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Few peculiar things on Sicilian Spirit

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Sicilians living in America usually love to recreate the material, moral and religious environment they left. They tend to live in the same area, speak in the same dialect and eat same food they used to eat, pray in the same church with the priest they asked to have from their mother village, celebrate their religious holidays and they set companies of mutual assistance with the names of their most important citizens.

There is more. In 1911, some emigrant from Termini Imerese (Palermo, Sicily) sent to their mother land two photographers to take pictures of the most peculiar Sicilian celebrations, shoot the most brilliant religious rituals, the streets, the houses, the churches they beloved and that to be able to see those images every time in a cinema they set up and kept well maintained. In addition, during the evening time after a long and exhausting day of work, they used to sat there at the cinema and watch their beloved homeland left but never forgotten.

In 1791 after a journey to Sicily, Sir De Mayer from Wien wrote Sicilians were good and laborious people, “clever, astute and skillful folks, mastering works with axes and chainsaws while others requires multiples tools”.

Sober and moderate people, no one else stands against them. In 1841 Sir P. Frédé wrote “men and women have this precious virtue they live with the few, eat not too much, just two oranges, fennels few meat and beans. Wine is taken with frugality.” The English Cockburn wrote that in 1811 while he was attending the Carnival in Palermo he rarely saw drunk people. Today drunk men are followed with the bat.

  • old sicilian picture

Again, De Mayer: «It is said Sicilian husbands are jealous folks but I lack evidences, and I have seen no woman trying to seduce other men. I saw them in the fields, in the streets and in other places outside the villages but always busy doing their affairs and never inclined to talk or being seductive. It is also said that Sicilian folks combines this jealousy with a despotic and exclusive love for their homeland. As far as concerns me, I appreciate loving your own Lord, your own king, your own village, your own house, your own field, your own family, your own women and children. The place where we were born must be the first and foremost thing for ourselves».

Sicilian dialect with its own phonetic modifications is still spoken. It is more used far from the big cities, to the inlands and among the farmers compared to the people living in the cities. It is key to leave the big cities and travel inland in order to hear in its glory. The army, the emigration, the trade and the newspapers have not changed they way it is spoken throughout the classes. It is altered instead especially within the big cities were the melting pot created differences within the word and their phonetics.

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