Umarells at Office Divvy
The Umarells: A Cultural Phenomenon in Italy has now become part of the daily fabric at Office Divvy in Palm Coast (or in Italian, “Palma Costa”). All thanks to our colleague Mark Woods!
First, a little on Umarells…
In recent years, a new cultural phenomenon has taken Italy by storm: the Umarells. Umarells are mostly older gentlemen, who can be found loitering around construction sites and renovation projects, peeping through the privacy fences, watching the work, and sometimes offering unsolicited advice and commentary to the workers.
The name “Umarell” comes from the dialect of Emilia-Romagna, where the phenomenon first appeared, and roughly translates to “old timer”.
The Umarells are known to be a fixture at construction sites all over Italy, but they are particularly prevalent in the city of Bologna. There, you can find them gathering around scaffolding and cranes, chatting with the workers, and offering advice on how to do their jobs.
The Umarells have been featured in news articles, documentaries, and even a popular TV show.
They are often seen as endearing figures, embodying the spirit of the Italian Nonno (grandfather) who wants to stay active and involved in the community.
Many people see the Umarells as a symbol of Italian culture, with its deep roots in tradition and community. They remind us that age should not be a barrier to participation and engagement in society. They are also a reminder of the importance of the “artigiano” — the skilled craftsman, in Italian culture. The Umarells are sometimes experts in their field and may have a wealth of knowledge and experience that they are willing to share with others.
In recent years, the phenomenon of the Umarells has sparked a lot of debate in Italy.
Some see them as a nuisance, while others see them as a valuable resource. One way they’ve become a valuable resource is when Italian construction companies realized that having Umarells present reduced job-site theft and even some construction-worker-safety-related exposure.
Umarells are more than just an annoyance but a cultural phenomenon, beloved by many and a symbol of community and tradition. They remind us to stay active and engaged in society, regardless of our age. Though they may get on workers’ nerves, they also shared valuable knowledge and experience. They are the living testament of Italian skilled craftsmanship.
Now, a little about how Umarells came to our team at Office Divvy…
Mark Woods (long-time friend of Office Divvy, a member, and a teammate) gave us all Umarell figurines as a Holiday gift. He was so moved by the story he dug deeper and found an Etsy artist who makes a fabulous 3D version that you can keep with you.
The team members at Office Divvy who received an Umarell immediately cherished their gifts!
Here are some of the Office Divvy Umarells at work: