a students' magazine

Welcome to the Dolmio family!

Hi guys, I’m a new blogger and this is my first post.

I would like to talk about Italian stereotypes because it’s something that I have lived through first hand.
Last summer I went to school in England for a couple of months and I’ve realized how English people imagine us to be.
The first person I met was an Egyptian girl who had just moved from Egypt. Seeing as she had already been through my situation she was very kind and understanding, so she asked me the usual things that you ask someone when you first meet like “What are your friends in Italy like?” or “What music do you like?”.
At break time she introduced me to her group of friends and as soon as I was presented as an Italian girl, a girl that I didn’t even know came up to me and asked “Are you Italian? Do you like pizza?” and this was just the start of a barrage of awkward questions.

During lesson time my class mates kept on asking me things like “Are you Catholic?” “Have you ever seen the Pope?” “Is your father a footballer?” and they genuinely believed that these things might be true. They even started chanting the phrase from the Super Mario video game “Mamma mia, mamma mia, pizza pie” thinking that this might make me feel at home. How wrong they were!

I thought they would be more open-minded, so before starting this new experience I had never thought about being a stereotype. That was the least of my problems!

In the end I started getting used to the situation, but something that I really couldn’t bear was seeing Italian food treated so badly.

At the school canteen they normally served pasta or pizza, which sounds ok. But what they actually presented was a soft, mushy glue in a soup-cup served with a huge mound of cheddar cheese on top and pizza was more a wedge of pizza dough used as a support for the most absurd fillings like egg, pineapple, mayonnaise or baked beans. It just tasted as disgusting as it sounds!

However, something that I could never have imagined, not even in my wildest dreams, was a bread roll filled with butter AND Nutella. I felt bad for the boy who was eating it, it was so disturbing.

Now, you might think that things couldn’t get any worse. You are wrong!
What have the British come up with now?
The DOLMIO family. The ultimate of all Italian stereotypes.
Dolmio is a brand name of a range of pasta sauces and even if it’s not produced in Italy they pass it off as a genuine Italian product. The TV adverts are bewildering.
To give you an idea of what I mean just take a look at this medley of patronizing adverts that will make your self-esteem plummet to an all time low…

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and remember, keep an open mind!
See you next week! 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Welcome to the Dolmio family!

  1. Hi Ph0enix, welcome among us and thanks for this very interesting post!
    Stereotypes are indeed very annoying (to say the least). I think your experience can help us understand how easy it is sometimes to fall into hasty generalisations whenever we are confronted with someone who does not belong to our cultural or geographical area, as every group of people is subject to one form or another of stereotype… what about teachers, for example? 😉
    A very interesting topic for a discussion in class!

  2. Hi Phoenix, thanks for sharing your experience! I’ve also been through this stereotypes, so I know what are you talking about. And Americans are even worse:
    1) They think that every Italian person has connections with the mafia, and this stereotype is emphasized by tv series like “The Sopranos”.
    2) They think we are dirty. Precisely, they think we don’t have showers and we only use the bidet.
    3) They think that the “classic” pizza is their “pepperoni pizza”, and that the “Caesar Sauce” is something we use everyday. This article about their eating habits with Italian food (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/whitney-richelle/americans-dining-in-italy_b_4097722.html) is really funny!

    • 🙂 You’re perfectly right, pnove!! By the way, how nice to read from you!
      I was wondering… how are things up there in the north of Europe? Any new stereotype? 😉

      • Hi teacherb! Here in Norway it’s quite cold (some days ago we even had some snow), but it’s a nice place to stay! 🙂
        People are really shy and they don’t socialize easily, but communication is straightforward since English is their second language! 🙂
        They have a really strong welfare state (just the opposite of the American model), but they are quite an americanized country when it comes to food and popular culture (like folk songs); so, they share some of those stereotypes with the Americans. As an example, they are one of the most pizza-consuming countries in the world, but their pizza is actually American pizza! And of course, you can find almost everywhere deep-frozen pasta or lasagne. Speaking about the latter, they basically think we eat lasagne everyday! Just as in the ad posted by f0enix! 🙂
        The good thing is that they actually are very open-minded, and they easily integrate different cultures and people in their social layer.
        There are a lot of strange things about Norwegians, expecially from our point of view…listing them all would require a post! 😉
        Anyway, hope everything’s OK down there in the deep-south! 🙂

      • Well, a post on your experience in Norway wouldn’t be that bad, hehe 😉
        Thanks anyway for your comment, hope to hear from you again soon.

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