On 2nd June Italians in Italy and in large Italian communities all over the world celebrate the birth of a nation. Italian schools and businesses close down for the Festa della Repubbblica, Republic Day.
The Italian National Day holiday celebrates the establishment of the Italian Republic and the end of the monarchy on June 2nd 1946. After World War 2 many Italians were unhappy with the then king, Umberto 2 of Italy and the people wanted another form of government. A referendum was held and the majority of Italian citizens voted for the Republic of Italy. King Umberto 2 and his family left Italy for exile. My father was actually a sailor on the ship that escorted the royal family to Alexandria in Egypt. The flag of Italy was changed by removing the emblem of the House of Savoy and has remained unchanged since.
Italians celebrate Republic day by watching parades, fireworks, concerts, sharing picnics with family and friends. Each year a wreath is placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Rome. The tomb, which has an eternal flame, was built to honour all of Italy’s fallen soldiers and was completed in 1924.
We have just celebrated La Festa Della Mamma with lots of conversations about how belle e brave all our mums are. The Foundation students completed a note saying Mamma, ti voglio tanto bene but the rest of the students went on with their programs. The 1/2s are learning about the body and the senses, the 3/4s are reviewing grammar and vocabulary through the Muzzy Program and the 5/6s are working on individual projects about a region, city or state within Italy. Next week we are celebrating Education Week, so please pop into the Italian Room if you have the time. You will be Benvenuti!
If, however, you find yourself in Italy during the fine month of Maggio there are many festivities happening throughout the country. Those passionate about cycling can follow the Giro d’Italia which, surprisingly, starts in Israel on May 4. The riders then go to Sicily and, in one of the stages, ascend the slope of Mt Etna. The race ends with a punishing ride up the Gran Sasso in the region of Abruzzo. Car enthusiasts can cheer on the drivers participating in the Mille Miglia (1000 miles) car rally around Italy.
Other festivals include a famous music festival in Firenze, a Race of the Candles in Gubbio, an amazing festival celebrating flower petal art in Noto, Sicily, and a Palio (historic horse race) in Ferrara – and these are just a few of the festivities on offer in May. Whatever the festival though, you can be assured of many medieval and renaissance spettacoli (shows) with people dressed in period costumes, flag-waving displays, processions, concerts and feasting. Enjoy!
L’autunno e` una stagione bellissima. Autumn is a beautiful season. Le foglie cadono – il giardino e` un tappeto di rosso, arancione e giallo. The leaves are falling and the garden is a carpet of red, orange and yellow. Fa fresco di mattina ma i giorno sono belli e soleggiati, almeno per ora. The mornings are cool but the days are beautiful and sunny, so far at least.
Term 2 has started well. We are focussing on positive behaviours, using our good manners words: per favore, grazie, prego, scusi, scusa mi. Foundation students are continuing to learn the basics of Italian through games, songs, stories and role-plays. Grades 1/2 are learning about the body and the senses. Grades 3/4 are reviewing many aspects of vocabulary and grammar through viewing the Muzzy program. Grades 5/6 are learning about Italy and will be using their ICT skills to design a brochure advertising a region or city of Italy.
Getting to know the students, staff and some parents during Term One has been bellissimo! The focus for the term was Identity. We learned all about Italian Greetings and Introductions, we reviewed commonly used words and especially focused on using per favore, grazie and prego when asking for and receiving something.
So, why Italian you may ask yourselves?
According to Dianne Hales, author of La Bella Lingua, the Italian language is beautiful, fun and cool. No other language is more romantic, everything sounds better in Italian, and you can use your hands in dialogue. While there are only an estimated 60 to 63 million native speakers (compared to a whopping 1.8 billion who claim at least a little English), Italian barely eclipses Urdu, Pakistan’s official language, for nineteenth place as a spoken tongue. Yet Italian ranks fourth among the most studied languages – after English, Spanish and French, which Italian now rivals as a language of culture and refinement. more of Diane Hales reasons in support of Italian are online at:
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