One of the most common sentences you’ll hear popping up from an Italian group abroad, or when in minority among other foreigners is the one that gives the title to this post: “Non facciamoci riconoscere”. It translates literally in “Let’s not make ourselves recognized”, and it means pretty much “Let’s not get tagged as ‘Italians’ right away”. It’s really a very common phrase, that can be said in a more or less serious tone. If you have an Italian friend, ask him/her; you’ll get a 100% confirmation.
Italians hold an inferiority complex towards the rest of the world, at least for what concerns immediate judgement; we are afraid of reinforcing the stereotype that says that we are always late, loud, unprecise, unreliable. Not that we feel any of the above (when we do it. Different story is whenever some other fellow Italian does that to us, but that’s a different story, and a hint for a future post), on the contrary, we realize how whatever happened to us that made us late or loud in that moment was absolutely explainable and justifiable, but we know that those stricts foreigners around us don’t get it, so we feel ashamed. As usual, “ci siamo fatti riconoscere” (Lit:”We made ourselves recognized”).