31 March 2015 it’s ‘International Hug a Medievalist Day’
Next Tuesday will be International Hug a Medievalist Day but I’ll be leaving to Italy and unfortunately – since I consider myself a Medievalist – I’ll not be available to dispense hugs but I wish that everyone will be able to find another Medievalist to hug in Hong Kong, for good luck and good health. I would like to add that usually Medievalists not only delight in discovering hidden details in caudexes but possess an excellent, albeit slightly weird, sense of humour, which becomes unbearable when they drink ale in pubs. They feel slightly awkward with excessive alcohol (ah, there is an Arab word!) then try to convince people around them to sing hymns in Latin. They look foolishly happy, like children, only when they are able to host a medieval-themed party. It is a tradition, I mean International Hug a Medievalist Day, which had begun only in 2012 and I have strong doubts about the usefulness of hugging Medievalists since International Hug a Medievalist Day is a Facebook concoction. So far, there are 5,000 attendees on the invite page (including me), and basically everyone is posting comments with digital hugs in them + also of course some fine medievalist humour. Who would I like to hug on that day if a true Medievalist could be resurrected? I think Francesco Datini, the merchant of Prato – a sort of Li Kashing in his days – and one of the fathers of modern banking. I am sure he would find Hong Kong rather unsurprising since he had already envisaged a similarly structured Eastern trade city in the XIV century, while he was busy setting up his trading posts in north Europe.