Last Saturday I met again with Camille and Audrey at their place in TOAS City, and…. we ate together, again, as usual!
They prepared some meat-tomato and cheese stuffed zucchini, I was expecting a similar thing that my mother does down in Italy, which means pretty small zucchini with a hole in the middle where the stuffing goes, but the girls surprised me with a “king-size” version of those zucchini and even if I wasn’t really hungry, i really enjoyed it!
While eating the dessert, I got to learn the real name of the world-famous French Toast which is Pain perdu! The real meaning of the words means Lost bread, in fact about three slices of it got lost into my stomach!! In Italian it would be Pane perso or Pane perduto, but in my region we write bread and also pronounce it as they do in France: Pan. It was a calorie bomb but really good indeed!
While eating I asked them how was their trip to Lapland, and they said that they visited Rovaniemi and Levi and they really enjoy it, even if they weren’t able to see any Northern lights due to the clouds. We talked about holidays in our countries and we found out that we have a lot of similarities since both countries are christians we both have Christmas holidays; we also celebrate Carnival in February and Eastern 40 days after Carnival, the 1st of May is labour day as in many other countries and also the 1st of November we both honour dead people.
Still there are some differences between France & Italy, for example they celebrate the end of the Second World War on the 8th of May while we celebrate the “liberation” from the Nazi-Fascism on the 25th of April; In Italy we celebrate the Republic Day on the 2nd of June while in France they have National Day on the 14th of July and also on the 11th of November they celebrate the Armistice and so the end of the First World War.
On the 15th of August in both countries is a holiday since, as already said above, both are christian countries and is the day of the Assumption of the mother of Jesus, Mary. The name of this festivity in Italy is Ferragosto, or in Latin Feriae Augusti, because it actually started from a Pagan-festivity in the Roman empire when the emperor Gaius Iulius Octavianus Augustus in the 21 b.c. establish different festivities for the whole month of August, were all the workers in general could enjoy the end of the work in the fields and the Emperor was donating food to the whole population of Rome. This is an example of one of the stolen and modified festivities that christians took from pre-christian religions all around Europe, but this is a bigger topic that would take the whole blog space so, I’ll stop it here…
I really liked to get to know and also thank Audrey and Camille because with their help, I got to understand how close our cultures are, I think that in the future I could take part to some French course in order to improve what they taught me during this period!