Since we arrived about 2 years ago, this is the question me and my husband have been most asked. When we say we come from Italy, Canadians open their eyes wide and simply can’t believe we left Italy for Canada. After so long, I came to the conclusion that Canadians simply think we left this:
How would you be THAT crazy to leave such a wonderful and warm country, home to the best food in the world for the cold Canada where the national dish is poutine? Now, something Canadians are very good at is underestimating themselves. Maybe it’s a reaction to being close to the huge ego of USA, maybe it’s their incurable politeness, but they definitely tend to understatement. I really don’t want this post to be pro-Canada or against-Italy: the ideal country doesn’t exist, otherwise we would all be living or trying to live there. We decided to leave driven by that unique sentiment that moves millions of immigrants around the world: hope. Or, to say it in a different way: my husband had lost his job, I was stuck with mine and we were fed up with the whole social/economical/political situation. So, for those of you who love numbers and just to give you a quick idea of what I’m talking about:
- Current unemployment rate in Italy is 12%
- Youth unemployment rate is a crazy 40%.
- We are now having our 64th government in barely 70 years of Republic
- Our Freedom Press status is “Partially Free”
- We were the last country in Europe to legalise same sex unions (but please don’t call it “marriage” or the Catholics will cry).
…Pretty bad, eh?
Despite that, Italy remains one of the most beautiful countries in the world, the quality of life (in most parts) is good and I don’t need to mention food. In fact, our life in Italy was not bad at all: I had a permanent job, we owned a house and a car, we lived close enough to our families, we had many friends, even if a lot of them were already abroad. We just thought we could have a better future in Canada. Like us, many more Italians are arriving, creating a new community that is now growing in Toronto. So, stay tuned to know more about this curious mix of Italian and Canadian.
Ps: here’s a neat website where you can play around with countries and statistics