When people think of Italy and the Italians the first world that comes to mind is “la mamma”.
The Italian mamma has always been known for being a mother hen: very protective, affectionate, caring and kind and always there for her children. She cooks incredible meals for her offspring and works really hard to fulfill every need her children might have even when they are adults.
The reality has changed over the last few decades though. Since Italian mums have began to work and since the decline of women as a domestic drudge, modern mums also love to have their own hobbies, they work hard to have a fulfilling job or career and something for themselves too.
This has certainly made an impact on family life with Italian mums becoming more permissive. For some this is seen as detrimental to our society but it doesn’t mean that the mother won’t be there for her children to cherish and love them and to fulfill all their needs, what it really means is that probably she won’t wash the underpants of her 25 year old son anymore! She would be off shopping with her friends instead!
Everyone knows how Italian mothers have been able to produce what is worldwide known as the “mammone” or mamma’s son which is unique to Italy. These are sons who stay at home until they are past their 40s who get fed and their washing gets done by their mum.
Equality is as important in the home as it is in the workplace and it is at home that the mother sets an example to her children and this is more important than any lesson learnt at school. Cast yourself in the role of humble servant and you will produce little lords with little or no respect for the opposite sex.
When I moved to England I encountered a very different mentality altogether.
A British mother would love her children in the same way as an Italian mother would but then, when the time comes, they go to make their own way into the world. Once children have finished their full time education they would have to start looking after themselves and it is then that they really grow up.
It is also fair to say that we are talking about two very different cultures here: Italy has a Latin culture where the family comes first and above everything else whereas in Britain there is a strong concept of independence and it is a more individualistic society.
A mixture of both would be ideal. Now there’s a thing an ideal world – wouldn’t that be great!