Monday, December 17, 2007


From time to time I happen to read the newspapers or watch the television news. I am struck by the news of violence on a regular base. The world is only violence. It gives the impression you should lock yourself inside your house and never come out, because it seems the violence is at your front door. However, I stop and think how maturity and convictions are stronger then feelings.
I’ve lived in a community where violence was always present: poverty, crime etc.Our small hometown had a territorial limit, people and communication. 4000 souls confined to the secluded mountains. The few contacts were with our neighboring hometowns, Scido, Cosoleto, Santa Giorgia and Lubrichi. Gioia Tauro, Palmi and Reggio Calabria were far and very important cities. Like in every community you encounter the defects and virtues, from miniature, some humanity. Therefore the few disturbing news were limited to a few thousand people and fewer events.For months these last ones were materialistic discussions, research and reflections, in anticipation they would not diminish completely.Another important element was the control of territory. Activities carried out by all the population. Parents controlled the household, whereby relatives and others controlled the remaining territory.
The security of the children and all the others was delegated to the hometown. This activity was carried out in an impeccable way. Naturally it wasn’t all sparkling gold, deviance existed, but it represented a warning to us all, what was forbidden. The house and road was our physical and spiritual arena. The inflexible rules were to respect the property of others and the municipality.
Children and teenagers all attempt to break the rules, but it was known for every cause was a punishment, an inner and civil equilibrium life. Facing the church square of Paracorio was a small garden, blooming with roses and azaleas. There, nobody observed us teenagers and we never thought of exceeding the boundaries’ established by the community. They were there and respected. The permanent guards were the many elderly seated on the garden benches, observing what was forbidden. This analysis makes me understand many things. Where there is mankind, violence has always existed. At one time news of violence was where you lived or in the surrounding hometowns. You metabolized the acquired news because it was carried out during a slow period. The people lived in a traumatic phenomenon and isolated. Serious fact but innate
within a mature humanity. Enemies were not seen everywhere, you emerged from shock and life continued. A reactive and social agreement existed that gave strength and certainty. Now we delegate our daily living to a great monster that directs us, raises our children, informs and cures us: the television. Long ago a typical expression was said about the television “it was absolute truth”, and in the last few years’ sort of psychological dictatorship. Our existence of a dominant strength has been delegated to an instrument, the television.Every talk show scares us with a good twist, afterwards reassures us with the best psychologist and his experience, or the great criminologist or the great strategist of war. They provide us with countless news on violence happening thousand of kilometers away but making it seem it’s occurring beside our house. By chance I watch stories of poor fleeting psychos, but strangely common people, but never someone at the top. Always scrutinizing and within the people’s social misery but never the influential people, it’s a strange combination.People are locking themselves between their domestic walls because of fear due to trash programs and television news transmitted daily. No social net and often isolated. To others the strongest voice is the television. It cannot be culture if there is no dialogue. Culture is not learned through lessons alone, but determined through your contacts, experience and respect of the rules.Our roads are always emptier; our children more insecure and unfortunately no longer trained by us. Perhaps it is time to retrieve the territory, not delegate our security to others, but forward the experiences transmitted for centuries by our community.


Aprilsun said...

Hello Franco,
Came across your blog today and was pleasantly surprised, as I also have a connection to Delianouva. My parents are from there and emigrated to Perth West Australia in 1955. I told them about your blog and was pleased to learn that they know your parents very well. They say its a small world and it surely is. My name is Anna and a I also was born in 1958, I have never been to Italy but I'm hoping to come over soon. Would love to chat some more if you would like. Take care...........Anna.
p.s. My parents are Domenico Antonio Versace ( u toyu) and Pasqualina Macri ( a surica).

Anonymous said...

Ciao Franco, I really identify with your story of Delianouva. My grandparents came from there and settled in WA, Australia. But 80 years later they still had the old control personality/conditions with them and sad to say some of their adult children have inherited these control freak ideas, but they take the control freak ideas to a new level - believe me !!!
But suffice to say - God is my helper and best friend and one day all will be made new again - will not have to put up people making our lives a misery !!!
How I look forward to that day and it will come very soon.

Anonymous said...

Hello Liz, I am hearing you loud and clear............And like you GOD is my helper too, without HIM life would be impossible. As much as Im proud of my heritage, I must admit that the old school really make it hard to want to say hey Im Calabrese. Lets not even start on the "CONTROL ", and the fantastic Quilt trip they put on Us, but hey life continues and we need to some control ourselves, as hard as they make it. It was nice to idetinfy with someone else , but then again Im sure there is a whole lot more out there. Take Care.....Anna