Rome Travel Guide

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

DAJE! A note on the mayoral election in Rome

It's election time in Italy.  Romans are going to the polls today (Sunday) and tomorrow, to elect, among other officials, a mayor for the city.   You'll be relieved to know that we have no desire or intention to discuss the candidates (there are 19, 4 of them serious), parties, or issues. 

The candidates campaign by holding big rallies in Rome's piazzas, and by postering.  The posters usually have a picture of the candidate and something about how that candidate is one of us and will represent the people and make life better.  Blah blah.  One poster, especially, intrigued us.   It belonged to mayoral candidate Ignazio Marino, a bland surgeon representing the center-left.  It said only DAJE.  Daje?  What's that, we wondered?

Daje, we discovered, is Roman dialect for the Italian word "dai," which means "go," as when your kid has the soccer ball and you yell "dai."  Daje is pronounced "daayeh."  Besides "go," it can mean "hurry up," or "OK" (as in 'Ci vediamo stasera?' 'Daje' [See you this evening?  OK].  Or even, and perhaps essentially, 'Fuck yeah!', expressing the excitement of a soccer fan rooting for the Roma team: 'Daje Roma!'  (Tonight is the final of the Coppa Italia; 'daje' will be heard a lot.) 

We'll find out soon if Marino's sophisticated sloganeering has won him the job. 


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