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Showing posts from January, 2014

My Beloved Hong Kong Skyline

I have said many times that I am in love with Hong Kong's skyline. A few days before leaving the city, I kept on praising with my friends the amazing feeling I have when I take a walk near Victoria Harbour, or on the Avenue of Stars, or in Central, and I look at these giants of glass and steel. Some people may prefer older architecture, but I just can't resist the breathtaking charm of skyscrapers. 
I am not sure what makes Hong Kong's skyline so special. Perhaps it's the energy and dynamism they convey. Or maybe it's the modernity of their design. Or, more simply, it is just that the amazing power of the life and history of this unique city has been set in its buildings, making the soul of Hong Kong visible in all its might and monumentality. By looking at Hong Kong it seems as if the population was trying to reach to the sky; this is not urban planning made to be stunning, it is urban planning that is stunning because it reflects the soul of the place where it was…

“She Wants To Promote Negritude” - Why Sometimes I Am Ashamed of Italy

I am not a nationalist, and I do not believe that the individual is nothing without the group. I have often been accused of hypocrisy, but the truth is that I honestly believe in individualism. To me, individualism has nothing to do with selfishness. It simply means respecting the individual in itself, not judging a person only as a member of a community, but as an individual. I also believe that there cannot be real democracy without individualism. 
Many people in Europe have a different opinion. Everyone has, of course, the right to have his own views and express them freely. However, defaming or insulting other people because of who they are or because of the alleged characteristics of the group to which they supposedly belong, is not acceptable. This destroys society from the inside and creates a climate of hatred, fertile ground for demagogues. 
One of the things that troubles me most about Italy (and about Europe) is the resilience of racism and the growing desire of sections of s…

7 Reasons why I Miss Hong Kong

I spent in Hong Kong around half a year and I have grown fond of it. Hong Kong is still one of my favourite places, along with Berlin and London. Recently, I read news that made me worry about the future of the Fragrant Harbour, and I will write about it in another post. But now, I would like to explain why I think Hong Kong is a great city to live in, and why I miss it. 




1 - International Atmosphere
Hong Kong is the right place to understand the real meaning of the word cosmopolitan. In the throbbing streets and in the vitality of its way of life one can feel the global vocation of the former British colony, which deserves to be included in the list of the great world cities of all times, together with Rome, Constantinople, London, Paris and New York. If you want to live a myth, then Hong Kong is the right choice.

Family Affairs - A Few Thoughts About Family Gatherings in China and the West

The three months between December and February are both in the West and in China a period of important traditional family festivals. Christmas and New Year in the West, and the Lunar New Year in China, are the most significant and longest festivals.
On the one hand, these festivals are an occasion for rejoicing. When I was a child, I loved Christmas. I didn't have to wake up early to go school, I was free from lessons and homework. A few days before Christmas, I decorated the Christmas tree and arranged the presepe (nativity scene); I loved to do such things. Last but not least, I received gifts from relatives and had plenty of time to play with my cousins. Apart from all this, Christmas stimulates children's inborn imagination and creativity, and the whole world appeared special, cozier, magical. 
When you grow up, things change. In fact, the family slowly becomes what some people call 'a sweet burden'. You grow up, you need to accept more responsibilities, and Christma…

From Vice To Virtue: A Comparison Between Two Medieval Women From China and Europe: Meiniang and Cunizza da Romano

As Western Europe and China were almost entirely isolated from each other for thousands of years, the systems of ethics that shaped their respective societies developed in a very different way. In this post, I would like to compare two medieval women who were immortalized in literary works: Meiniang, the female protagonist of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) vernacular story The Oil Vendor and the Queen of Flowers; and Cunizza da Romano, a famous 13th century noble woman to which the Italian poet Dante Alighieri (c. 1265–1321) dedicated a chant in his master piece, the Divine Comedy.
Meiniang: Victim, Courtesan, Filial Woman
The Oil Vendor and the Queen of Flowers is one of the most famous vernacular stories of Chinese literature. It was written by Feng Menglong (1574-1646), a scholar and a pioneer of Chinese vernacular fiction. He was a prolific writer, author of commentaries, poetry, drama and prosa. His most famous works are three collections of tales, Illustrious Words to Instruct the W…