Archive for December, 2009

December 19, 2009

Origins (or, on multicultural Christmas)

StruffoliChristmas party time.

In Italy, people are quite obsessed with food, just like at any other time of the year, and with making presents for everybody. It is a family occasion, like it or not.

In the UK the big thing at Christmas is getting drunk with your boss and colleagues, so that then you have something to talk about for the rest of the year; and then, to cook possibly for the only time of the year, before getting drunk with your family. I find that people get a little anxious about Christmas, while normally they are so relaxed. I have seen families stocking up on turkey months before the due date, and it is virtually impossible to park anywhere near a toy shop for a solid month at any time of the day or night.

Germany has a far more serious attitude, as usual. Looks like Christmas is big time here: maybe German people do get drunk, but with Gluhwein – that requires some serious dedication. Christmas shopping allows for a Sunday opening in the shops and that is quite an exceptional event. By the way, looks like most of the cutest Christmas traditions – advent calendar, tree, candles… all were invented here.

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December 5, 2009

Christmas Markets

Marzipan from the marketGermany is famous for its Christmas Markets. It is not very clear to me how touristic they are:  many similar occasions are totally tourist oriented in Italy. Not that this is always a bad thing – tourism brings money and contanct with people from other places, and it is often a great opportunity to save traditions that are just too clumsy or overpriced for the locals.

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