19 March 2010

Funny News: Italys World Slow Day

Woman in Genoa, Italy, receives citation from cheeky Slow Warden for walking too fast on World Slow Day

From Denny: The Italians want us to slow down and stop to smell the roses - at least for one day. Yesterday they celebrated World Slow Day where everyone slows down the pace of their day and quit rushing around. The special day went by so fast I think they need to extend the celebration to a full week.

In Rome the city offered all kinds of goodies to entice the people, from free public transportation to slamming poetry contests. They even offered free exercise in the form of free yoga and Tai Chi lessons. Being true to the "holiday," the local police handed out mock fines for pedestrians walking too fast.

Who started this fun holiday? World Slow Day began in 2007 as the brain child of Bruno Contigiani, age 62, who is President of the Art of Living Slowly Association. The whole point of this special day is to get people to live at a normal natural speed. He promotes the Association's "14 Commandments" like getting up five minutes earlier to start your day with a leisurely breakfast. He also suggests to make traffic jams a celebration by striking up conversations with fellow stranded motorists.

Other cities in Italy who participated in the event:

They offered free transportation on Monday and commuters were gifted with free copies of the "14 Commandments."

Milan and Genoa: These guys were far more cheeky and direct in promoting the holiday celebration. They decided to deputize "Slow Wardens" to chastise pedestrians who were walking too fast and issue them a mock citation. Pedestrians were also cited for taking too direct a route to their destination as well. Makes you wonder if the Slow Wardens went about their day following people to their destinations, clipboard in hand, and determined if the pedestrian was in need of a reprimand for living life too fast or too efficiently. After all, the whole point of World Slow Day is to slow down and savor the journey.

Benevento: They held a competition for the best Haiku poem that best described the day. Guys, haiku is short. You should have asked for a Shakespeare style soliloquy in poetry form. Now that would have been a slow journey - and witty!

Treviso and Palermo: offered free Tai Chi and yoga lessons.

In public parks all around Italy there were offered free Tai Chi and yoga lessons to help people relax and enjoy the special day. "Let's take this one day to stop and think about all the things we miss out on while we're rushing through our lives," Contigiani said.

Turns out that World Slow Day is now honored in 90 cities in 11 countries, including New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. It's linked to the Slow Food Movement.

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