May 28, 2013
Today was a day of rest. Finally. I had a free day and chose not to go anywhere or do anything at all. I took a long walk (in tennis shoes! My feet are saying thanks!) around Reggio! I just wanted to take in one good look around the city. I realized how big Reggio really is and how little of it I’ve actually seen. I’ve gotten acquainted with the area around my house and the city center, but there’s so much more to Reggio than that! I sat down in one of the parks for a while and just people watched. The Italian people talk a LOT. They talk loudly, they talk with their hands, and are so expressive in general. It’s very different than some of the other European countries that I’ve been in where the people are more stiff. Well, not exactly stiff but not exactly dignified either. I can’t think of the right word. Italians are just more loving and expressive. That shows up in their art and all of the PDA I’ve seen around! In one of the schools, I noticed that there were naked people in some of the children’s drawings. In the United States, the parents would be called in immediately to suggest something was wrong with the child! Here, the children are exposed to so much magnificent art everywhere that the body is solidified in their minds as something to be celebrated and expressed. I like that. I think that, maybe, some of the problems in the United States with eating disorders and things like that could be combatted if we started celebrating the human form. The statues that I’ve seen around vary in size, shape, and age. There’s not an ideal. In the states, most women would kill themselves for that perfect waiflike model figure. However, I have yet to see a statue of a woman that would even come close to that. Instead, the statues of the women… if there is a way to actually generalize them all… are full and soft, inviting, alluring, feminine. There’s nothing angular or bony about them. I find that refreshing – a good reminder that a normal woman’s body can be captivating in full form.