Travel Magazine

Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago – Immersion in the Italian Culture

By Urbanmatter Chicago @UMatterChicago
Languages are what keeps us together.

Aside from their allowing us to communicate, they create bridges between completely different worlds.
Languages are tools, but they also represent a very specific and unique style of life.

Thus, learning another language is like entering another world. French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, they are all multiple doors. Once you’ve crossed their threshold, once you have gotten fully engaged in the culture of another world, it is difficult to turn back.

Living inside two cultures is never something I can properly explain to others. It empowers me, first and foremost. It gives me the ability to understand a fundamental part of myself as I embark on the journey of discovering new things of my own two cultures – Italian and American.

It’s great to have the possibility to draw from the Italian cuisine then switch back to American Netflix before having my household immersed in the “commedia all’italiana,” the Italian comedy.

Chicago is a city that hugs a vast variety of cultures; and as in many other cities, the cultural institutes keep alive traditions, have extensive course programs – from the beginner level to the most advanced one – and events that show the authenticity of each country.

The Italian Cultural Institute offers diametrical opportunities; classes for each and every student, from the beginners to the more advanced levels; as well as courses that have the spotlight on the tradition of Italian films. Its program includes events, film showings, seminars, and conferences (all related to Italian artists and notable historical figures).

On Monday, March 21st, there will be an event dedicated to the poet Alda Merini (1931 – 2009), “The Power of Freedom over Confinement”, which will explore her life, especially understanding how her poetic style developed through her experience in a mental institution.

On Tuesday, March 22nd, there will be the screening of the movie “Signorina Effe”, by Wilma Labate. This film focuses on a difficult period of Italian history, the year 1980, when there was a great strike of the Fiat factory workers. This will result in a marking point for Italian working unions.

On Thursday, March 31st, the European Book Club, organized both by the Italian Cultural Institute and EUNIC Chicago, will discuss the novel “My Brilliant Friend”, by Elena Ferrante.

All the events are free, and open to the public.

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