May 23th, 2018 | PEOPLE

【Global People of Yanmar: Italy Series, Volume 4】
Having a close look at what the Italian employees eat for lunch. In fact, it's sound and healthy!

"Global People of Yanmar: Italy Series, Volume 4" covers the life of a Yanmar employee assigned to a post abroad. This time, we will have a closer look at what lunch in Italy looks like. We expected people to have a great time while eating lunch at a restaurant together with a glass of wine, but what we found was that everyone was gathering around the table like a large family! The after-lunch-routine is great too.

Toshifumi Hiramatsu
Affiliated to YANMAR R&D EUROPE S.R.L

Appointed as of April 2017. Before his appointment, he was in charge of developing agricultural robots at the Fundamental Technology Research Division of the Research & Development Center at the Yanmar's Research & Development Unit. At YANMAR R&D EUROPE, he is also engaged in the research of robots for small-size machines.

Table of Contents

  1. More down-to-earth than expected! For the Italians, it's normal to bring their own lunch.
  2. Organizing one's own birthday celebration?! In Italy, it's all about hospitality.
  3. "Sciampino" with everyone after lunch? A lovely tradition among the employees, who all get along well.

More down-to-earth than expected! For the Italians, it's normal to bring their own lunch.

In our company, everyone brings their own lunch. In case they don't bring lunch, it can be bought at nearby bars as well, but in general, many people want to save money, so I think they are quite down-to-earth. Many of my colleagues are health-conscious and some of them are vegetarian.
Some people don't even drink coffee because they consider that caffeine is not good for their health, even though espresso is one of the first things which come to mind when thinking of Italy. It really depends on the person.

Since pasta is very cheap here, I sometimes eat it together with a pasta sauce I bought, but after all, I still miss rice. I buy rice online and bring my bento (Japanese home-packed meal) with rice.
Before starting my job here, I was told I should bring a rice cooker from Japan. So I did just that and at home I use a rice cooker I brought from Japan.
One of the good things about making a Japanese bento is that it becomes a topic of conversation with others at work.

(left)Bento cooked by Mr. Hiramatsu. The bento box is also Japanese style.

(right)Red cabbage and meat because "I try to have a healthy lunch to lose weight".

(left)Salad and tuna, mozzarella cheese and prosciutto ham. Olive oil is essential, of course.

(right)Rice, bell peppers and vegetables mixed with vegetable broth.

(left)Dish with chickpeas, a popular ingredient in Florence, and fruit.

(right)Catania style pasta with eggplant and eggs. "I made too much, so this is going to be tomorrow's lunch, too".

(left)Risotto is one of the classics among the home-packed meals.

(right)Healthy lunch consisting of a stew with tomato sauce, spinach and bread.

These thick and chewy varieties of pasta must be very filling.

Lunchtime on Mondays is often characterized by lively discussions surrounding the weekend's football matches. The employees support different teams such as the local team Fiorentina or AC Milan.
When it comes to soccer, discussions become very heated at times, providing a first-hand experience of the country of "Calcio" (laughs).

Organizing one's own birthday celebration?! In Italy, it's all about hospitality.

Alessandro Bellissima, standing next to Mr. Hiramatsu on the left, had his birthday on the day this picture was taken.

In Italy, one's birthday is not a day on which others organize a celebration for you. Rather, the person celebrating his or her birthday cuts the cake into pieces himself/herself and entertains the others as a host. This is the opposite of Japan, where it is normal for others to organize a celebration for you.
At our company, we have the tradition that the birthday of an employee is celebrated with everybody, and I feel that this really reflects the home-like atmosphere of this company, where people treat one another as if they were family members.
Interestingly, when leaving work in the evening, people address everyone individually like "See you the day after tomorrow after your business trip" or "I'll see you tomorrow".
Everyone goes home after having said a heartfelt goodbye to their colleagues.
It's interesting how people greet one another individually when arriving and when leaving. I was surprised because this is not an order, but something which is done as a matter of course.

(left)Cutting the cake into pieces is the task the person celebrating their birthday.

(right)It goes without saying that the second cake is eaten, too!

(left)This day's birthday cake was an apple cake.

(right)The usual lively discussion surrounding football while drinking tea.

"Sciampino" with everyone after lunch? A lovely tradition among the employees, who all get along well.

We have the habit of going for a walk after lunch to get some exercise and for the health.
There is a short and a long course with the short course being a 10 minutes' walk in the surroundings of the company.
The long course leads to the Piazzale Michelangelo and back, taking more than 20 minutes. It requires a lot of walking, so it's quite a good exercise (laughs).

By the way, the word "Sciampino" was created after Sonia taught the Japanese word for walk/stroll, "Sampo", to the employees of the company. I guess it was "Sampo" became "Sciampo", which then became "Sciampino".
Of course, it is an invented word, but inside the company, a walk referred to as "Sciampino" (laughs).

Employees discussing whether to take the long or the short course.

This day was a bit chilly and clouded, so people chose the short course. Seeing how everyone was having a good time on their "Sciampino" (walk) left an impression with us.

Bringing home-packed meals for lunch and enjoying a walk together after eating - that's the way it's done in Italy!
Communicating on a personal level might be the main factor behind the high sense of unity among the employees.

The next topic of【Global People of Yanmar: Italy Series, Volume 5】 will be "Solving issues by means of technology from around the world. What future is Yanmar aiming at?"

Several products supporting Europe's cities will make their appearance!

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