Do you remember conversations at the kitchen table between grandparents that were speaking Sicilian?
Do you remember someone saying, “I’m going to the baccausa”, instead of saying bathroom? Do you remember Sunday spaghetti dinner after church, and Nanna’s delicious sauce? Have you ever accompanied an older relative grocery shopping, and when they attempted to pay, they reached into their pocket for change but three lucky beans (fava) fall out onto the counter? Have you ever had to drink “Acqua Cadavuru (bay leaf tea)” for an upset stomach? Did you ever go Funcia (mushroom) hunting with your Nannu in the woods? Have you ever seen your uncle cut a piece of bamboo, and turn it into an instrument “Friscalettu” which would entertain the family for hours. Remember the images of Nanna cutting out Christmas cookies to bake, and decorate like no one else could. And remember that delicate pinch on the cheek that you’d get as they said “faccia bedda chi e’ duci (beautiful face, how sweet you are)”. They surely had a way of making us feel like we were the most special in the world. It was simple yet a uniquely genuine talent they had. They were teaching us the precious gift of Sicily. We did not realize it then or perhaps we did a little, but what’s certain is we realize it now more than ever before.
I remember those and many other things just like you do. However, I do not remember as much as my father does. This concerns me, and I wondered how much less my son will remember when he becomes a man. I decided to create a facebook page to speak, share and save these stories, and the Sicilian Language. In fact, that is the mission statement of our group; to speak, share and save the Sicilian Language, and the stories that were spoken through her. If you remember any of the stories I mentioned or you have stories to add, please join us @ Speak Sicilian! We will be glad to meet you.