How Has Folklore Shaped the Culture of Italy?
Here is a brief overview of Italian customs and traditions.
Italy is a nation rich in culture and customs, and this will be an interesting journey. The official language of Italy, not surprisingly, is Italian. Italian is the number one used language, while German is second, and French and Slovene have a small role in the nation’s linguistic history (Cia.gov). Italian has a long history, and it is said to be a part of the Romance group, a subplot of the Indo-European family. All Romance languages were spawned from Latin, and Italy is the one that closest resembles it to this day. One issue with the Italian language has always been the number of different dialects found within the country. Dating back to the early 13th century, different dialects can be found in different regions, and this caused many different writings and schools of thought in numerous dialects. It was not until the 17th century, when Tuscany began to be one of the most successful regions in the nation that the Tuscan dialect began to take over and is now considered to be the true national language and dialect. The earliest form of the written word of Italian is said to be from the 13th century, where we find numerous popular plays and stories. Dante Alighieri is one of Italy’s most famous authors for his work, Devine Comedy, which was written in Latin. The Italian language is basically entirely derived from Latin, and Latin is the official language of the Vatican City.
Italians like associating themselves with one another especially those who are related to them. Family ties are highly regarded in the Italian community and both sides of the family are accorded equal treatment. Traditionally, marriage was an arranged affair in the Italian culture though nowadays it is a free exercise. Until quite recently, divorce was forbidden because marriage was taken to be a life long engagement. It is important to note though most of the Italians marry, there is the custom of children remaining unmarried so that they can take care for the old members of the family (Nickles, 2001). As far as inheritance is concerned, both male and female members of the family are allowed to get equal inheritance.
The values and actions of the citizens help define their national image. Social experiences, social knowledge, and social stereotypes help determine each country's national character. Even though Italy has close ties to other European countries, it still possesses an identity all its own. Culture and tradition, rather than physical characteristics, give Italians their sense of individuality.
Killinger, C. L. (2005). Culture and Customers of Italy. Westport: Greenwood Publishing group.
Nickles, G. (2001). Italy: The Culture. New York: Crabtree Publishing Company.