During the Spring 2012 I taught one of many interdisciplinary undergraduate seminars in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. Each class is based on the preparation of a simple delicious dish and on the bite-sized acquisition of parts of the Italian language and culture.
Videography by Graham Gordon Ramsay.

Click here to watch the videos in full resolution.
Buon divertimento!

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lezione numero cinque (part 1/2): la festa della donna

For the videos of this class click here.

Oggi è giovedì otto marzo duemiladodici (8/3/2012). È un giorno importante, è la festa della donna
!!!! (lit. woman’celebration ->International Women’s Day). L'otto marzo è (is) a day to honor all the women and to remind ourselves of the continued awareness and action required to ensure equality in every aspect in life. La festa della donna is recognized in many countries (more details here), including the US, but it is not very popular here; I find it ironic. Living in Cambridge, I had the opportunity to appreciate how much more fair the working conditions are here than in Italy. Moreover, all the institutions in the US are discussing and working actively to reach a more complete and real equality. Yet in this same country nobody today told me Auguri! (=lit. wishes! -> Felicitations!). Buona festa della donna!!! (lit. good celebration of the woman ->Happy women’s day). Buffo, funny.

Anyway, at school in Italy we learn that the origin of this day is rooted in two events that happened outside Italy:

1- L’8 marzo 1857 (milleottocentocinquantasette) uno sciopero (a strike, very important word if you travel in Italia!!) by garment workers in NY lead to the formation of the first women’s union in the US. Some historians say that this sciopero never happened! What is true? Non lo so.

2- L’8 marzo 1917 - millenovecentodiciassette (il 23 febbraio according to the Julian calendar) Russian women started a sciopero in St Petersburg, per il pane e per la pace (for bread and peace).

L’8 marzo was declared woman’s day in Italy in 1945 and on this day men and women bring to women in their lives a traditional gift: a small branch of mimosa (acacia dealbata – native to Australia). The mimosa is a reminder of the constant struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. On a more trivial level, the bright yellow and the sweet smell of mimosas are telling us that spring arrived. Ah! Mi mancano le mimose (lit. mimosas are missing to me-> I miss mimosas).

Esercizio: read (leggi) listen (ascolta) and repeat (e ripeti)

Ascolta e ripeti

Oggi è giovedì otto marzo duemiladodici

Oggi è un giorno importante, è la festa della donna

Auguri! (
=lit. wishes! -> Felicitations!We use it in every happy occasion/celebration)

Buona festa della donna!!!
(lit. good celebration of the woman ->Happy women’s day)

1857 (milleottocentocinquantasette)

1917 ( millenovecentodiciassette

il 23 febbraio

Mi mancano le mimose
(lit. mimosas are missing to me-> I miss mimosas).

Mi manca il cappuccino (lit. cappuccino is missing to me-> I miss cappuccino).

Now you can relax and listen to a couple of popular Italian songs about women!

Donne, di (lit. of->by) Zucchero Fornaciari (Festival di San Remo 1985)

Una donna per amico (=a woman as a friend), di Lucio Battisti (1978):

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