Celebrating Immigrants in Venice!

I understand Venetians are shell-shocked and often embittered by tourism. I get that. I just can't abide when some think that all foreigners are destroying their city. Personally, I'm not only appassionata about Venice and married to a Venetian, but I professionally research their history and often know more about it than they do!

I've always wanted to wear around town a t-shirt like the one at left, which says in Venetian dialect, "I am not a tourist." (If you're female, I've made one up at Zazzle... Enjoy!)

Venice throughout the centuries has been a crossroads and melting pot for all kinds of nationalities. That was its bread and butter! It's only been in the last few decades when Venice (for anything other than tourism) became an economic backwater that Venetians began to forget that.

That is, until now! Last week, according to Buongiorno Venezia, the city held its first-ever official "Celebration of the Immigrant." And - predictably - it was a huge success!! For more about it... read on!

NEWS. From 1 January to 30 September 2008, the number of residents in Venice (including the mainland) increased to 270,000 residents (+ 0.25%). But the historical centre (including Burano and Murano), which counts around 60,000 inhabitants, has lost 372 who are likely to have moved to the mainland or to have sold their houses to non-residents. By contrast, the numbers of foreigners and immigrants living in Venice has increased to such an extent that the Municipality organised a "Feast of the Immigrant" in Mestre, which was for the first time last Sunday. It was quite a success. .

The number of legal foreign residents jumped from 17,000 to about 20.000 in one year, representing 7.5% of residents. Most are Europeans followed by Asians then Africans. The demographic survey, conducted on 31 December 2007, ranks Bangladesh as the largest community (3247 residents, +17%); Moldova was second with 2209 residents, two thirds of them women employed as assistants for the elderly, a common occupation in Venice for Eastern European women); number three was Romania (2092 residents, +97% since their membership in the European Union); Ukraine ranked fourth with 1488 followed by Albania (1127); Macedonia (1083); People's Republic of China (1196 residents, +13%). African residents total 1445, mostly from Senegal (281), Morocco (258), Tunisia (257), and Egypt (211). Residents from the Americas number 970 (321 men and 649 women), most from Brazil (227) and the USA (170). Residents from Oceania total 21: Australia (16), New Zealand (4), and Tonga (1). Welcome to them all!

1 comment:

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