Anniversaries are uplifting when you have something to celebrate. A couple on the edge of divorce do not rejoice that their wedding anniversary is around the corner. Something of the same uneasiness surrounded the hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of the Italian state, on March 17th. As late as February, the government couldn’t decide whether the day should be declared a national holiday. The Northern League, a major party in the ruling coalition, complained about the loss of working hours; many of the League’s members have a separatist agenda and want to avoid a surge in national pride. The governor of South Tyrol, a German-speaking province ceded to Italy after the First World War, said that it was unreasonable to expect his people to celebrate their subjugation to an alien culture.
Tim Parks sul New Yorker.