Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Culture of Survival

In a world where “winners” are the masters of our destiny and our lives, similarly are the "losers".

I left Delianuova twenty years ago, not with a cardboard suitcase but with cultural baggage and the intention of never looking back.I saw my defeat in that town. For me, that place and those people were the ugliness of my life. Every memory, every place and every gesture were my defeat. Twenty years lost, this is the way one feels when they have to leave, leaving everything behind. I arrived in Pavia as a young, enthusiastic university student. A wonderful place made up of young people and culture.
A world I had always wished for, where you could discuss anything you wanted without fears. I thought “this is my world.”
I was young, full of life and prospects.Graciously they called me the shepherd. Where did you leave your sheep? Life is difficult for the shepherds in Aspromonte”.
An enlightened and heterogeneous world full of culture and history.
Nevertheless the burdens of the Aspromonte never leave, not even in a world diverse from mine, where intelligence is prince. I have learned it is not like this, I made the mistake of being born. All that remained from my previous life was a shepherd from Aspromonte. My previous life was swept away. I began to remove the pieces.
These are the moments where you can breakdown or react.The latter solution was the most appealing. Obviously I had to think of a way to leave. A thing remained and still remains, a phrase deposited in the meander of my brain” vai chi meiju i tia e fanci a spisa” (go with those better than yourself and provide for them). A nauseating phrase repeated by my parents. A ringing phrase, that seems to try to improve life. Never feel discouraged “jiu scuru da menzanotti no veni” (it can’t get darker than midnight)
Of course there was no lack of courage or life’s baggage. More so was the humility and dignity of the poor people. In order to construct a house you need an excellent foundation. Years later I think of those moments. It has not been a discontinuation of my previous life but a continuation. To emigrate, even if for me it was a luxurious emigration is to lose part of oneself, loved ones and stories, in a world that is not ours.
A world where, an immigrant lady once said to me, “you must work twice as hard as someone who is native of the place.” Once so you will be accepted and the other to carry out your normal functions. Therefore, in these situations lower your head and move ahead.The dignity of the conquered has always been the motivating force to overcome any obstacle.
My culture, which at one time I had turned away from, is returning in full force.
A while ago I examined an old women from Delianuova who said to me” nui ndi ndi jimmu I ja e trovammi bentu” (we left there and we found peace). Yes, we found peace but the price was high in order to integrate into a culture diverse from ours.I reflect on when I left and have finally made peace with my past.

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