Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Padre Nostro

In Italy, the Lord's Prayer is known as "Padre Nostro". As you may know, the Lord's Prayer is the only known prayer uttered by Jesus Christ. For this reason, I believe it deserves special attention. If you would like to hear Padre Nostro spoken in Italian, I've included that soundfile below.


Padre nostro che sei nei cieli,
sia santificato il tuo nome;
Venga il tuo regno,
sia fatta la tua volontà,
come in cielo così in terra.
Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano;
Rimetti a noi i nostri debiti,
Come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori.
E non ci indurre in tentazione,
Ma liberaci dal male.
Amen.


Father of ours, who are in heaven,
blessed be your name;
May your kingdom come,
may your will be fulfilled,
as in heaven as on earth.
Give us today our daily bread;
Clean our debts,
As we clean the debts of our debtors.
Do not let us slip into temptation,
But free us from all evil.
Amen.



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Monday, July 02, 2007

Italia: Campioni del Mondo!

Every four years, the sporting world as we know it is turned absolutely upside down. No, I'm not speaking of the Olympics, where perfectly acceptable concepts such as "goodwill" and "world community" are mercilessly jammed into our auditory canals by tanned American sportscasters for two weeks. Rather, I am referring to that glorious, gritty worldwide brawl known as World Cup Soccer. If you're American, you're probably as familiar with the great sport of soccer as Europeans are with Nascar, but believe me, soccer is monumentally colossal worldwide. In fact, according to "the internets", the 2006 World Cup stands as the most watched event in all of television history. Wow. It achieved an estimated 28.29 billion non-unique viewers over the course of the brawl, and the final match scored an estimated audience of 715 million people.

Now, what's great about World Cup is this: Pure, raw nationalism rules for a month, with no apologies whatsoever from players or viewers. It is a beautiful thing. Unless you're speaking of the French, who I must single out because they made it to the final with Italy. France did indeed have an excellent team, yes. But like it or hate it, French nationalism seems to be almost universally questioned. Why? Perhaps because in the history of world affairs, the French cannot escape their penchant for the color white, which obviously detracts from stout nationalism. Fair statement? Who can say? On the one hand, the French government did in fact collaborate with their Nazi occupiers in World War II; on the other hand, the common citizens of the French Resistance are the stuff of legend, and should held up in high esteem. And let's not forget France's role in the founding of our great nation, the United States of America.

Anyway, for me personally, I have a problem with French nationalism for a different reason, and here it is: When was the last time the French fans had the internal fortitude to start a 100,000 person riot in a stadium, complete with flying seats, fires and collapsing fences? I rest my case. I mean, the Italians and Germans and Brits do it all the time, and with great ease. (Now that I think about it, I'm not so sure that's a good thing for the Degos, Krauts and Limeys.)

Anyway, in 2006, a blessed year, Italy took the World Cup from the many other capable teams, a list in which I of course include the French team. In fact, as I said before, the final match was between Italy and France, and it will not be soon forgotten. The final started with each side scoring within the first 20 minutes, and from there on, it was a topsy-turvy ride to the penalty kick shootout, which Italy won, 5-3. Si!

Before the shootout, the match was tarnished when France's excellent player Zinedine Zidane headbutted Italy's Marco Materazzi in the chest and was subsequently shown the red card and sent back to the City of Lights. The French press whined--shocker, I know--that Materazzi insulted Zidane. True, he did, but let's get real: trash talking is often part of the psychological match, and not just in soccer.

In 2006, the World Cup was held in cities throughout Germany, and they put on a fine show for the world in the Berlin final. Plus, you have to hand it to the Germans--they know how to riot. It was the first all-European final since Italy won the World Cup in 1982. It was also Italy's first world title in 24 years, and their fourth overall, putting them only one behind Brazil, widely regarded as soccer specialists. Sadly for the German fans, their team did not win the cup, and that is a shame. But the most important thing to Italy, to Italians, and to you, my wonderful Blogiorno readers, is that Italy gave France das boot in Berlin, triumphing in overtime, as no doubt wished for by our pal Pope Benedict, and perhaps even ordained by THE highest power, our Lord Jesus Christ, Who reigns supreme.









Ciao! We'll see you in 2010 in South Africa!