Saturday, 6 March 2010
Intercultural Icons -The Pizza and The Pub
Whatever country you choose to go in the world - two things are certain: You will most certainly find an Irish Pub there and you will find some pizza. Why is that? What makes them so ubiquitously popular? How do they manage to cross borders so easily - why does everybody from Japan to Chile love a slice of tomato-y dough or a good sing along and a glass of the black stuff?
And that's precisely not the point: it isn' about what you actually get. Instead, it's about what everybody associates with them. Pizza - that means Italian homecooking at its best. Simple, tasty, unfussy. And in an Irish pub you can be sure of congeniality, great vibe, craic.
So you become part of a concept you secretly adore. There is no exclusion, no snobbishness about either. Everybody can share, everybody likes what you like, and everybody is happy. So really, it's about a community you're "biting" into - the simple lost world of homeliness and comfort.
Ireland and Italy with their metoynmic offerings - have managed what other countries struggle with. They've exported their national symbols and in turn got people to associate those very values with their nations. Maybe not everything in Ireland is that congenial, maybe Italy in reality isn't that homely and comforting... But so what?
I am full of admiration that some countries manage to spread such joie de vivre, such a feeling of togetherness and shared value on an international, and poly-cultural scene - and with so little effort!
Oh and Happy up-coming St.Patrick's Day!