Last weekend, Padua became the cultural capital of Italy, playing host to the word fair “Fiera delle Parole“, a resoundingly successful literary happening involving numerous authors, more than one hundred events, and impressive audience participation.

It was hats off all round to the event’s longstanding organizer Bruna Coscia — who has always believed in the power of this platform — and to Padua City Council who supports the event, especially through the personal efforts of councilman for culture, Andrea Colasio.
Once again, our city has embraced the role of cultural trendsetter and melting pot of intellectual exchange, fertile ground for the ripe fruits of well-established authors and for the growth of upcoming talent.
A couple of events in this edition look at the near future, with a new twist and through wise eyes: the Italo-Chinese cultural association “Il Filo di Seta”, through the efforts of its president Liu Zun (June), saw to the presentation of two books that have turned the spotlight on modern China and the Chinese, wiping the slate clean of clichés and fake news.

On Friday 4 October, the young actor and author Shi Yang Shi presented his book “Cuore di Seta” (heart of silk), published by Mondadori, containing an account of his many-sided life experience: a young Chinese man naturalized in Italy who feels neither Chinese nor Italian, perhaps because he is a bit of both, new fruit springing from new roots. Introducing the subject of contamination, of mixed generations that, in future societies, are destined to increasingly become a resource, and certainly not an issue. Reality has beaten intellectual machinations to the punch: interculture is not a theoretical construct, it is in the meeting of diversity that new ground is formed. We have also gone beyond the concept of mutual understanding, because the near future is showing us that young people will care differently for the planet, and maybe they will have the courage not just to build bridges, but even new roads, because they themselves are new.
The tone of the book presented on Saturday the 5th could not have been more different: “40 Anni di Cina” (40 years of China) by Professor Daniela Caruso (published by Eurilink University Press) dwells, above all, on the economic and social history of modern China.
A valuable work that at last provides a comprehensive overview to help us understand the epoch-making changes that have occurred in China in the recent past, propelling the country from a state of extreme poverty to its current ranking as a world power. A prodigious debate with the author — with brilliant contributions from councilman Andrea Colasio and from Michele De Gasperis, President of the OBOR foundation (which handles Italian investments into the Silk Road) — approached the subject of millennia-old Chinese culture interwoven with the most utter modernity, which have turned China into a modern-day economic and cultural power.

One of the book’s great virtues is that it addresses the apprehension of those who fear China, again wiping the slate clean of misinformation and stereotypes in order to, once again, introduce the issue of the need for mutual understanding, dialogue and exchange.
Dialogue, understanding and exchange are also the values that fuel Soget Est: while we have always endeavoured to bring people together and build business by bridging gaps with translation and language services, now more than ever we are ready to offer different cultural services, which also involve forging new Italo-Chinese and Italo-Arabic partnerships.
Padua is a groundbreaking city, home to a strong, mature, ever-renewing foreign community, whose components include professional business people and a significant degree of culture. Through the Chinese community, the city and the general public are treated to a number of significant events, in no small part thanks to the actions of the “Il Filo di Seta” association and Liu Zun. The underlying idea is that two great peoples and two great cultures should walk hand in hand, as Xi Jinping himself spelled out to the President of Italy Sergio Mattarella during his state visit in March this year, with the signing of the memorandum on the Silk Road, kicking off the year of Culture and Tourism between Italy and China for 2020.