Today, I will start writing about a part of my past life. As I said in a prior post "Mafia", I came from Sicily some twenty years ago. It's hard for me to talk about it, not that I do not love my land, but because the nomea "reputation" it has acquired thanks to the so called, "onorata societa" (honored society) which has prevented me from doing it. Today, in an attempt to restore a good image of the Sicilian culture and remove those stereotypes of Sicilian families, I decided finally to write about it.
To write about this malignant tumor profusely from my prospective, while in the same time trying to approach every aspect of its effects on the Sicilian society is very hard, because of its complexity.
As I said, I'm from Sicily, but what I didn't mentioned in the previous post was, exactly from which city. Well, today I'm going to tell you that I'm from Palermo the Sicilian capital of province.
I don't really know, where I'll go from here. Explaining it, while trying to get a grasp of this phenomenon in few words , it's a real hardship because of its nature, a handful of posts wouldn't suffice it. I start here, by telling a bit of Palermo and Sicily's history. Palermo has been a real capital, many times under different rulers in its history. Indeed, Palermo and the all Sicily, because of its strategical location, in its tormented history has been invaded and colonized countless time. Starting from the Romans, and in succession: the Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Swedish , Angioinis, Spanish, Austrians, Bourbons and so on, until the Sicilian annexation in the "1860" to the kingdom of Italy.
The ancient geographical location probably generated its name [Panormos] from the Greek meaning all Harbour. Palermo also known as, "the conca d'oro" meaning gold valley because of all its lemon cultivations which gave to the city, a gold reflective glimpse when, looking at its view from faraway. Today unfortunately You won't see it anymore, because of its frenetic urbanization, but till today I remember the time when it was.
Even though, in Sicily the organized crime has a big impact in this region, and any improvement attempts in the Sicilian cities, has been frustrated by the Mafia "stronghold".
Nowadays, Sicily which is, one of the major island in the Mediterranean Sea [Sicily, was also named Trinachia by its ancient inhabitants because of its shape, in fact Trinachia means three tips], thanks to the richness of its artistic patrimonial presence in its territory, and to its mild climate, the all Sicily has a big continuous flow of tourists.
As I said before the honored society, or better known as "Mafia", when portrayed in so many American mafia movies, appears like it has, some kind of contort, fascinating appeal, when in reality has none of that. To cohabit daily with it, and all its brutality you won't find anything appealing. All these Hollywood type movies, really anger me because give a false image of the Sicilians, and the Sicilian families, in particular when TV movies like the "Sopranos drama" are shown in the TV's screens.
Sicily isn't only the land of Mafia.
A big part of Sicilian are hard working people, they support their own families, by getting up every morning to go to work, and they are not associeted with any crime families whatsoever. The mafia by itself is a small irrelevant part of the entire Sicilian population, but unfortunately it is capable to influence every part of it, in its social tissues. Many courageous men, especially Sicilians, had tried to defeat it, and unfortunately in their attempt they perished. Today thanks to their own sacrifices, Sicilians have find a renovate hope.
In fact in the last years, the battle against Cosa Nostra "this is the real name the mafiusu' gives to the mafia" has been defeated repetitively,
and as result reducing their ranks considerably.
That doesn't means, the mafia has been finally defeated, but it's the beginning of its end.
There was a time, when even the national institutions denied the existence of it, and dismissed it, saying that was all a popular imaginative myth.
In the next part, I'll write some real mafia story which, will explain my contempt to it.
Next: Sicily "mafia land". (part two)