Holidays, all the advantages of not having duties and responsibilities –

Before coloring the void, giving it a negative shade that highlights its features of uncertainty, uncertainty; or positive, fascinated by the lack of stress, the rarity of solicitation, and hence worries, it would be good to get acquainted with this void and try to define it.

Suspension. Vacation is one of the words that fill this void with meaning: it comes from Latin vacationplural neuter noun from vacans vacantiisthe participle of the present tense of the verb vacare. We are literally dealing with the definition of being empty, free, unoccupied, most often related to the office, to work.

Between one pope and another. Perhaps one of the most famous definitions of the present participle of this verb is the one that participates in a free localization site. It serves, in particular, to indicate the period between the Pope’s death and the election of a successor. But the Catholic Church also uses it for the diocese, thus indicating the period between the end of the bishop’s reign and the appointment of a successor. But all posts left by the holder vacant and therefore available for assignment are unfilled, whether they are politicians, in particular with regard to ministerial or administrative positions, managers or teachers.

It can even be good. As the Treccani dictionary reminds, in Roman law they were called vacancies (Latin). bona vacantia) those that after the death of the owner did not pass to any person because the deceased did not make a will or did not have legitimate heirs, and finally because the heirs did not want or could not happen. It was Augustus who established by law that the property was then transferred to the state treasury.

Shovels and buckets in plural. Absence, leave in the plural turns into a period of suspension from work and study. A period in fact, because it is not a single day of vacation (which also happens during the year on particularly important days, such as Liberation Day on April 25). We are talking about a period that can also be very long, such as a summer student vacation that lasts more than three months and which, in any case, is a definite break from everyday life.

No obligations. But what qualifies holidays in a special way, since each of us has different preferences and inclinations to spend them as we can and at will? Again, the concept of absence is to be decisive: therefore duties are suspended at this stage. Sure, students will always have some homework for the holidays, but nothing compares to the work they did during the school year. More complete is the distance for employees who will finally not have to respect skills and schedules during this period.

Just not to forget. Leave entitlement for workers is a relatively recent achievement. The first country to pass an official law on this matter was England in 1871, which granted bank employees four days’ leave under the Bank Holidays Act. The model was successfully extended to Canada and the USA. The first state to establish the right to a period of paid leave for all workers was France, with a law approved in 1936 and the leave days amounting to 15. The Constitution of the Italian Republic of 1948 stipulates that the worker is entitled to paid annual leave and, above all, that it is impossible to give up. The concepts contained in art. 36, which emphasizes that workers have the right to a remuneration proportional to the quantity and quality of work and, in any event, sufficient to ensure a free and dignified existence for the family. The maximum daily working hours limit (no more than 40 per week), at least one day off per week and annual paid leave are non-transferable rights, as rest is an essential condition for the well-being of those who work. Finally, the right of employees to paid leave of not less than four weeks a year was sanctioned by a law approved only in 2003.

During the year. Holidays are by definition summer and only for a few generations have they coincided with large collective movements towards the seaside or mountainous places where this rest period is spent. But always following the school calendar, there are also at least two other suspension periods: Christmas and Easter. Periods shorter than the summer break, but still quite long.

Saints and intelligentsia. No obligations, the possibility of lengthening moments of rest, sleeping a few more hours, were the driving force behind the construction of some happy phrases: phrases such as sending your brain on vacation are a humorous way of describing those who do. he does not use his own intellectual abilities and does not think. Another term that has been widely used in recent decades: smart vacation, a term that comes from an episode of Where Are You Going on Vacation? 1978 to indicate holidays in which rest is combined with cultural rest. The Treccani dictionary very aptly resembles Giorgio Manganelli’s ironic reaction to this phrase: I hate the concept of a smart holiday; I think he assumes the year is idiotic except these days. We quietly allow ourselves to recommend reading and rereading Giorgio Manganelli’s books as the only way to really spend your holidays intelligently. This column will do that too, giving you a meeting in early September.

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