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It is just a word, but it scares a lot of people



It is a seven letter word - c u l t u r e - but many times pronouncing it doesn’t induce the right reaction. The ones that let this word out are normally stared with suspicion and annoyance. Hence it happens many times to find people which consider themselves very down-to-heart and that find awkward any invitation to invest in culture, considering it a fruitless or even counter-productive choice.

This is the reason why in all the emergency situations, such as the present moment of deep and long lasting economic crisis, the first cuts always affect culture. Culture doesn’t produce bread, it is said sometimes, so other sectors are always privileged, in the conviction to do the best for the society. But it is actually the other way round: just culture can save the world, turning it around egoisms and instable economies.

The idea that culture is just a fruitless cost without sure and immediate results normally prevails. The problem here is that we lost the deep and first meaning of the word culture. Culture derives from cultivate, but people don’t realize it. Words are now just sounds, since the primigenial meaning is lost. We need the knowledge of the farmers to understand that culture means the art of waiting; waiting with care. You sow, but you need to wait. Fruits are not there immediately.

Nowadays, charmed by the speed of everything here and now, we deceive ourselves that economy is the only possible language. We forget that no economy is possible without a strong cultural background. Asking more spaces for culture also means not to stop asking ourselves who we are and to be brave enough to dig into ourselves, without hiding the shadows we can find. Perhaps this is the reason why people avoid doing culture or living it in person. Most probably, people are scared to find that sense of emptiness that shouts and implores to be filled. It is all matter of contents. Many people prefer to remain containers without contents, so that the conscience can be light and free, without worries.

It is just a word, but it is so scaring: c u l t u r e.

by Luigi Caricato
05 december 2011, The Opinion > Editorial

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