Italy the cultural cradle of Europe by Srimal Fernando

Italy the cultural cradle of Europe

By Srimal Fernando

Life in Italy means full of cherished moments, experiences and awe-inspiring entertainments. Italy a peninsula bordering Mediterranean Sea is situated in the southern part of Europe, south-east of France. Sardinia and Sicily are the two main islands of the country. Each year millions of visitors are drawn to its world famous towns Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice and Sicily to see its rich culture, pristine beaches, aquamarine seas, as well as its glitzy shopping malls, boutiques and colorful markets. Unparalleled in its diversity, the country offers delights ranging from fine wines and exceptional cuisine to high art and great historical remnants. It reflects the spirit of enlightenment and elegance, existed among its people. The country has transformed from a traditional agricultural society to a progressive and industrialized state.
This over whelming diversity makes the cultural scene of the country very fascinating. Italian lifestyle is a mixture of relaxing over a delicious meal, celebrating an impressive game of soccer and socializing with friends and family. Italy produced some of the greatest painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and architects in history. The people of the country are warm, welcoming who enjoy sharing the pleasures of life with others. The country is known for its rich cultural heritage and traditions, which has a strong German, Arabic, Greek, French and Spanish influence. One can find a mixture of various arts and cultural scenarios in the country. Italy has deep Roman Catholic roots.
The country is not just admired for its beauty but also for its fabulous dances and music. Music and dance is an integral part of the life of Italians. Indeed, the songs and dances are woven into the very fabric of everyday life. Out of all the European countries, Italy has perhaps one of the most diverse collections of popular music forms. There is pure, unbridled joy to watch an Italian join in with the signing and dancing in their own distinctive ways. Italy has produced very significant names in the world of classical music over the past few hundred years. The country’s music is generally eclectic. Italians are natural musicians, who love to hear and sing good music. (To be contd.)
Italian folk instruments can be divided into string ,wind and percussion categories .Many Italian instruments are tied to certain rituals or occasions, such as the  zampogna bagpipe, typically heard during Christmas.
The country invented both the piano and system of musical notation. The music is roughly divided between country’s North and South. There is also a difference in the songs of Venice and other sea ports and the songs from the Italian Alps. North of the country is the birthplace of the Stradivarius, Armadi and Guanari violins. Italy is the home of opera music. Opera is an essential part of Italian musical culture and a part of popular music known to many along with other imported genres like jazz, rock and hip hop. Italian classical music includes the romantic and melodic styles and often blends well with German harmonic juggernauts. Italian folk music is primordial in the cultural heritage of the country, covering a wide range of regional styles. The most prevalent form of popular music in Italy during the past few decades has been rock music. There is today a significant rap music scene in Italy which accompanying fashions and lifestyles that mirror those of rap musicians in America. Sacred music in the country had a strong effect of Catholicism. This type of music first came up in the Roman Catholic Churches of Italy. There are Middle Eastern influences in the music, because of its location near the Mediterranean Sea. Ballet is another form of dance which has an enormous contribution in the history of Italian Music.
For many Italian people, dance is one of the crucial threads that bind past, present and the future. As in many countries, dancing is an important component of Italian culture. The dance types in the country comprise traditional and contemporary forms. There are magi co-ritual dances as well as harvest dances. Harvest dances include the “sea-harvest” dances of fishing communities from Calabria and the wine harvest dances from Tuscany. Popular dances include tarantula a dialect form used to describe a common kind of spider, which is part of a folk ritual. Tuscan dances display weapons which signify the moves of combat. Duru-duru dance from Sardinia is about love and courting and is danced by couples. Another dance performed by the sound of tammuriata. This is dance usually performed in southern Italy with a lyric song called strambotto. Italian folk dances are usually fast. The tarantula is a popular traditional Italian dance. The dances of the Ortensia group are lively, fast and convey the excitement and joy of living. A sword dance known as Spadonari di San Giorio , Lachera , Torototele , Resiana, Monferrina ,Girometta , Ruggero , Galletta ,Veneziana , Bergamasca, are some of the well known Northern Italian dances.Southern Italy refers to the regions of Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicili. Ndrezzata , Pizzca , Albanian dance form known as La Vala , a Sicilian dance forms known as Taratata and Furlana, a weapon dance Moresca  are some of the southern Italian dances.
The movements and passionate rhythms of Italian dance and music is an appropriate symbol indeed for the country with a proud history. Italy has many performing arts and cultural events during the year. Performances are often held in historic theaters, opera houses or beautiful outdoor settings. This vibrant region offers the explorer, myriad of opportunities in cultures, festivals and in foods. The music and dance of the country are extremely colorful and are a source of entertainment and enjoyment for the people of the country. The traditional culture and customs, combined with the friendly welcoming nature of the Italian people the country has a great deal to offer.


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