'I Was Bit Different From Everyone': Sinner Opens Up About Cultural Shock In Italy

'I Was Bit Different From Everyone': Sinner Opens Up About Cultural Shock In Italy

by Zachary Wimer

Jannik Sinner recently spoke about the culture shock he experienced when moving away from his region in the North of Italy.

Sinner comes from South Tyrol, a predominantly German-speaking part of Italy, where he spent much of his early childhood. A native German speaker, he experienced some culture shock when he moved further south to pursue tennis.

In an interview with L'Equipe, he admitted that initially, it was tough because he felt like an outsider until he finally became more comfortable with what he described as the 'Italian way.'

"It’s true that it wasn’t easy at first. I was a bit different from everyone else, whether on or off the court. I come from a place where people go to bed early, while other Italians stay up late, a lot of things like that. When I went to the south of Italy to train, I learned that it’s the 'Italian way.'"

Despite coming from a part of Italy that hasn't been 'Italy' for that long, having been annexed by the country after the First World War in 1919, Sinner is very comfortable with his Italian identity.

He expresses great pride in being Italian and loves representing the country, but he never tried fitting into other narratives. When he moved further south, he didn't change much about himself.

He remained true to himself, and if people didn't like that, he was not bothered by it. He was never going to change who he was to fit into other people's ideas of who he was.

"However, I’ve never tried to change to please anyone. I try to constantly learn about what works best for me, my body and the people around me. I am what I am: if people like who I am, great. If not, it is what it is. I’m not going to change because there are strangers who criticize me."


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