Last week, I've taken the time to write my manifesto. I started jotting down ideas about slow travel and multiculturalism but there was a quotation that I've needed to consider, even because it's a verse of a song that I've got stuck in my head.
E nisciune è ppirate, e nisciune è emigrante, simme tutte navigante (Nobody is pirate, nobody is emigrant, we are all sailors) is the refrain of Eugenio Bennato's Che il Mediterraneo sia. Who speaks a little Italian doesn't understand this sentence. It's because it isn't Italian but Neapolitan.
The song text mixes Italian, Arabic, French, Neapolitan language indeed and sounds from different parts of the Mediterranean sea. It's overwhelming. I love it.
The deep sense of this song is a spirit of brotherhood among population living in coastal areas of Mediterranean sea. I find it currently relevant. Nowadays Southern Italy lives a real immigration crisis. Thousands people from many nations are coming over here from Libya. It's what Italians call "una patata bollente", a great problem, for our Government, torn between welcoming migrants or closing borders.
In any case, this song looks at Southern Italy history, characterized by meetings of different people and different cultures. This is the reason of our richness in folklore, cooking and arts.
Che il Mediterraneo sia
la fortezza ca nun tene porte
addo' ognuno po' campare
d'a ricchezza ca ognuno porta
ogni uomo con la sua stella
nella notte del dio che balla
e ogni popolo col suo dio
che accompagna tutti i marinai
e quell'onda che non smette mai
che il Mediterraneo sia.
That the Mediterranean is
the fortress without doors
Where everybody can live
the richness that everyone brings
every man with his star
on the night of God dancing
and every people with his God
accompanying all sailors
and that wave that never stops
that the Mediterranean is.
We have ever felt contrasting emotions in relation to invasions. Ruins of hundreds of towers and fortifications are disseminated in Sicily and Calabria. There are a lot of myths in our popular culture that tell about the love of a local woman and a saracen: in each town we have The Giants, two figure represented this love that are brought in procession and dance to the drummers beat.
These contrasting emotions are very important to understand the rhytm and soul of Southern Italy and "that wave that never stops" described by Bennato. In conclusion, quoting this song, I want to highlight a different point of view over multiculturalism and all the world around us. We can learn more considering each person nor better nor worse than us. We are all travellers, all sailors: nor pirate nor emigrant.
Andare, andare, simme tutt'eguale/affacciati alle sponde dello stesso mare.
Let's go, let's go, we are all the same,/overlooking the banks of the same sea.