After enjoying my time in Bergamo (see my posts here, here and here), I headed to Milan to participate to the 19th European Seminar for Graduate Students on Canadian Studies.

Milan Stazione Centrale

I arrived a bit late to be able to visit anything since the seminar was starting in the afternoon.  However, I took the time to get out of stazione centrale and stopped by for a panini on a terrace.  I was joined by two greedy pigeons who nearly went picking in my plate.  Ok, stazione centrale is not the Duomo, but I thought it was a nice building.  I was also able to see the local tramways (you might already be aware of my liking for foreign vehicles). 

As I stepped out of the station, I was submerged by an atmosphere.  It was busy, athough it does not seem so on the picture, and there was a stage with a DJ playing away.  It was really cool.  I love being a stranger in a city.  However, I did not regret to have decided to spend my free time in Bergamo rather than Milan; I have always preferred smaller towns.

The programme of the seminar was really interesting and I enjoyed many papers.  Many topics were covered from literature to law.  Of course, I found it difficult to follow the law papers despite the panelists’ efforts to make them accessible; however, they initiated interesting discussion.  Some of the literature papers were truly fascinating for me.  I was particularly impressed by Jacky Moore’s paper on Nuu’Chah’Nulth women.  She told us about how she spent some time with them and collected their stories.  I listened to the papers and discovered many things about Canada and its culture.  I love that about conferences: just sit back and discover the work of your peers.  It is most enlightening and an enjoyable way to learn.

One of the highlights of the seminar was a film presented by Aaraon Diaz from the Autonomous University of Mexico about Mexican temporary migrant workers in Canada.  The purpose of the film is to raise awareness on the too often deplorable working conditions of these temporary workers and the consequences ensued from employers’ carelessness (sometimes even causing death). 

The seminar was intense but it was great fun.  Everything was organised for us, including lunches and dinners, so we would get food for the stomach as well as food for the brain (in the words of one of the organisers).  The Italians love their food!  Even the lunch at the university cafeteria was lovely.  We went to different places for dinners, one of them being a traditional trattoria, in which food and environment were gorgeous!  And yes, they know how to make proper ice-cream!

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