Since me and my fellow Italians noticed a growing interest in our culture and language, we decided to open this shop!
Welcome to the Rainbow Maf*a shop
I’m obviously joking for those of you who don’t understand it
Here you can ask about our culture, our language, translation of sentences you want to use in your stories, how to create believable Italian characters and everything else you might want to know about our beautiful Italy!
Stereotypes to avoid
- Not everyone is in the mafia, obviously
- As any other bilingual person, don’t put Italian words randomly in the conversation. That’s not how it works
- Not every Italian is from Sicily. We are well divided into North and South so a character from Southern Italy should generally be quite different than a Northern Italian one
- Avoid calling everyone with nicknames like “bella” or “bellissima”, that’s something a creep would do
- Pasta and especially pizza is not all we eat. Usually we never eat pizza more than once a week and pasta is a wide and complex matter. The kind of pasta we buy at supermarkets more often than not is cooked whenever we don’t really know what to eat. Other times we buy it freshly made or we make it ourselves and that’s usually for ‘special’ recipes.
- We’re not dark skinned. The average Italian skin tone is Neutral 02 and it can range from Neutral 01 to Neutral 03. Neutral 00 and 04 are rare but they exist. Also, Northern Italians are usually lighter than Southern ones (but it really depends on your family’s origins).
About us and our culture
- The average appearance of Italian people: brown/dark brown/black hair and brown/hazel eyes are the most common, but it’s not unusual to see blondes or redheads and light eyed people (blue, gray, green, etc). If you will we have people with pretty much all hair and eye combinations, with some being more common than others. For hair texture, most of us have wavy hair, however the majority of girls prefers to straighten them. Some others have 3a/3b and sometimes also 3c hair type. For complexion, in terms of darkness you won’t normally find people lighter than Neutral 01 and darker than Neutral 04. There’s obviously exceptions to that, but 01-04 is the norm, with the average looking 02-03. That is at least if you’re not mixed.
- The fact that Italians have big families is kind of a stereotype. It was true in the past, but after WW2 especially, couples started having less kids. Nowadays it’s quite rare to find families with more than 3/4 kids. We tend to consider ‘family’ even if we’re related to the 2nd or 3rd level, so having a “big family” doesn’t mean that people have lots of children
- Family reunions are typical here but not everyone has them. I’d say it’s more a thing from Southern Italy rather than the North, but again it depends on many things
- Seeing Italian cheek kissing is normal. Typically it’s done once on both cheeks. Between guys it’s not really done, they shake hands, but it’s very popular between girls and women. Or even if one of the two is a female, the guy will still kiss her on the cheek. This is done with close friends and family only though. It can be considered optional for the most part, but there is some people who would get offended if you don’t kiss them on the cheek. It’s kinda like a ritual and some people actually expect to perform that ritual if you meet the criteria (close friend or family). Sometimes older women will lean in for a kiss on the cheek even if you don’t know them well.
- In Sardinia, people are pretty dark there and they also tan a lot during summer. You can ask @Kestrel for dialectal terms and translations.
- For a child to have their mother’s surname in Italy, it’s very rare. Almost all of the time it’s only the father’s name, even if the father doesn’t have the Italian citizenship or if the parents aren’t married. But that’s really just a matter of traditions. The Italian law allows parents to assign whatever surname they want to their children. So in short, most parents assign the father’s last name because it’s tradition to do so and it’s seen as unusual if a person has their mother’s last name (while their father is present in their life).
- We do not accept pineapple on pizza. Period.
- We do know some bad boys you might like
- Dammi tre parole, sole, cuore, amoreeeee / Dammi un bacio che non fa parlareeeeeeeeeeee
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Thanks to @starscriptor for this masterpiece