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The National Character of the Italians (A. V. Pavlovskaya)

The paper is devoted to the issues of the Italian national character, history and culture of Italy, day-to-day culture. Constants of the Italian way of life — that influence on Italians’ preferences (structuring and ordering of life, predictability, hierarchy, comfort and aesthetics of property, related to the surrounding area as a decoration) — are the following: theatre, city, street, house, bar, family and family ties, friendship, football and food.

The author notes dominants of the Italian national character: theatricality (which should be understood as a sincere and serious attitude to their social status and the wish to follow the expected stereotype patterns of behaviour according to their roles — mother, barman, policeman, etc.); love for the game and metamorphosis in everyday life (which is manifested in the communication style, beautiful and expensive dressing manner); aestheticism; complacency and self-sufficiency, the desire to ‘save face’ in any situation; self-esteem. The Italians are also known for: sociability (which does not imply openness to strangers); positive attitude to cheating, trickery; cheerfulness and ability to enjoy life; superstition.

In the social sphere the Italians are patriotic, but their patriotism is manifested in love for a particular city, region, cultural achievements. As the Italians focus on themselves and their life they are too far from politics; the Italians also go to church, but this does not mean religiousness.

Keywords: national character, the Italians, national dominants, day-to-day culture.

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