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Same-identical system in Italy... has its virtues.  The "bridge" ("ponte") here is a national institution, keeps local-level resorts etc prosperous. Plus patron saints' days give workers an extra break - in addition to the NATIONAL religious holidays - from city/smalltown factories, workshops, shops and offices and assist the formation of "ponti"... plus ensure lots of enjoyable processions with brass bands (municipally subsidized to promote local working-class kids developing an enjoyable ability to play instruments and read sheet-music) + free dance bands + gorgeous BIG fireworks displays.

So I'm not complaining. ;-)

However, the flip side of the "we love our local saints-'n-madonnas" thingy is when the people who live in the Immaculate-Madonna parish say

a) that their madonna is better at healing the sick, consoling the lovesick and fixing family financial problems than the next parish's Sorrowful-Madonna (figures?)... which proves they-the-immaculate-madonnites are generally better-in-every-way than the nextdoor sorrowful-madonnites;

or worse still,

b) that the dastardly bastardy lying thieving people in the next town took advantage of an earthquake/local war/barbarian invasion (choose 1) back in 11-hundred-and-something to steal their "real" miraculous madonna/saint's relics and have ever since refused to give it/them back... so their current madonna/saint-icon is a mere ineffective substitute grr grr grr ... which of course proves the guys 'n gals in the next town are still the same totally dastardly thieving lying cheating bastards they've consistently proved themselves to be for the last 1000 years or so ... so after the guys complaining about these millennial injustices have finished off their current litre of local wine in the local osteria they'll.. darn well go and "tell" 'em so - yet again... physically. :roll:

"Ignoring moralities is always undesirable, but doing so systematically is really worrisome." Mohammed Khatami

by eternalcityblues (parvati_roma aaaat libero.it) on Wed Dec 6th, 2006 at 04:51:01 PM EST

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