Bollettino bilingue della Dante Alighieri Society of South Australia Inc.
LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
Se io avessi una botteguccia fatta di una sola stanza
vorrei mettermi a vendere sai cosa? La speranza.
Welcome to the winter issue of Vita Nuova.
This year, together with the filmmaker Federico Fellini, Italy also celebrates the anniversary of the writer Gianni Rodari, born 100 years ago. We all share his wish for hope during this time of uncertainty, frailty and wonder but also of great humanity.
Covid-19 has been unexpected and has changed our way of living, thinking and facing the present and the future while forcing us to stop and reorganise our lives with a different, slower pace. For this reason, for the first time since writing the newsletter, I will not start by saying “much has already happened since last issue…” because, like many other associations and businesses, we needed to temporarily suspend some of our activities.
Thanks to our wonderful teachers, we have been able to continue online our ADA Language Proficiency Courses for adults until we can resume face-to-face lessons. Thanks to Stefano, Claudia and Manuela for re-designing their teaching strategies and adjusting their planning to ensure our adult classes continue through other platforms. Thanks also to Valeria for completing the first term of Dante Tweens with online lessons for our younger students. Thanks also to all of our students who continue studying Italian with the new digital format.
To ensure the health and safety of our members, students and teachers, “Circolo Divina Commedia Study Group”, “Caffe’ Italiano” adult conversation classes and both Dante Playgroup (children 0-5 years-old) and Dante Tweens (children 7-11 years-old) have been suspended. As restrictions are being lifted, we are planning to resume Dante Tweens in Term 3 at Altavilla Irpina Sports and Social Club, (see details below).
On another note, 2020 marks the end of my second mandate as President of the association. As of January 2021, I will be stepping down as President to focus on my professional career. Therefore, we are currently looking for a candidate wishing to take up this outstanding volunteer role to keep alive the Italian language and culture in South Australia together with the awesome committee. If you are interested, or are aware of anyone who may be interested, please enquire and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with any of our volunteers, (see further details below).
In the meantime, I would like to thank all volunteers for their commitment even during these difficult times. We look forward to new members joining and we invite you to read our news and to follow and like our page Dante Alighieri Society of SA Inc. on Facebook.
Let’s keep hoping for a better future, hold on to “speranza” and keep safe.
Silvia De Cesare
RIFLESSIONI SUL POST-COVIDID-19: UTOPIE O RIVOLUZIONI?
Sono tante le domande che ci affiorano dopo questo lungo periodo “al Tempo del COVID- 19”, domande dettate da sentimenti di sconforto e paura, dovuti all’incertezza del tempo in cui la distanza sociale rischia di farci diventare più soli ed egoisti.
Ci si chiede con quale modalità sia necessario affrontare il periodo Post-COVID e se sia giusto tornare a ciò che sembra ormai lasciato alle spalle, cioè al tempo del Pre-COVID.
Sicuramente il mondo è cambiato in seguito a questa Pandemia! Per alcuni non è auspicabile pensare di tornare ad un mondo com’era prima, ma piuttosto fare tesoro di quanto accaduto e sfruttare questa enorme tragedia per rivendicare il valore della dignità umana da cui, probabilmente, lo sfrenato interesse verso il benessere economico ci ha allontanati. Per altri è necessario andare avanti e rivedere il concetto dell’idea di un Mondo Nuovo, una sorta di ritorno al futuro. Essi sostengono che in questo momento sia utile raccogliere l’opportunità di ritrovare quel Senso di Comunità abbandonato da tempo e progettare un futuro davvero diverso. Queste riflessioni ci portano a considerare l’importanza di ripartire da tanti Valori dimenticati.
Il mondo, la natura ci hanno fatto un grosso regalo, quello di fermarci a riflettere su ciò che è giusto e ciò che non lo è, su ciò che può essere cambiato al momento di ripartire e di ripensare al futuro.
Probabilmente è necessario cominciare dal Valore di Solidarietà e quindi dagli ultimi. Lo stesso Papa Francesco, in occasione del 5° anniversario dell’Enciclica Laudato Si del 3 marzo 2020, ha lanciato un appello e ha chiesto a tutti di partecipare alla Settimana Laudato Si dal 16 al 24 maggio, chiedendo di occuparci della nostra Madre Terra senza dimenticare gli ultimi: “Che tipo di Mondo vogliamo lasciare a quelli che verranno dopo di noi, ai bambini che stanno crescendo?….. Il grido della Terra e il grido dei poveri non possono più aspettare”, queste le parole del Papa.
I giovani, inoltre, reclamano un mondo più equo, partendo da una Transizione Ecologica, che possa garantire a tutti di vivere dignitosamente senza sfruttamento e disuguaglianze. Parole come Libertà, Giustizia, Senso Civico, Empatia, Senso di appartenenza, Responsabilità sono molto ricorrenti nei dibattiti del Post-COVID. Esse, infine, possono essere tutte racchiuse in un unico significato che è quello del Valore di Solidarietà di cui la nostra Costituzione Italiana parla e da cui, a mio parere, probabilmente dovremmo ripartire per fondare una realtà nuova, rivoluzionaria e innovativa.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW MEMBERS
A warm welcome to the following new members who have joined the Society this year: Giorgia Bovari
Members are the lifeblood of our Society and we are delighted to have you join us. So on behalf of all the Committee Board and members “Welcome!”
We look forward to seeing you at one of our planned events over the next couple of months.
PASQUA / EASTER TRADITIONS FROM THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH OF ITALY
In Italy, Pasqua is the second most important celebration after Christmas and is closely tied to its religious meaning. For this reason, every city and town will have its own processioni religiose / religious processions and feste popolari / popular feasts to celebrate the religious heart of Easter.
Usually the processions cover all the Easter weekend –il Venerdì Santo / Good Friday through to la Pasquetta / Easter Monday.
The two weeks leading up to Easter Sunday are among the busiest times of the year in Italy, especially in Rome as pilgrims travel to the Citta’ Vaticana / Vatican City for Holy Week. Il Papa (the Pope) will say a Mass at the Vatican on Friday afternoon before leading the Via Crucis / Stations of the Cross procession from the Colosseum amphitheatre to the Palatine Hill. The multilingual event attracts tens of thousands of Romans and tourists alike.
Elsewhere in Italy, the Easter period is marked with a number of rituals and traditions, some dating back to hundreds of years. Food and religious processions are inevitably a central part of the celebrations.
In Florence, “Scoppio del Carro” – on the morning of Easter Sunday an antique cart packed with fireworks is lit by a dove-shaped rocket “la colombina” which flies out of il Duomo after the service. This tradition dates back over 350 years and a successful explosion is believed to guarantee a good year ahead.
In Sardinia there is a whole week of celebrations called “La Settimana Santa / Holy Week”.
In Sicily, some 2,000 white-hooded friars join the Good Friday procession through the streets of Enna carrying the statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus, to commemorate the crucifixion. In Trapani, a parade of floats depicting biblical scenes pass through the town’s streets that lasts for 24 hours.
In Tredozio (Emilia-Romagna) the town holds a series of games on Easter Monday. The “Palio dell’Uovo” – where all games feature eggs. After this egg-fest, you may never want to see another egg again!
The Good Friday parade in Chieti (Abruzzo) boasts one of the oldest parades dating back to at least 840AD, a procession with thousands of hooded brothers followed by a marching orchestra and choir performing the “Miserere”. Another procession is observed where only men and children are allowed to participate carrying with them torches whilst wearing masks.
In the town of Sulmona (Provincia di L’Aquila, Abruzzo), after the Easter Sunday service, priests carry the statue of Mary and run it to the statue of Christ at the other end of the square. This procession is known as “La Madonna che scappa in piazza”, known in English as the Running or Dashing Madonna.
Elsewhere in Italy the Via Crucis / Stations of the Cross is celebrated with processions on Good Friday and Easter Saturday. Those taking part may wear costumes, carry torches, crosses or statues of saints, or act out biblical scenes along the procession route.
On Pasquetta / Easter Monday, in the small Umbrian town of Panicale a cheese-rolling competition takes place. Competitors must roll huge wheels of Ruzzola cheese around the village as part of a game known as “Ruzzolone”.
Traditional food and dishes – just to name a few
Traditionally the main dish of the Easter meal consists of agnello / lamb (lamb symbolizing life). Crispy, roasted or prepared as a stew, lamb is often accompanied by seasonal vegetables or roast potatoes and carrots flavoured with rosemary and bay leaf, stuffed artichokes, tortellini in brodo, ravioli, lasagne or tomato-based pasta dishes often flavoured with lamb meat, fresh beans (broad or fava bean), cheese and salami. Salame e uova sode / salami and boiled eggs, known as “Fellata di pasqua” is a plain dish served in Napoli for Easter as an appetizer. Symbolically, the eggs represent rebirth and the salami the fortune of farmers, who awaited the festivities to put the salami on the dinner table. The most famous traditional cake originating from Milano, known worldwide and dating back to the 1900s, and often eaten after any Easter meal is a “Colomba di Pasqua” – a dove shaped cake (the dove symbolizing peace).The dough is very similar to that of a Panettone or Pandoro but with candied peel and is decorated with almonds and pearl sugar. In Trieste (Friuli Venezia Giulia) it’s the “Pinza Pasquale” a sweet bread with a three-point cross carved on top. In Genova, la torta pasqualina / Easter pie, a savoury pie made with chard or spinach, eggs and cheese and traditionally covered with 33 layers of filo pastry. Delicious even eaten cold, it’s the perfect snack for la scampagnata di pasquetta / Easter Monday picnic in the country.
Roman traditional foods eaten at Easter include “Pizza Sbattuta Romana”, a famous unleavened sponge cake typically eaten for breakfast on Easter morning. Hard boiled eggs, ham and “la corallina” (a typical Umbrian salami) as well as different varieties of savoury cakes. A traditional lunch may consist of oven-baked lamb, Roman-style artichokes “Carciofi alla Romana” followed by la “Colomba” for dessert. “Fiadoni” are typical Easter pastries served in Abruzzo. “Fritole” – a Venetian-style deep fried donut (like zeppole) made with grated apple, brandy and sultanas.
A Southern Easter tradition originating from Napoli back in 17th century (and not only eaten in Napoli), is the “Casatiello Napoletano” a rustic large round-shaped savoury cake made with bread dough and stuffed with several varieties of cheese, salami and eggs. A traditional sweet commonly made in Campania, but also in parts of Calabria and southern Lazio is the “Pastiera Napoletana” – a typical Easter cake made of a shortcrust pastry filled with sheep ricotta, candied citruses and cooked wheat (grano cotto).
In Catania (Sicily), they have a special kind of a not-too-sweet cookie or baked bread with a hard-boiled egg on top. Depending on which part of Sicily you come from they are either called “Cuddura cu l’ova” or “Pupi cu l’ova” (dolls with eggs). They are made in different shapes and are given to family members and friends as a gesture of affection and good luck. “Cassata” is also another popular sweet eaten at Easter.
“Ciambelle di Pasqua / Easter Ciambelle” – another traditional sweet dough donut flavoured with lemon and aniseed liqueur are traditionally made in the South of Italy. “Scarcella” an Easter cake originating from Puglia, but known in all of Southern Italy – a shortcrust pastry decorated with Easter motives.
Uova di Pasqua / Easter eggs (symbolizing rebirth) are everywhere in Italy. Coloured hard-boiled eggs or chocolate eggs covered in candied sugar glaze. Giving eggs as a present has been considered a sign of good wishes and happiness. Chocolate eggs usually come with a surprise wrapped inside of them, just don’t expect an Easter bunny to come and deliver them to you!
While we have only touched on a few regional traditional dishes, we’re curious to know: what’s your favourite Italian traditional dish eaten at Easter?
Easter in Italy not only means religion, but also family, food and friends.
A famous Italian saying for this time of year is, “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi.” (Christmas with your relatives, Easter with whoever you want).
J.W. WATERHOUSE’S CIRCE INVIDIOSA TRAVELS TO ITALY
The Gallery’s beloved painting by J.W. Waterhouse Circe Individiosa is on loan to Ulysses: Art and myth, an exhibition at the Musei San Domenico, Forlì in Italy (14 February – 21 June 2020). This ambitious exhibition, of over 250 works, explores the representation of Ulysses from Classical Antiquity to now. The story of Ulysses was told by the ancient Greek writer, Homer, in his epic poem, Odyssey, and widely represented in art and literature from the Archaic Age onwards. Waterhouse’s painting focuses on the figure of Circe, who in a fit of jealousy poisons the water where her rival in love, Scylla, was known to bathe. Waterhouse’s painting is exhibited alongside other masterpieces of Pre-Raphaelite and symbolist art.
Circe is not only hung prominently in the exhibition, but also featured as a large marketing banner at the museum’s entrance.
Maria Zagala, AGSA Magazine, Issue no. 39, Art Gallery of South Australia
2020 MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL
Don’t forget to continue supporting our Association and our activities by renewing your Membership for 2020.
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