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The Exceptions to the Rule

Where I find myself teaching English there are Italians from all over Italy, so it may come as no real surprise to hear that a few Sardinians make it over to Milan to take masters. As a general rule, I have noticed that those who come from the Mediterranean isle have quite a different character from the ‘mainland’ Italians, in that they are quieter, more reflective and reserved. In this respect Sardinians are a little closer in character to those from the UK where I grew up.

Indeed, I find that once Sardinians get to know you, they are charming and friendly people. However, on one of the masters there are two Sardinians that do not fit into the traditional mould. The stereotype, incidentally, defines Sardinians as being all I’ve said plus being short and dark. Well, we all know that stereotypes are not really reliable and I’ve met quite a number of Sardinians who have been neither short nor dark, plus a few who have fitted the traditional image.

Anyway, back to these two exceptions. One is male, and I’ll call him Mr S, and the other is female and I’ll refer to her as Ms A. Neither of these two is quiet nor reserved, in fact both are rather extrovert. Mr S is not the tallest of people, it has to be said, but aside from his height, he is by no means a typical Sardinian.

On the other hand, Ms A is quite tall, and is far from being a closed island type, as is evidenced by her having spent time in London working in a pub to develop her English. If my memory serves, Ms A is from Cagliari, and she seemed to think that the stereotypical Sardinian came from north of the island, but I disagreed, because I’ve met people from both the south and the north and, generally, they have been reflective and reserved people regardless of where they are from in Sardinia.

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As an aside, Ms A told me that she found the white native Londoners rather brusque and not all that helpful when she asked for information, however the foreigners in London were always ready to help, but the most helpful of all were the black native Londoners.

After digressing, I would say that both of the Sardinians I have mentioned would appear to have characters ideally suited to the extrovert world of PR which is what this master is preparing them for, and should do well.

I just hope that potential employers here in Italy do not see Sardinian on their CVs and decide to avoid them for this reason alone. That would be a shame, a great shame.

As for stereotypes, well, my advice would be to take them with a pinch of salt, and take people as you find them, not as you think you will find them.

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