Being a translator, social networks and digital self-marketing takes up a big part of my “working day” (and night, sometimes) – this is how I got to know Diana and her project of creating a blogging group of expats now living in Piemonte to share experiences and curiosities about this wonderful part of Italy they have chosen as “home”.
It’s been a great pleasure to get the green light from her to join the blogging group, especially because I don’t have such a long experience with blogging.
So here I am – sitting at my kitchen table in Turin, thinking about what my dictionary says at the entry “authenticity”. Actually, the first thing that comes to my mind is, is it possible to define such a word at all? Its meaning is totally overwhelming, feelings, images and ideas one the opposite of the others pop up into my head as I try to restrain this concept into a sentence – so I immediately decide I won’t do that, it being far beyond my abilities… What I will try to do instead is depicting it, providing you with subjects that you could then be able to paint in your own mind, choosing brushes and colors.
Authentic to me is all what you do without realizing to or being able to suppress it, a range of attitudes, gestures and mind-sets that make you blush when someone points them out. They come from your cultural environment and can involve so many aspects of life – from your accent to the way you make friends and watch the world go by. Looking at it through the “lens of Piemonte”, I feel “authentic” when visiting other regions I can suddenly hear myself speaking with a particular accent I couldn’t detect a moment earlier. On a long journey, at the end of the day I’m really exhausted after so much struggling with my tongue in the worthless attempt of not sounding ridiculous to myself… I feel less clumsy when I have to speak a foreign language, really!
Authentic is thinking you’re not bound to a particular city or landscape and then suddenly realizing what feeling like being home actually means when you look at the surrounding hills through half a glass of Barbera (Nebbiolo or whichever wine you love). I said half a glass – only – because next step is you can’t resist rushing to the nearest bottle to pour more and fill the glass: this wine tastes like home, it’s the air you breathe.
Authenticity is the fact of no longer regretting the big party in the city center you’re missing, with the latest celebrity chef preparing tiny finger food for glamorous guests, as soon as you bite into a gorgeous “panino col salame”… laying on the grass in a vineyard with just the sound of crickets to keep you company – and inevitably a (full) glass of Barbera at arm reach.
These are just a couple of examples but the list could be longer – just think about all the small things that cheer up your days and make you feel lucky even in bad luck, an invisible friend’s shoulder you can always rely on whenever you stumble.
Mine is a simple sketch of a much more complex painting – especially as I’ve always lived in the country where I was born and therefore could only draw a straighter line compared to that of other people’s life. That’s what blogs are made for too: sharing points of view.
Read the other group participants’ articles about “Authenticity” at the links below:
Turin Epicurean Capital: “Living Turin style”
Turin Mamma: “Why I Draw the Line at Using the Word “Authentic””
The Entire Pizza: “Forced to Live Authentically in Piemonte”
Wine & Truffles: “Authentic Living in the Alta Langa”
Living in the Langhe: “How to Become Authentically Piemontese in 5 Easy Steps”
Texas Mom in Torino: “Authenticity: The evolution of this Texas mom to an Italian mamma”
Simply Italiana: “Finding Authenticity as a Foreigner in Italy”
ItaliAnna: “Piemonte = Authenticity”
Bailey Alexander: “Save Yourself by Saving the Planet: the real benefits of growing a garden