Monday, August 21, 2006


An editorial in today's Corriere della Sera [article not available online] suggests that the one and only test for those requesting citizenship should be to ascertain whether they feel love for their adopted country, in the sense of appreciating its basic ideals and values. Now, I'm not one who believes in "my country, right or wrong"- far from it - but I do think that the ideas in the article are broadly right. It points out that many of those who emigrated to the United States at the beginning of the last century had an imperfect command of English and kept their own religions and customs, but they did accept and embrace the democratic principles on which that country was founded and they did wish to uphold them. I think this is crucial and I feel I want to warn my dearest Italy not to repeat some of the mistakes which have sadly been made in the UK regarding the multi-ethnic society [which, I am the first to admit, has brought us many benefits. This becomes immediately apparent when you go to live somewhere that is largely monocultural].
Recently I've been thinking of Rupert Brooke a lot:
" A dust whom England* bore, shaped, made aware"
My gut reactions, cynicism and humour will always, I am realising, be British and of course I still have a love for grey old Britain that formed me and always will have. But here in Browning's "land of lands", despite all its foibles, inefficiencies, exasperating ways and even despite the water shortage [I just know I'm going to regret including that last one!] , I am nearer to being fulfilled than I have ever been and I love this country with all my heart.
*Substitute "Wales" here, only it doesn't scan!

1 comment:

Maria said...

I feel strongly that you should have a love for where you live. It's so important to grab onto it's ideals and customs. It will have you feel like you belong I think... One day when I move to Sicly I know it will be tough but I hope to adapt to it with Gusto! ~M (just like you) :)


View My Stats