For this purpose I have prepared several questions that the guys have kindly agreed to answer:
1) Where are you from? Please, describe that place. What would you recommend to do and visit in your native town?
2) Tell about your path to volunteering.
3) What do you miss about Italy here in Hungary?
4) Everyone knows about the attitude of Italians to food and cooking, please tell about absolutely forbidden things in this field :)
(A Roman guy who knows a lot of Russian poems and songs, which I don't know. I hope we will be able to organize a Russian-Italian speaking club soon)
1) I'm from Abruzzo and I'm from Rome.These places are in my family history and my own history both, I feel like home there. Of course, Rome doesn't need a presentation, but from a tourist point of view you rarely get to know how diverse this city is and how it may look as 20 small cities in one. I would suggest to visit Trastevere in Rome. There is no better place for tourists there if you want to try to feel the spirit of this old city.
Abruzzo is a region of Italy, situated in the central part, to the east of Rome on the Adriatic Sea. It's hard to pick places to visit because there a lots of astonishing landscapes in that area. But If I have to pick one I'll take Lago di Scanno.
2) My path to volunteering was a matter of coincidence, because I accidentally found this volunteering on the radio in Hungary when I was looking for something new. I've always been attracted to the opportunity to work on the radio and I'm fascinated by Eastern Europe so I applied and here we are.
3) What do I miss as an Italian in Hungary? The first thing that comes into my mind is: language! To be able to communicate with everyone. Surely improving the language of gestures can be funny but in the end the fact that for now I do not know Hungarian puts that specific barrier between me (and maybe all of us volunteers) and the others. All the other things I miss here are not specifically linked to the fact I'm Italian so that's all.
4) I always say that when you cook you can try everything and I have never understood those who argue around how this or that should be cooked. If you like it that way, good for you, isn't? Different is when you like it that way only because you didn't try other ways, so...
I have some simple advice about tomato sauce (I still meet people who don't know how to cook it!). Put the pan on the fire at middlelow, and right after put just a bit of extra olive oil, garlic if you like, or directly the sauce. Put salt, and herbs (I personally love laurel and basil). Then put hot water in the boilng sause and then add some water every 2 minutes to the sauce so that doesn't burn. Decrease the fire and let it cooks for 15-20 minutes. When it looks nice and creamy put almost cooked pasta (1 minute before complete cooking) and finish it cooking with the sauce and some boiled water. Enjoy!
(A girl with a unique opportunity to be a part of two generations of the project on Mustár FM. Sometimes says that we are unbearable, but loves us (and we love her) and cooks for us)
1) My tiny village is called Arzana, placed in the county of Ogliastra (one of the smallest in Italy) on the Island of Sardinia. Inhabitants: 2.400, and collapsing by the year. We don't have much to offer in terms of work, so people are slowly going away. It is a mountain village, for the most part: 600-800 meters above sea level, but we are so lucky because from everywhere in the village we can still see the sea. So during the winter months we have snow everywhere but we see the sun rising on the sea. And it is kind of amazing. Fun fact: together with Japan, the island of Icaria in Greece, one place in California and Loma Linda in Costa Rica we are one of the 5 Blue Zones in the world. This means that we have the oldest population on the entire planet! One of the oldest persons until a few years back was Tzia (which means auntie, a name we give to any old female person, even if we are not related. The male correspondent is Tziu) Raffiela Monne. She died at the age of 109. Years ago, when I was working in the town hall, one of my tasks was to check the tombstones in the local cemetery: from 1700 on I think I counted more than 30 people dead aged 100 or more. The others just died aged 90 or 95.
Main language is Italian, but for the most part in the everyday life with family and friends we speak the local version of Sardinian language (Campidanesu, variante ogliastrina), which is a language closer to Latin and Spanish than to Italian. The accent of my village is very strong and very recognizable. For example, we have the 'th' sound, which is very unique. The word 'meat' in classic sardinian is 'pezza' or 'pessa', in my village you pronounce it 'petha', putting your tongue between your teeth. We also have the sound 'x', which is pronounced as the 'zs' in hungarian, a little stronger then the 'j' in french. Every village has its own version of the language and its own accent, so you can easily recognize a person from the way they speak and the words they use. It is mostly a spoken language, even though professors have tried to put the language in a written form many times. But we don't have a proper alphabet, so every writer uses his own way to write down poems.
I'm afraid there is nothing to see inside the village. We have a little church in the upper side of the village, that we use once a year for the Saint Vincent (Santu Visente) festivities in August. But if you are willing to climb up the mountain, we have the Saint Michael (Santu Micheli) statue on the highest peak, around 900 meters above sea level. From there, you can see the whole county. Arzana has one of the largest territories in all of Sardinia, there also is a legend on how we conquered it all, kind of long to explain it now. But, if you drive some 3 and a half hours inside the island, you can find: the highest nuraghe in Sardinia, called Ruinas (a nuraghe is a stone tower/village/still trying to figure out what they actually are - build some 2500 years ago by our uncestors. Some of them are still standing. You can find nuraghes everywhere in Sardinia, legend goes that every one of them is connected to at least 2 or 3 of the others by underground tunnels. Also, from each of them you can see at least another one); one of the oldest trees in Sardinia, some 3000 years old; the waterfall of Pirincanis; the highest mountain in Sardinia, Punta la Marmora, 1834 meters asl (actually, this peak is split into 3 territories, or are they 4? I mean, we fight a lot, but still, its ours). Biggest festivities are: Holy Mary in May, Saint Vincent in August, Saint Martin in November and the Mushroom festival in October-November (depends on the year).
2) I was looking for a job, stumbled upon the call for application on FB, applied and I was selected in June last year. I already know Hungary because I lived here before, in Debrecen, in 2007. Didn't have any experience in journalism, or radio, or whatever connected to the project, but I love a good challenge. Loved the job, loved the people, loved the things I learnt here. Sad it has to end soon.
3) Food, probably? I mean, we are a lot of italians here, you cannot possibly miss the language! Although I probably miss Sardinian language, and my accent. Also, I miss the way we do things, relaxed attidute and so forth. Miss the view from my house, the mountains and the sea and the trees and the animals just going around, chickens, pigs, sheeps, Noah's ark basically. I miss going to a bar for a coffee, have a chat with the grocery store's owner and the human CCTVs, aka the old ladies peaking from the windows and following your every movement.
4) BIG NO NOs
- cream on carbonara, or mushrooms on carbonara, or anything else on carbonara but eggs, bacon (better still, guanciale) and chili (onion is still an option, though);
- cappuccino after 10 a.m.: cappuccino is for breakfast! After 10 a.m.: caffè, caffè macchiato, marocchino, ristretto, americano, decaffeinato;
- pineapple on pizza (this is a general rule, I broke it, but what happens in Serbia stays in Serbia);
- cooking pasta in non-boiling, unsalted water;
- fetuccini alfredo: just WTF!!!
- again, DO NOT ORDER CAPPUCCINO AS A BEVERAGE DURING LUNCH OR DINNER!
(The next morning after his arrival I discovered that Italian pasta, tomato sause and olive oil had appeared in the kitchen, which indicated that an Italian guy is among us now. At the same time, I'm sure there is a bit of Russian in him :)
1) I live in Civitanova Alta, a small village in central Italy, on the Adriatic coast. It is a great place to live if you don't fancy big cities with smog and too many people. There's not much to do or visit there, to be honest, but a medieval village is very nice for a walk or a coffee in the cozy bars of the main square. Civitanova Alta is also well located, since it's just 5 minutes by car far from the sea and 40 from the mountains.
2) Being a radio speaker in Italy is very difficult. There are no great opportunities to gain experience to enter a FM radio, that's why i decided to join this project in Hungary.
3) The only thing I really miss from Italy (besides friends) is the sea. The sound of the waves, it's beauty and calm during every season. You can take someone far from the sea, but you can’t take the sea far from that someone.
4) There are too many rules that you must abide by in the kitchen and it will take an essay to just list them, so i will just talk about what can give instant death to an Italian:
- Pasta with ketchup: let’s be honest. IT’S UNNATURAL. Tomato sauce is easily procurable and you need not so much time to cook it. WHY PEOPLE HAVE TO DO THAT ABOMINATION?
- Tomato sauce in the boiling water: I’ve seen it with my very own eyes. I still can’t get through it so I hope you guys won’t be upset if I don’t talk about it.
- Overcooked pasta or pasta in a soup: overcooked pasta is ok if your teeth are not so good, but just in that case. AL DENTE. Come on. Pasta in a soup is something that I can’t even describe with words.
- Fettuccine Alfredo: Do you really think we could do something so cruel?
P.S. All photos are used with the permission of the copyright holders.
PPS. Listen to us here http://anchor.fm/mustarfm and here http://onlineradiobox.com/hu/mustarfm and follow us here http://www.facebook.com/evs.mustar/