?r mig. F?rklarade tydligt att en fasadrenovering i Sverige tar 10-14 dagar f?r en byggnad som denna och kostar mycket mindre ?n vad m?nniskorna h?r har betalat. Om deras chef vill f? en uppdatering till den verkliga v?rlden, tala om f?r honom att kontakta mig och jag kan s?tta honom i kontakt med n?gra f?retag i norra Europa s? han kan se hur renoveringar g?rs. Efter denna information talade jag tydligen med chefen i alla fall! Sade Bra, d? har meddelandet kommit till r?tt person. Denna renovering ?r l?jlig!

Renoveringen har kostat varje l?genhet i genomsnitt ? 15.000 (15.000 x 3 l?genheter x 4 v?ningar x 2 byggnader = 360.000 ? !!). Alla har betalat, men f?retaget b?rjade skapa vissa problem genom att beg?ra mer pengar och sedan var de boende tvungen att betala 3000 ? mer f?r att avsluta det arbete som ingen vet n?r den kommer att avslutas. Titta p? bilden och du ser att allt g?rs f?r hand och de m?ste dra upp ?ven sanden f?r cement f?r att blanda det. Sen har har de dessa inomhusrollers f?r att m?la fasaden. D?refter har f?retaget lurat i folket att golvet de har p? balkongen ?r inte laglig (???), och de m?ste k?pa nya golv fr?n dem och naturligtvis trodde de boende p? detta och alla har k?pt nytt golv. ?ven kvinnan bredvid som precis spenderat ? 3500 f?r ett nytt golv ?ret innan renoveringen p?b?rjades.

M?nga byggf?retag anklagar regeringen f?r besv?ren de har i sin sektor och skyller p? den nya lagen Zero Cementovilket inneb?r att de m?ste s?tta fokus p? milj?v?nliga l?sningar. Gissa hur m?nga sicilianska byggf?retag har uppdaterat sig? Kanske 1 eller 2. Detta ?r grundproblemet p? Sicilien i allm?nhet, inget visar intresse att g?ra f?r?ndringar och bara g?r saker som de alltid har gjort. Banca Italia har tydlig statistik att f?retag som uppdaterar sig p? Sicilien har ingen kris alls, faktiskt ?kar sin oms?ttning, men de som v?grar att utveckla sig ?r ocks? de som misslyckas!

Siciliano e Siculo

There are two kinds of men in Sicily and generally non of them I have had problems with, but the rules also differs being a foreign woman here and a local woman. Foreign women do not have the rules loaded on their shoulders like locals have. I divide the sicilian men in two categories, the Sicilian and the Siculo.

The Siculo man is still the under developed old style man who is the whole familys pack leader, he is the reference person everybody in the family as far as the line goes. He likes his wife to be home and stay there. He often chooses a woman who has no education nor projects in her life. Someone who never leaves the neighborhood. He has often a big family where no one or just one kid has the chance to get an education if there is no family company, to become the future family leader. It’s always the oldest son, never daughters. This is not about money, the Siculo man is not necessary poor. He can be a middle class or rich man, but he is driven by old school mentality and his family, including children, grand children, in-married people, is under his command. He is always poor even if the family has money, he invests in more properties under his name and has a life plan to build up an activity he can then just hand over to his male children when he is not around anymore. In this group you find these manchauvistic jealous men, but even if he is a Siculo man does not automatically mean he is manchauvistic against other females outside his family. The Siculo man has hard times when he sees women who earn their own money, can put gasoline in the car, plant, paint or women with own opinions and women who can show anger. He wants his women keeping the home clean, food on the table, wife to give him kids, be obedient, silent and always smiling. The Siculo man has also very poor knowledge of the female sexuality and learns how the world works watching TV which he base his opinions on. He has very strong opinions, never travel, has often more than one job and rarely leaves his residential area. The Siculo man’s family often suffers from ignorance, low education, high medical usage, lower life quality, and kids does not have a great chance for a different future as the Siculo man likes to do things as they have always done for generations! This man is often the one who today has lost his job in Sicily because he do not have the tools to update himself. He is rarely home and does not follow the children as he thinks it is his wifes job, which means these are the children you see on the sicilian streets any time of the hour and do not attend school. The Siculo man also teaches his children that lives misery are politicians fault! The Siculo mans family is often very religious and follows traditions strictly. He wants sons wives to call him father and call his wife mother. He often control his children mentally and this way cut their wings so they become dependent of him and his wife. The Siculo man is to be found in all ages, but mostly from middle-age and up. This is a quite large male group, but in decrease of changes in society and younger generation growing up. This does not mean that he is a mean man, but he needs control and does not like changes. He himself grew up in a similar home and think it looks the same everywhere.

The Siciliano is the more sophisticated man. This does not mean he is rich, he can be lower-, middle-, and upper class. But he comes often from a family where the mother works or parents did not follow tradition, religion and were open minded as much as you can be in Sicily. He has the eager to learn things and many times by himself. He has good manners, sees women as equals and often complains there are few women involved in the society. He tries many activities, learnt using computer and english by internet and loves to travel. He reads books and builds his world perspective by experienses and what people around tells about places they have visited and people they have met if he can not afford to travel. If he does not afford to travel, he travels in his mind. He dresses well, picks his children from school and spends time with them. His wife is often happier than the Siculo mans wife, the kids has good results in school and he teaches them that they are responsible of their lives and actions. He often encourage them to study, get a good job and travel. It is though often the mother who is in charge on the children, but he is not ashamed to be a support. He often cooks home, do the groceries and other smaller household things, but sicilian women still thinks the household is their responsibility. He complains about the society but do not blame politicians as he has a more wider knowledge how things are in Italy. Here you often find men who perhaps has lost their job, but found a new job or a created an activity. He teaches his kids to fly, and he often chooses a woman with education background or a woman who has some life projects going on for her or at least their children. In public the Siciliano family is religious to please the older generation, but here you find many atheists when you talk face to face. They follow some traditions and goes to church only for bigger holidays. The Siciliano man dares to speak openly and question things. And his wife has her own opinions and dares to say them loud. If he has his own company he chooses the best suitable to run it when he is not around, it is not about gender. Even if the Siciliano man does not have money, the family have as high life quality as possible. They also try to live in better areas or children goes to schools in other areas if they can not afford to live in a better area. If he has money he sends his children to the best shcools, also daughters. All children, sons and daughters, inherit equal parts. There are not so much sexual tabus and children are allowed to learn about their body parts. This man is often from the generation under 40 years old and many young men seems to think the same. It is still a quite small group, but a growing group.

This is a generalisation, and a road towards a change is going on. As a foreign woman I have had few problems with sicilian men, as I mentioned above we often get treated differently. Sometimes I run into a mans man needing to comment when I put gasoline in the car, enter a hardware store and blend into a dialogue about choosing car parts. My Father-in-Law is very much a siculo man (not controlling me though). But then my hubby is more like a Siciliano. You can not compare Siculo nor Siciliano with a scandinavian man, the difference is significant.

 

Svenska

Det finns tv? typer av m?n p? Sicilien och i allm?nhet har jag inte haft problem med n?gon s?rskild grupp utav m?n, men reglerna skiljer sig mellan att vara en utl?ndsk kvinna h?r och en lokal kvinna. Utl?ndska kvinnor har inte reglerna lastade p? sina axlar som lokala kvinnor ofta har. Jag delar de sicilianska m?n i tv? kategorier, Siciliano och Siculo.

Siculo Mannen ?r fortfarande underutvecklad gammal-stils-man som ?r hela familjens flockledare, han ?r referenspersonen till alla i familjen s? l?ngt som linjen g?r. Han gillar ha sin fru hemma och att hon stannar d?r. Han v?ljer ofta en kvinna som inte har n?gon utbildning eller projekt i sitt liv. N?gon som aldrig l?mnar bostadsomr?det. Han har ofta en stor familj d?r ingen eller bara ett barn har chansen att f? en utbildning om det inte finns familjef?retag, f?r d? blir den utvalda framtida familjeledaren. Det ?r alltid den ?ldsta sonen, aldrig d?ttrar. Det handlar inte om pengar, Siculo mannen ?r inte n?dv?ndigtvis fattig. Han kan vara en medelklass eller rik man, men han drivs av gamla-skolan-mentalitet och hans familj, inklusive barn, barnbarn, in-gifta ?r under hans bef?l. Han ?r alltid fattig ?ven om familjen har pengar, han investerar i fler fastigheter under hans namn och har en livsplan att bygga upp en verksamhet han sedan l?mnar ?ver till sina manliga barn n?r han inte lever l?ngre. I den h?r gruppen hittar du dessa manchauvistiska svartsjuka m?nnen, men ?ven om han ?r en Siculo inneb?r det inte att han automatiskt ?r manchauvistisk mot andra kvinnor utanf?r sin familj. Siculo mannen f?r det jobbigt n?r han ser kvinnor som tj?nar sina egna pengar, kan tanka, plantera, m?la eller kvinnor med egna ?sikter och kvinnor som kan visa ilska. Han vill att hans kvinnor ska h?lla hemmet rent, ha mat p? bordet, frun ge honom barn, vara lydig, tyst och alltid leende. Siculo mannen har ocks? mycket d?lig kunskap om den kvinnliga sexualiteten och l?r sig hur v?rlden fungerar tittandes p? TV som han baserar sina ?sikter p?. Han har mycket starka ?sikter, reser aldrig, har ofta mer ?n ett jobb och l?mnar s?llan sitt bostadsomr?de. Siculo mannens familj lider ofta av okunnighet, l?g utbildning, h?g medicinsk anv?ndning, l?gre livskvalitet, och barnen? har inte en stor chans f?r en annan framtid d? Siculo mannen tycker om att g?ra saker som de alltid har gjort i generationer! Den h?r mannen ?r oftast den som idag har f?rlorat sitt jobb p? Sicilien f?r att han inte har verktygen f?r att uppdatera sig sj?lv. Han ?r s?llan hemma och f?ljer inte barnen d? han tycker att det ?r hans frus arbete, vilket inneb?r att det ?r dessa barn du ofta ser p? de sicilianska gatorna oavsett timme p? dygnet och inte g?r i skolan. Siculo Mannen l?r ocks? sina barn att livets mis?r ?r politikernas fel! Siculo mannens familj ?r ofta mycket religi?s och f?ljer traditioner strikt. Han vill att s?nernas fruar att kallar honom pappa och sin fru mor. Han kontrollerar ofta sina barn psykiskt och p? s? s?tt klipper deras vingar s? att de blir beroende av honom och hans fru.?Siculo Mannen ?terfinns i alla ?ldrar, men mest fr?n medel?ldern och upp?t. Detta ?r en ganska stor manlig grupp idag, men i minskning genom f?r?ndringar i samh?llet och yngre generationen som v?xer upp. Det betyder inte att han ?r en elak man, men han beh?ver kontroll och tycker inte om f?r?ndringar. Han ?r sj?lv uppvuxen i ett liknande hem och tror att det ser likadant ut ?verallt.

Siciliano Mannen ?r den mer sofistikerade mannen. Detta betyder inte att han ?r rik, han kan vara nedre-, mellan- och ?verklass. Men han kommer ofta fr?n en familj d?r mamman jobbar eller f?r?ldrarna inte f?ljde tradition, religion och hade ?ppet sinne s? mycket som du kan ha p? Sicilien. Han ?r ivrig att l?ra sig nya saker och m?nga g?nger sj?lv. Han har gott s?tt, ser kvinnor som j?mlikar och klagar ofta att det finns f? kvinnor som deltar i samh?llet. Han f?rs?ker p? m?nga aktiviteter, l?rt sig anv?nda datorer och engelska via internet och ?lskar att resa. Han l?ser b?cker och bygger sitt v?rldsperspektiv genom upplevelser och vad m?nniskor runt ber?ttar om platser de har bes?kt och m?nniskor de m?tt, om han inte har r?d att resa sj?lv. Om han inte har r?d att resa, reser han i sitt sinne. Han kl?r sig v?l, h?mtar sina barn fr?n skolan och tillbringar tid med dem. Hans fru ?r ofta lyckligare ?n Siculo mannens hustru, barnen har bra resultat i skolan och han l?r dem att de ?r ansvariga f?r sina liv och handlingar. Han uppmuntrar dem ofta f?r att studera, f? ett bra jobb och resa. Det ?r dock ofta mamman som ansvarar f?r barnen, men han sk?ms inte f?r att vara ett st?d. Han kockar ofta hemma, handlar och g?r andra mindre hush?llsarbeten, men sicilianska kvinnor tycker fortfarande att hush?llet ?r deras ansvar. Han klagar p? samh?llet men skyller inte p? politiker eftersom han har en mer omfattande kunskap om hur saker och ting ?r i Italien. H?r tr?ffar du ofta m?n som kanske har f?rlorat sina jobb, men hittat ett nytt jobb eller skapat en aktivitet. Han l?r sina barn att flyga, och han v?ljer ofta en kvinna med utbildningsbakgrund eller en kvinna som har n?gra livsprojekt p? g?ng f?r henne eller ?tminstone f?r deras barn. Ut?t sett ?r Siciliano familjen religi?sa f?r att behaga den ?ldre generationen, men h?r hittar du m?nga ateister n?r ni pratar ansikte mot ansikte. De f?ljer vissa traditioner och g?r till kyrkan bara f?r st?rre helgdagar. Siciliano Mannen v?gar tala ?ppet och ifr?gas?tta saker. Och hans fru har sina egna ?sikter och v?gar s?ga dem h?gt. Om han har ett eget f?retag v?ljer han den b?st l?mpade f?r att driva den n?r han inte ?r kvar, det handlar inte om k?n. ?ven om Siciliano mannen inte har pengar, har familjen s? h?g livskvalitet som m?jligt. De f?rs?ker ocks? att leva i b?ttre omr?den eller barnen g?r i skolan i ett annat omr?de om de inte har r?d att bo i ett b?ttre omr?de. Och om han har pengar skickar han sina barn till de b?sta skolorna, ?ven d?ttrarna. Alla barn, s?ner och d?ttrar, ?rver lika stora delar. Det finns inte s? mycket sexuella tabun och barnen f?r l?ra sig om sina kroppsdelar. Den h?r mannen ?r ofta fr?n generationen under 40 ?r och m?nga unga m?n verkar vara detsamma. Det ?r fortfarande en ganska liten grupp, men en v?xande grupp.

Detta ?r en generalisering, och en v?g mot en f?r?ndring ?r p? g?ng. Som utl?ndsk kvinna har jag har haft f? problem med sicilianska m?n, som jag n?mnde ovan att vi ofta behandlas annorlunda. Ibland h?r jag en mansmans kommentar n?r jag tankar bilen, g?r in i en j?rnaff?r och blandar mig i en dialog om att v?lja bildelar. Min sv?rfar ?r mycket en Siculo man (styr inte mig dock). Min sambo ?r mer som en Siciliano. Det g?r inte att j?mf?ra Siculo eller Siciliano med en skandinavisk man, skillnaden ?r betydande.

Feminism and Sicily…

– I apoligize to Swedes not translating this post, it is quite long. Pls use Google –

Feminism is a topic I never talk about with sicilians, especially not with sicilian women because the reaction is like you brought somekind of evil spirits in the room. And there are modern sicilian indipendent women, even if they still are quite few. And men here knows that I can take care of myself and I have no problems with them at all. To the contrary what some media information wants us to believe. Sicilian men in general are very kind and wants well. But many times they are kinda lost and treated badly.

Well, sometimes documentaries are released about the horrible life sicilian women have and how terrible these sicilian macho men are and treating women as shit. I hate these documentaries simply because they do not tell the whole truth. Of course there are shitty men here as in any other countries, but there are shitty women too. Some swedish women asks sometimes why I do not get involved or start somekind of a women movement in Sicily and I can understand them from the swedish point of view. But I will never do it. And there are many reasons why. Just the words “anti”, “fight against”, “pro this” etc makes my skin shiver because these fights rarely leads somewhere.

First: the saying that “Women who do not help other women has a special place in hell” does not mean that stronger women should carry and take life responsability of other women. It does not mean either that stronger women should turn their backs on women in need. For me it means to be a support for women who really wants and works for to get an indipendency or get away from a bad relationship and other issues. But the work is hers.

Second: women in Sicily has everything served. Loans, funds, tax reductions as entrepreneurs, education packages etc for much better conditions than for men. In Sweden we do not have anything similar. There is nothing legal that stops women to stand on their own two feets, infact it is the opposite. But the law says also that when a woman gets married and have kids, she is guaranteed for the rest of her life a economical support and the home as long as the youngest child is 18 years old. And this even if they get divorced. So it is very easy to become lazy as a woman in Italy. There you may also get a hint of one of the reasons for so many female murders in Italy. How would you feel as an ex-wife having the legal must to support your ex-husband if you divorce him, and then also loose your home? And perhaps get the right to see yuor kids 24 hours a week? Of course there is no law for women to do this. Women here has started to scream for justice, but not changing the law. So eat the cake and have the cake the same time? Now some prenups starts to pop up, instead of forcing the husband to sign over all property to his father. I get so many times the question why I do not marry a rich sicilian man, then I can relax the rest of my life. Marry for money? Not for me. I could never put myself in a situation to ask for money and permession all the time from a man or from any other human. Imagine if you have a big fight and then have to ask for 10 euros to buy tampons. This is my choice. But if someone else chooses other, it is their choice.

Third: most women I know in Sicily has stopped working when they get married. Menstruation and pregnancy is seen more as an illness, than a natural thing in womens life. And still many call in sick every month.

Four: those who goes to church and asks for priests advice in life decision are…..mostly women…or men in older generations. Just step into a church as see it for yourself. If women still prays in places where teachings are that she is inferior the man and should be treated as a fragile vessel, then the choice is hers. Too many still do it. Being religious in e.g. Sweden is a total different thing than being it in Italy, becuase the church here is everywhere. From the first day you are born ’til the post office in the neighborhood.

Of course there are fathers, husbands and boyfriends who stop their women, and so many just do as they say. As the last thing that happened when my hubbies hair dresser left her job because he did not want her to work (after four months of dating). But, the whole picture is that it is actually women themselves stopping their freedom. Personally I have no problems with sicilian men, but I have always problems with women in Sicily. And you can imagine the situation living as a swedish woman in a classical sicilian family. Not very nice. I never get any nice comments from women. Never. Just the regular bullshit which has lead to “do not treat them back badly, but do not visit and do not ask them to visit you”. Sad. Very sad. If they choose their lifestyle walking at home all days and never leave the city, it is their choice and I do not care nor say anything. The problem becomes mine when they think they know how I should live my life. This may sound harsch, but what can they really teach an indipendent woman from Sweden? You can not have one conversation without the female family gang starting to dictate my life.

I have never been a member in women movement organisations and never will. I do not think we should separate us more. Even the feminism in Sweden has gone too far, they do not deal with real issues anymore and the dialogue is that “everything is the mans fault.” Living in Sweden gave me a quite stupid idea of the genders and especially being a woman I was completely lost. And now living here seeing the womens life reminds me daily of what I do not want to become. Why not stop for a while and ask “What do I really want?”. All the prejuduces said I never saw in real life. A lot of confusion. I have practised in a women shelter and there you do not have the permission to really help nor say anyhting, it is just a in- and out place for women. And not to talk about the catholic help centers in Italy where they advice women to go back to a violent man and they even call the man to tell where they are so he can come a pick up the abused woman and kids. Insane!

My opinion in all these feminism issues is quite short. When women are prepared to provide for themselves or be smart enough to have an economical security and own idea of life, no matter of their lifestyle choices, then we will see gender equality. Because these women already exsists. And when women stands up and seriously demanding law changes. In this world there is more violence against men than women, and if we are not allowed to question matters like; if fulltime motherhood is really good, violent women, critisize religion, questioning the failure of male leadership in this world, why some sexuality is regulated ecc….there will not be any room for equality. I am pro equality, but I would rather call myself humanist than feminist, because equality is not only for genders, it is also for all other discriminated groups. But many women or men do not want to hear this. The feminism I support is what my grand mothers generation did in Scandinavia. They fought for voting rights for women, that women were allowed to open their own businesses, that they got an own identity and were not under a mans custody and many other things that gave todays women the freedom we have. And they managed to do this even having power men against them. These are issues to fight and protect for. Not blaming men all together and live in the past in stories that are not ours.

It is nice to see a change with the younger generation in Sicily. You see it so clearly. There are people breaking free and have the courage to decide their own life, even with pressure from the older generations. And I never forget a recent story I read about a young italian female architect. She went to university to be an architect. And fell in love with one of the younger male teachers. She got pregnant. He abandoned her. Her mother told her to stop studying, trying to convince the man to marry her, because according to the mother of course it was her fault she got pregnant. She refused. Her mother turned her back on her pregnant daughter and called her bad names and that she was a shame for the whole village. She managed to finish her studies even having the child. The child got her lastname as the father did not want to know about the child (in Italy it is still seen as a bastard in many places). Then she opened her own architect studio having the child with her until the child was accepted for third part care. Her mother came back to ask for forgivness quite early and the relation is repared. And guess who comes by when her firm is going well and she earns money? Yes, the father of her child. Begging her to take him back. She did not. But she forgave him and he can see the child.

It is not fair to say that everyhting is the mans fault. Many laws has been made against women in the past and still exists, but also men has suffered and suffers. And dividing genders, sexual orientatins and other silly recommendations of human relations has not been so succesful either as we can see around us. But if a person choses a lifestyle that limits her/him, then it is their choice. The problem is that too many try to force their own hell making on others and we who chose other has to be understanding. No, enough of this!

I think we all are personally responsable of our own lives. We have the right to have any opinions and lifestyles, but not to tell others how to live. And we are obligated to help eachother, but not be dependent.

Then comes the same comment “Well Johanna, it is easy for you to say!” No, it is not. We never know what exactly has happened in other peoples lives.

My Love for Sicily – What I love about Sicily!

Patience is one of the best things in Sicily. In north Europe we are so used to a system that thinks for you that a smallest problem on the road creates huge unneccesary stress in life. Here if the internet or the phone does not work, then they just does not work. You learn to be flexible. You learn to calm down. Things takes longer time and if it goes atleast 50% as you planned, then good! If you are late 20 minutes because of traffic blockage, that is totally ok. No one is irritated at you.

Independence Italians, especially Sicilians, are not dependent of the system. Population has their own system. This is a fantastic freedom where you are forced to plan for your life. In Sicily the family is your safety net, but as a foreigner your safety net is you. It forces you to think further, to the next day, to the next month. You always have to have a plan B. I feel really free for the first time in my life. And learnt to trust my skills. In Sweden people rely on the system, and when you move you see that the system ain’t that amazing anyway.

The System There are many good things in Italy that no one ever writes about. E.g. the healthcare system in Italy is much better, just to name one. If you have to visit a hospital you see a doctor, not a nurse. You choose your own private doctor and in some cases the doctor makes home visits if you can not go to the hospital. And this works. The system is free, you pay nothing visiting a hospital or being hospitalized. These things we do not learn to know about because the only media we get from Italy is about Berlusconi and top 5 places in Tuscany. You come to learn that every country has its good an bad sides. You do not need to point on other countries fault to make your own feel great. You kinda live in reality.

See Other People In Sicily a total stranger can say Hello to you. And you do not have to be afraid. Sicilians see other people. They help other people without keeping a “I helped you, now the person has to help me” account. It took me a long time to just accept a helping hand and not feel in guilt to find a solution how to repay that favour. With time and right occasion it will…if it ever will…but it does not matter. The neighbors greets you a lovely day.

Economy Have learned to become more economic and I really needed that. You never know how your life can change so you need to have a back up plan if something happens. The social system works fine at least in Catania, and if you get sick from work INPS pays in time. This “buy and throw away if you get tired” mentality is gone and I am happy for that because happiness for me does not lay in the latest trends, it lays in life quality and your own choices, not what the trendy magazine tell you to like. These days I also think some days before I buy. Do not shop everyday anymore and buy the things I really need. Identity is no longer in the things I own.

Humanity In Sicily there is a humanity that we in northern countries has lost a long time ago. Especially in the immigration issue you see so many locals helping. Sicilians never attack people officially, nor have I met racism here. Patience with older and sick people. In work people do not step on other people in all ways to get ahead. Yes, they can steal your work like in other places, but they do not cut your feets. They have this saying that “Every person has to earn his bread”.

Real Food Sicily has an amazing food production and that is why I am still here. The knowledge of the natures richness is amazing and I thank sicilians for having the patience to teach me everything. Everything grows here and have learned to eat by the seasons and use food as medicine. Thanks to this new knowledge I have also got rid of stomach problems, allergies and many other health problems. When I go to meetings there is always someone who has brought a new spice or fruit from their garden, explains how to use it and then waiting to hear my results. 🙂

Weather…. do I really have to say more 🙂 Okok…august is too hot 😉

Speak Out In Sicily you can have your opinion. It is quite funny that the society is seen as a closed place, but I have never met so much interesting point of views as here. And you can speak out your own opinions without someone calling you an idiot. Personal attacks I have never met here. I have learned to think, study and create my own point of view. Sweden is seen as an open minded country. I totally agree, but it is when it comes to new trends and other cultures. Having a different opinion than the mass, creates a quite big hell for you.

Realistic view of the world After the first year here and when I started to get out from the swedish pink bubble and saw my home country from new perspectives, I started to feel lured. From early school years we learn that Sweden is the best, we have democracy, we are leading in the world, we have gender equality…and so on. Now living from that system and meeting other countries I see that it is not true. We are fantastic in many things, but so are also other countries and people. Perhaps we have great laws when it comes to become a parent, but the rest I have to say is not true. I kinda woke up here! Here you also have access to all kinds of different information sources and you meet so much people from all over the world. And all kinds of people.

Success is ok Here people look up to successful people, those who made it or can make it by their own. In Sweden we have a stupid “Jante lagen” which means to keep your success for yourself. No one wants to know if you are better that someone else. Stupid career jealousy that actually stops individual development. It took me along time to have the courage to actually speak out loud what I do. My image of hobby exporting part time house wife is slowly peeling off (that is what people actually think, and the fault is mine, I never PR’d what I do) and now people start to know what I really do. Some swedes will and still hate me and e.g. stops reading the blog, but the world is bigger than Sweden.

I am a Woman I am glad to feel like a woman. This gender politics in Sweden is out of control. It has become to wipe out men and women. It has become that women has to become men to be able to somehow make a career. I thought it was about to collaborate. Feminism in Sweden is about trying to get more females to the company direction boards than to deal with real issues like rape, violence, balcony girls etc. If Swedish women want a job in a company director board, they will get it anyway. It is not that difficult, but do we want the job? No research has been made about this, it is all about keeping somekind of a political perfect face in the world. And that face is getting old. In Sicily I use my female skills working and I have never been harrassed nor met any men talking bad about women. In Sweden it happened often. Here men actually say “Women are better company leaders, sad that local women are not interested to work!” To back this up only Finland has made a study about this and came to the same conclusion (eva.fi). If a man says you have a very nice skirt, it is not harrassment, it is a compliment. In Sweden a man can not say these things anymore. It has gone too far… But I do not feel lost anymore in feminity.

Bel Far Niente… it is totally ok just to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. Lay in the terrass chair and stare at the sky…

I have no money now It is such a freedom to say “I can not come this week because I am short in money”. And yes you have these periods when you pay start-ups from your pocket. No one looks strange at you, because it is normal. You do not have to be ashamed to have less money a week or two. With a 800,000 ? loan to pay for a house you could not afford anyway and two car loans with it, is not having money…it is quite stupid. Have started to use this in north Europe too, and love the faces.

 

Svenska

T?lamod ?r en av de b?sta sakerna i Sicilien. I norra Europa ?r vi s? vana vid ett system som t?nker ?t oss att minsta lilla problem p? v?gen skapar enorm on?dig stress i livet. H?r om internet eller telefonen inte fungerar, d? fungerar de bara inte. Du l?r dig att vara flexibel. Du l?r dig att lugna ner. Saker tar l?ngre tid och om det g?r minst 50% som du planerat, s? bra! Om du ?r sen 20 minuter p? grund av trafikblockering, ?r det helt ok. Ingen ?r irriterad p? dig.

Oberoende Italienare, s?rskilt sicilianare, ?r inte beroende av systemet. Befolkningen har sitt eget system. Detta ?r en fantastisk frihet d?r du tvingas att planera f?r ditt liv. P? Sicilien ?r familjen ditt skyddsn?t, som en utl?nning ?r ditt skyddsn?t du. Det tvingar dig att t?nka vidare, till n?sta dag, till n?sta m?nad. Du m?ste alltid ha en plan B. Jag k?nner mig verkligen fri f?r f?rsta g?ngen i mitt liv. Och l?rt mig att lita p? mina kunskaper. I Sverige litar m?nniskor p? systemet, och n?r du flyttar ser du att systemet inte ?r s? fantastiskt ?nd?.

Systemet Det finns m?nga bra saker i Italien som ingen n?gonsin skriver om. T.ex. sjukv?rdssystemet i Italien ?r mycket b?ttre, bara f?r att n?mna en. Om du m?ste bes?ka ett sjukhus tr?ffar du en l?kare, inte en sjuksk?terska. Du v?ljer din egen privata l?kare och i vissa fall g?r l?karen hembes?k om du inte kan ?ka till sjukhuset. Och detta fungerar. Systemet ?r gratis, du betalar ingenting n?r du bes?ker ett sjukhus eller ligger p? sjukhus. Dessa saker l?r vi oss inte veta om eftersom de enda medier som vi f?r fr?n Italien ?r om Berlusconi och topp 5 platser i Toscana. Du l?r dig att varje land har sina goda och d?liga sidor. Du beh?ver inte peka p? andra l?nders fel f?r att g?ra din egen b?ttre. Du lever som i verkligheten.

Se andra m?nniskor P? Sicilien kan en total fr?mling kan s?ga Hej till dig. Och du beh?ver inte vara r?dd. Sicilianare ser andra m?nniskor. De hj?lper andra m?nniskor utan att h?lla ett jag hj?lpte dig, nu ska personen hj?lpa mig” –konto. Det tog mig l?ng tid att bara acceptera en hj?lpande hand och inte k?nna i skuld f?r att finna en l?sning hur man ska ?terbetala fav?ren. Med tiden och r?tt tillf?lle kommer det om det n?gonsin kommer men det spelar ingen roll. Grannarna h?lsar dig en h?rlig dag.

Ekonomi har l?rt mig att bli mer ekonomiskt och jag beh?vde det. Man vet aldrig hur ditt liv kan f?r?ndras s? du m?ste ha en back up plan om n?got h?nder. Det sociala systemet fungerar bra ?tminstone i Catania, och om du blir sjuk fr?n arbetet betalar INPS i tid. Denna k?p och kasta bort om du tr?ttnarmentalitet ?r borta och jag ?r glad f?r det eftersom lycka f?r mig ligger inte i de senaste trenderna, l?gger den p? livskvalitet och mina egna val, inte vad den trendiga tidningen ber?ttar att jag ska gilla. Dessa dagar t?nker jag efter ett par dagar innan jag k?per. Handlar inte varje dag l?ngre och k?per de saker jag verkligen beh?ver. Identiteten ?r inte l?ngre i de saker jag ?ger.

Medm?nsklighet P? Sicilien finns en medm?nsklighet som vi i nordliga l?nder har f?rlorat f?r l?nge sedan. Speciellt i invandringsfr?gan ser du s? m?nga i lokalbefolkningen som hj?lper. Sicilianare attackerar aldrig m?nniskor officiellt, inte heller har jag tr?ffat p? rasism h?r. T?lamod med ?ldre och sjuka m?nniskor. I arbetet trampar inte m?nniskor p? andra m?nniskor p? alla s?tt att komma fram?t. Ja, de kan stj?la ditt arbete som p? andra st?llen, men de beh?ver inte kapa dina f?tter. De har ett s?gande Varje person m?ste f?rtj?na sitt levebr?d“.

Riktig Mat Sicilien har en fantastisk livsmedelsproduktion och det ?r d?rf?r jag fortfarande ?r h?r. Kunskapen om naturens rikedom ?r fantastiskt och jag tackar sicilianare f?r att ha t?lamod att l?ra mig allt. Allt v?xer h?r och har l?rt mig att ?ta med ?rstiderna och anv?nda mat som medicin. Tack vare denna nya kunskap har jag ocks? blivit av med magproblem, allergier och m?nga andra h?lsoproblem. N?r jag g?r till m?ten finns det alltid n?gon som har tagit med en ny krydda eller frukt fr?n deras tr?dg?rd, f?rklarar hur man anv?nder den och sedan v?ntar p? att h?ra mina resultat. 🙂

V?dret …. beh?ver jag egentligen s?ga mer 🙂 okok Augusti ?r f?r varmt😉

Speak Out P? Sicilien kan du ha din ?sikt. Det ?r ganska roligt att samh?llet ses som en sluten plats, men jag har aldrig tr?ffat s? mycket intressanta ?sikter som h?r. Och du kan tala ut dina egna ?sikter utan n?gon kallar dig en idiot. Personliga attacker jag aldrig har tr?ffat p? h?r. Jag har l?rt mig att t?nka, studera och skapa min egen synvinkel. Sverige ses som ett ?ppet land. Jag h?ller helt med, men det ?r n?r det g?ller nya trender och andra kulturer. Att ha en annan ?sikt ?n stora massas, skapar ett ganska stort helvete f?r dig.

Realistisk syn p? v?rlden Efter det f?rsta ?ret h?r och n?r jag b?rjade komma ut ur den svenska rosa bubblan och s?g mitt hemland fr?n nya perspektiv, b?rjade jag k?nna mig lurad. Fr?n tidiga skol?ren l?r vi oss att Sverige ?r b?st, vi har demokrati, vi ?r ledande i v?rlden, har vi j?mst?lldhet och s? vidare. Nu lever jag ifr?n systemet och m?ter andra l?nder och ser jag att det inte ?r sant. Vi ?r fantastiskt bra p? m?nga saker, men det ?r ocks? andra l?nder och folk. Kanske har vi bra lagar n?r det g?ller att bli f?r?lder, men resten m?ste jag s?ga ?r inte sant. Jag vaknade som upp h?r! H?r har du ocks? tillg?ng till alla typer av olika informationsk?llor och du tr?ffar s? mycket folk fr?n hela v?rlden. Och alla typer av m?nniskor.

Framg?ng ?r ok H?r ser folk upp till framg?ngsrika m?nniskor, de som gjorde det eller kan g?ra det som egen. I Sverige har vi en dum Jante Lagenvilket inneb?r att h?lla din framg?ng f?r dig sj?lv. Ingen vill veta om du ?r b?ttre ?n n?gon annan. Dum karri?rssvartsjuka som faktiskt stannar upp den individuella utvecklingen. Det tog mig l?ng tid att ha modet att faktiskt tala h?gt om vad jag g?r. Bilden av mig som hobby exporterande deltidshemmafru skalas l?ngsamt av (det ?r vad folk egentligen tror, och felet ?r mitt, jag har aldrig PR’at vad jag g?r), och nu b?rjar folk att veta vad jag egentligen g?r. N?gra svenskar kommer och redan hatar mig och t.ex. slutar l?sa bloggen, men v?rlden ?r st?rre ?n Sverige.

Jag ?r en kvinna Jag ?r glad att k?nna mig som en kvinna. J?mst?lldhetspolitiken i Sverige ?r utom kontroll. Det har blivit att utpl?na m?n och kvinnor. Det har blivit att kvinnor m?ste bli m?n f?r att kunna p? n?got s?tt g?ra en karri?r. Jag trodde det handlade om att samarbeta. Feminism i Sverige handlar om att f?rs?ka f? fler kvinnor till bolagsstyrelser ?n att ta itu med verkliga fr?gor som v?ldt?kt, v?ld, balkongflickor etc. Om svenska kvinnor vill ha ett jobb i en f?retagsstyrelse, kommer de att f? det ?nd?. Det ?r inte s? sv?rt, men vi vill ha jobbet? Ingen forskning har gjorts om detta, det ?r som att h?lla en slags utav ett politiskt perfekt ansikte i v?rlden. Och det ansiktet b?rjar blir gammalt. P? Sicilien anv?nder jag mina kvinnliga f?rdigheter i arbetet och jag har aldrig blivit trakasserad eller tr?ffat n?gra m?n som talar illa om kvinnor. I Sverige h?nde det ofta. H?r s?ger m?n faktiskt “Kvinnor ?r b?ttre f?retagsledar , tr?kigt att lokala kvinnor inte ?r intresserade av att arbeta !” F?r att backa upp detta har endast Finland har gjort en studie och kom fram till samma slutsats (eva.fi). Om en man s?ger att du har en mycket fin kjol, ?r det inte trakasserier , det ?r en komplimang. I Sverige kan en man inte kan s?ga dessa saker l?ngre . Det har g?tt f?r l?ngt … Men jag k?nner mig inte vilse l?ngre i feminiteten.

Bel Far Niente det ?r helt ok att bara g?ra ingenting. Absolut ingenting. Ligga i terrassstolen och stirra p? himlen

Jag har inga pengar nu Det ?r en s?dan frihet att s?ga Jag kan inte komma den h?r veckan eftersom jag har lite pengar“. Och ja du har dessa perioder n?r du betalar nystarter ur egna fickan. Ingen ser konstigt p? dig, eftersom det ?r normalt. Du beh?ver inte sk?mmas f?r att ha mindre pengar en vecka eller tv?. Med 800.000 ? l?n f?r att betala f?r ett hus man inte ?nd? har r?d med och tv? bill?n med det, betyder inte att ha pengar det betyder idoti. Har b?rjat anv?nda detta i norra Europa ocks?, och ?lskar ansiktsuttrycken.

Sicily Update

So what has happened lately in Sicily?

Well, some time ago a judge that works against the malavita found a bomb outside his home where his wife and children were present. Crocetta and the government went public with this right away and said that this will only increase their work against people like this.

About 1000 refugees as day comes to the sicilian west coast from Syria, also many women and children. Unfortunately also many bodies are found in the water or by the beaches where people spend their holiday. Sicily has reported this to EU several times, but not much more has happened that the Pope being at Lampedusa praying and some officials from Rome been here to look at this disaster. The mayor of Lampedusa has been to Bruxelles trying to get them to wake up.

Catania city is making a metro, there is one line since years. The ground is lava stone to they had to special order a bigger drill from China.?
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Svenska

S? vad som h?nt nyligen p? Sicilien?
?
F?r en tid sedan hittade en domare som arbetar mot malavita en bomb utanf?r hans hem d?r hans fru och barn var n?rvarande. Crocetta och regeringen gick ut offentligt med detta genast och sade att detta bara kommer att ?ka deras arbete mot personer som dessa.

Ca 1000 flyktingar om dagen kommer till Siciliens v?stkust fr?n Syrien, ?ven m?nga kvinnor och barn. Tyv?rr har ?ven m?nga kroppar hittas i vattnet eller p? str?nderna d?r m?nniskor tillbringar sin semester. Sicilien har rapporterat detta till EU flera g?nger, men inte mycket mer har h?nt att p?ven bes?kt Lampedusa och bett, och n?gra tj?nstem?n fr?n Rom varit h?r f?r att titta p? denna katastrof. Borgm?staren i Lampedusa har varit i Bruxelles i ett f?rs?k att f? dem att vakna.
?
Catania stad g?r en tunnelbana, det finns en linje sedan n?gra ?r. Marken ?r lavasten s? de var tvungna att specialbest?lla en st?rre borr fr?n Kina.

if you do not pay…

In Italy the system is quite easier sometimes, there is not so much hassle if you e.g. do not pay your phonebill, gas bill etc. As I have understood that when e.g. someone in Italy does not pay the electricity bill, they just shut down the connection. And then when they pay the unpaid bill, they connect you again.
In Sweden it is not quite that easy. If you e.g. do not pay a 35 ? electricity bill, you get two warnings. If you still do not pay it goes to a public enforcement agency where the bill ticks interests and other costs. At the end that bill can be thousands of euros because the system adds costs on that bill. That bill will also block you from the system, you can not get other services either. It can destroy your entire life.
In Italy you get blocked from the financial system if you e.g do not pay bank loans. But not for a small electricity bill. I saw this difference with my neighbors who use their home in Catania for vacations.

This is why I called swedish public offices twice a year to see that I have not forgotten anything since I moved. I guess now after soon five years, I can start to relax. 🙂

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Svenska

I Italien ?r systemet lite l?ttare ibland, det finns inte s? mycket kr?ngel om du till exempel inte betalar din telefonr?kning, gas r?kning etc. Som jag har f?rst?tt att n?r t.ex. n?gon i Italien inte betalar elr?kningen, st?nger de bara ner anslutningen. Och sedan n?r de betalar den obetalda r?kningen, ansluts du igen.
I Sverige ?r det inte riktigt s? enkelt. Om du t.ex. inte betalar en 35 ? elr?kning, f?r du tv? varningar. Om du fortfarande inte betalar g?r den till offentliga kronofogden d?r r?kningen?tickar p? med r?ntor och andra kostnader. Vid slutet kan r?kningen ha vuxit till tusentals euro eftersom systemet medf?r kostnader p? denna r?kning. Denna snurra kommer ocks? att blockera dig fr?n systemet, kan du inte f? andra tj?nster heller. Det kan f?rst?ra hela ditt liv.
I Italien blockeras du fr?n det finansiella systemet om du t.ex. inte betalar dina bankl?n. Men inte f?r en liten elr?kning. Jag s?g denna skillnad med mina grannar som anv?nder deras hem i Catania f?r semester.


Det ?r d?rf?r jag ringde svenska offentliga kontor tv? g?nger per ?r f?r att se att jag inte har gl?mt n?got sedan jag flyttade. Jag antar att nu efter snart fem ?r, kan jag b?rja slappna av. 🙂

A dying breed

Love this scene

This couples car did not start and the wife just open the bonnet and started to fix things. Her husband seems to be very calm about this as he just stood there and watched her doing her thing. Many men passed by and felt of course the need to help out, but they did not solve anything and got silent and left.
After 15 minutes the issue was solved, she put down the bonnet, called her cat and they all went home to eat lunch. The street with men watching the scene….was silent.
Women like this are a dying breed.

Svenska

?lskar den h?r scenen
?

Denna pars bil startade inte och fru bara ?ppnade huven och b?rjade fixa saker. Hennes man verkade vara v?ldigt lugn om detta n?r han bara stod d?r och tittade p? henne g?randes sin grej. M?nga m?n gick f?rbi och k?nde naturligtvis behovet av att hj?lpa till, men de kunde inte l?sa n?gonting och blev tysta och gick iv?g. Efter 15 minuter var problemet l?st, hon f?llde ner motorhuven, kallade p? katten och alla gick hem f?r att ?ta lunch. Gatan med m?nnen som betraktade h?ndelsen...var tyst.?
Kvinnor som dessa ?r en d?ende ras.

Be informed to not be fooled

Got an own contact person at Italian Chamber of Commerce, so consultants can not fool money. It is a big difference from “more or less 250-300 ?” for fees, than the correct sum of 141,50?. A consultant has to know the job they are doing. Vague answers makes me back off immediately.?
This is also one key problem in Italy. Many people to not make their business to get informed. Consultants, lawyers etc know it and can easily fool money from people.
But when you go in with right information, they do their job correctly.
And never send in all info at once especially when you are creating a company, it is quite usual they steal others work to give a tip to a friend or family member.??

Alot of work that is consider only to be made by consultants, you can do yourself.
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Svenska

Fick en egen kontaktperson p? italienska handelskammaren, s? konsulterna inte kan lura pengar. Det ?r en stor skillnad fr?n mer eller mindre 250-300 ? f?r avgifter, ?n den korrekta summan av 141,50 ?. En konsult ska veta hur jobbet ska g?ras. Vaga svar g?r att jag drar mig tillbaka omedelbart.
Detta ?r ocks? ett centralt problem i Italien. M?nga m?nniskor bryr sig inte att s?ka information. Konsulter, advokater etc vet det och kan l?tt lura pengar fr?n folk.
Men n?r du g?r in med r?tt information, de g?r sitt jobb korrekt.
Och aldrig skicka in all information p? en g?ng speciellt n?r du skapar ett nytt f?retag, det ?r ganska vanligt att de stj?l andra arbete f?r att ge ett tips till en v?n eller familjemedlem.

?
M?nga arbeten som anses att endast konsulter kan g?ra, kan du g?ra sj?lv.


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