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Mortal enemy or lifesaving friend, salt will always be in season

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Atsuko Suga (1929-1998), who married an Italian and penned many essays about her life in Italy, once quoted her mother-in-law's advice: "You must lick one ton of salt together before you can really understand any one person."

To lick a lot of salt together means to share numerous meals with someone, be it with one's spouse or friends. It implies sharing just as many experiences, both happy and painful.

Suga noted that her mother-in-law had also been given this advice by her mother-in-law when she was younger. I presume this is an old Italian maxim that has been around for a very long time.


© The Asahi Shimbun