Dear Gregor, Am I Italian?

GregorGiovanni, thanks for writing to my Head Wrap Advice Column! You’ve posed a profound and probing question. I want to make sure that I get this one right!

I noticed from the postmark on your letter that you live in America. This means you must be at least somewhat Italian in your soul. Whether it be by diet, movies, art or hand gestures, if you’re American you have become a bit Italian somewhere down deep. But, that’s not an adequate answer to your powerful question.

Let’s move a bit further.

I’ve discovered a self-test that can help answer your question. It’s a simple test and takes only a moment to complete. Still, it’s powerful. The results will tell you whether or not you have an Italian soul, which is what really lies at the heart of your question. The test has two parts: hand gestures and required phrases.

IGestures ClassicHand Gestures. Take a look at the visual that I’ve kindly provided. This is a classic collection of important hand gestures from the wildly popular book, Canon Andrea de Jorio. It is the definitive guide to how the Italian hand is meant to express and enhance fundamental ideas.

Now, you must be totally honest with yourself, Giovanni. Study these images carefully. If you find yourself using one, just one, of these gestures, you have an Italian soul.

Pay particular attention to image #5, my personal favorite. Do you recognize this gesture? Have you ever, even once in your life, used this gesture? Be honest.

Required Phrases. Once again, Giovanni, honesty is completely necessary. Read the following phrases carefully. Study them. Since this is a family-friendly column, I’ve taken some editorial license to ensure that no reader is offended. However, the intent of the phrases should be clear.

The question to ask yourself is this: Have I ever, even once in my life, used even one of these phrases? If you answered “Yes!” you have an Italian soul.

Ready? Here goes.

Il mio asino è guasto (My donkey is dead.)

Dove disfaccio di questo corpse del bellboy? (Where do I dispose of this bellboy’s corpse?)

Aricchi du porcu (You are like the hair on a pig’s ear.)

Ho fatto una cazzata (I screwed up! Requires appropriate hand gesture.)

Io non mangio in questo merdaio (I refuse to eat in this house of doo-doo.)

Finally, there is one other important point to consider. Is pizza Italian? Have you ever eaten pizza, even a single slice? Pizza was invented in Naples, you know. Naples is in Italy, you know.

Well, have you ever eaten pizza?

Hope this advice has been of some help, Giovanni. As always, I love to hear from my readers.

Gregor, the Head Wrap Advice Columnist

Gregor lives here.

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9 thoughts on “Dear Gregor, Am I Italian?

  1. I may have a French name, but I am definitely Italian – it was all in the hand gestures, though I often refer to people as being similar to the hair in a pig’s ear – though only in English, but I trust that counts as well.

    • Me too! I have a few of those gestures and at least one of the phrases down pat. Use them often. Also love pizza, etc. I suspect everyone is a bit Italian, somehow and somewhere. Thanks, as always.

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