Signor Rossi, Meet Mr. Hu - Italy's Old And New Names Show A Changing Nation

Mapping the latest data of surnames in Italy shows that both internal migration and international immigration are changing how this beautiful country calls itself. Rossi has been bumped by Russo, and two Chinese names are in the Top Ten in Milan.

Eleonora Vallin

PADUA – Signor Rossi, the longstanding "Mr. Jones' of Italy has been replaced by Signor Russo.According to a new study of the prevalence of Italian names, "Russo" – which originally referred to red hair and red beard – is the most common surname across the country. But perhaps more noteworthy is the growing popularity of names on the Italian peninsula like Singh, Hu and Fatnassi, evidence of unprecedented immigration over the past two decades.

With its origins in southern Italy, Russo today comes in first in Sicily and second in the regions of Campania and Puglia. And yet, thanks to 20th century internal south-to-north 20th century migration, the name is also in the top three in Turin, ousting the typical Piedmont family name: Ferrero. Russo also comes in fifth in Novara and sixth in Milan, 12th in Genoa, and fifth in Rome.

As for Rossi, which is virtually non-existent in the south, "it does not represent Italy any more," explains Enzo Caffarelli, a professor of Onomastics at Tor Vergata University in Rome and the author of the study "Italians in the 21st century," commissioned by the National Association of Italian Cities, and presented earlier this month in Padua.

The study showed the notable increase of southern names in the center-north 40 years after the massive northward emigration that helped reshape Italy. Russo is one of them, but Esposito is also now 12th in both Turin and Milan.

But perhaps the most significant novelty in the survey is the presence of non-Italian surnames across the country. Singh, a typical Indian and Pakistani surname, is the most common in the northern city of Brescia. To that, one should add Kaur, the name usually carried by women of the same origin.

The Tunisian name Fatnassi comes in second in the northwestern city of Imperia and Singhalese names Fernando and Warnakulasuriya come in 14th and 22nd in Verona. The dynamics often follow the logic of industry: in the city of Vincenza, for instance, there is no trace of non-Italian names in the Top 100, but in the industrial center of Montecchio there are 11.

In Milan, two foreign surnames, both Chinese, are in the Top Ten: Hu is fourth, and Chen is 10th. Hu is also in the Top Ten in Turin, and in the Top 12 in Brescia.

Foreign names, which are expected to multiply in the future, have created some new challenges for clerks at the registry office. You have the patronymic "chains' of Arab citizens, who keep the name of their father, their grandfather and their great-grandfather. In these cases, clerks tend to "simplify" names. Spanish and Portuguese residents are entitled to keep their double surname. In other cases, you end up with the "abolition of diacritical marks' (e. g. giving up accents) as well as dropping the specific declension for women's surnames from Eastern Europe. It also happens that a young girl of Pakistani descent legally has to bear the name of her father: instead of being named Princess (Kaur), she will be given the name of Singh, which means Lion.

Read the original article in Italian

Photo – e://Dantes

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In Argentina, A Visit To World's Highest Solar Energy Park

With loans and solar panels from China, the massive solar park has been opened a year and is already powering the surrounding areas. Now the Chinese supplier is pushing for an expansion.

960,000 solar panels have been installed at the Cauchari park

Silvia Naishtat

CAUCHARI — Driving across the border with Chile into the northwest Argentine department of Susques, you may spot what looks like a black mass in the distance. Arriving at a 4,000-meter altitude in the municipality of Cauchari, what comes into view instead is an assembly of 960,000 solar panels. It is the world's highest photovoltaic (PV) park, which is also the second biggest solar energy facility in Latin America, after Mexico's Aguascalientes plant.

Spread over 800 hectares in an arid landscape, the Cauchari park has been operating for a year, and has so far turned sunshine into 315 megawatts of electricity, enough to power the local provincial capital of Jujuy through the national grid.

It has also generated some $50 million for the province, which Governor Gerardo Morales has allocated to building 239 schools.

Abundant sunshine, low temperatures

The physicist Martín Albornoz says Cauchari, which means "link to the sun," is exposed to the best solar radiation anywhere. The area has 260 days of sunshine, with no smog and relatively low temperatures, which helps keep the panels in optimal conditions.

Its construction began with a loan of more than $331 million from China's Eximbank, which allowed the purchase of panels made in Shanghai. They arrived in Buenos Aires in 2,500 containers and were later trucked a considerable distance to the site in Cauchari . This was a titanic project that required 1,200 builders and 10-ton cranes, but will save some 780,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year.

It is now run by 60 technicians. Its panels, with a 25-year guarantee, follow the sun's path and are cleaned twice a year. The plant is expected to have a service life of 40 years. Its choice of location was based on power lines traced in the 1990s to export power to Chile, now fed by the park.

Chinese engineers working in an office at the Cauchari park


Chinese want to expand

The plant belongs to the public-sector firm Jemse (Jujuy Energía y Minería), created in 2011 by the province's then governor Eduardo Fellner. Jemse's president, Felipe Albornoz, says that once Chinese credits are repaid in 20 years, Cauchari will earn the province $600 million.

The Argentine Energy ministry must now decide on the park's proposed expansion. The Chinese would pay in $200 million, which will help install 400,000 additional panels and generate enough power for the entire province of Jujuy.

The park's CEO, Guillermo Hoerth, observes that state policies are key to turning Jujuy into a green province. "We must change the production model. The world is rapidly cutting fossil fuel emissions. This is a great opportunity," Hoerth says.

The province's energy chief, Mario Pizarro, says in turn that Susques and three other provincial districts are already self-sufficient with clean energy, and three other districts would soon follow.

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