that preparations for th e elev\ue000 enth annual tour of Sicily are proceed\ue000 in g according top lan . W hile additional p r e p a r a tio n sa r e s till being m ade at th is tim e, w e are announcing that the dates for the tour have been set tentatively for M ay 26th. W e w ill depart on M ay 26 from John F. K ennedy A irporti n N ew Y ork, and w ill spenda gloripus tw elv e d ay s inS ic ily , re tu rn in g to N ew Y ork on June 7, 2004.
A s you can seef r o m the p relim in ary itinerary that appears on p . 20 of this n ew sletter,w e w ill v is it th e u su al m ain points of interest on the island, such as Palerm o, Segesta, Erice, M arsala, A grigento, Siracusa, Cataniaa n d T aorm ina, and others that w e have al\ue000 ternated on differenty e a r s , such as an excursiont o M ount E tna. B u t as you m ay have learnedf r o m reports after our previous tours, our tours basically are
alw ays new experiences thatcan be re\ue000 peated m any tim es w ithout becom ing too blas\u00e9 to appreciate the beauties be\ue000 fore you. It's probably due to thed if\ue000 fe re n t m ix o fth e p e o p le w h o tra v e l w ith us or because it is sim ply too exciting for ust o realize that w e are againi n S ic ily .I h a v e d o n ei t te n tim e s a n dI cante ll you thatI approach each tour w ith th e sam e ex p ectation s as th e first. I can also vouch for m any of the other m em bers w ho have com e along tw o, three and even ten tim es! The clubo f
ing to you som ew hat late. W e have been extrem ely busy w itha num \ue000 ber of projects and w e have had to de\ue000 lay its p u b lication . A few ofth e m ain reasons for th e delay have already reached you in the form ofa 260 page anniversary issue ofA rb a S ic u la w hich has received m any accoladesf r o mo u r m em bership andth e publication of an\ue000 o th e ro fo u r s u p p le m e n ts e n title dT h e
w as re c e iv e d w ith m u c h d e lig h tb y m em bers.I have received m anyr e \ue000 questsfo r additional copies. Theya r e available at $ 6 .0 0 each for those ofyou
At any rate, th e things that have o c c u rre ds in c e th e p u b lic a tio no f th e previous new sletter w hich haven o t been reported to you are too im portant to let them fade aw ay in our m em ory. O neo f them w as the Tenth A nniver\ue000 sary Touro f Sicily. O ther events that w e have not reported and that w ill be
addressed in th is issu e are th e tw o w on\ue000 derful m eetings that took place at S t. John's U niversity on June 26* and on O ctober1 2 * ofl a s t year.
th eh ig h lig h ts o f o u r te n th A nniversary T our w hichi s stillf r e s h in m y m em ory in spiteo f the fact thata num bero f m onths have passed. I think, as I try to recall the m any w onderful events that took placed u rin g the tour and com pare
A s w e send this issue of S ic iliaP a r r \u00e0 to the printer, I look back at a num ber of things w orthy of m ention that occurred this year. F irst of all, w e rejoice in the fact thato u r organization has celebrated its tw enty-fifth anniversary by publishing the largest and m ost im pressive journal in its history: a 260-page journal that surpassed in num ber of pages the special issue w e published for our tw entieth anniversary. I am pleased w ith the response from our m em bers about the solidity of its content and the schol\ue000 arship of ev ery contribution. I am particu larly gratified b y th e reaction to m y article on w hether Sicilian is a language or a dialect, w hich m any of you found interesting. W e,of course,have alw ays know n that Sicilian is a language and not a dialect, and w e have never thought that a dem onstra\ue000 tion w as necessary. But the content of that article probablycam e as a surprise for m any people and I amg l a d w e m ade the statem ent loud and c le a r .
in allow ing u s to distribute her book to all ourm em bers. M any of you still carry on th e tradition of m ak in g" c u c c i d d a t i " in y ou r ow n fam ilies. T h e c u s to m is p ro b a b ly d y in g o u t in S ic ily , b u t w e a re k e e p in g it a liv e in th e new w orld. Such endeavors confirm that w e are focused on the goals for w hich our organization w as founded: to study, preserve and dissem inate Sicilian language and culture.
W e are about to com plete another project that w ill be very w elcom e by all ofy o u . A s A rba Sicula, through the w ork J. K irk Bonner and Joseph Bellestri, created the first com prehensive gram m ar of Sicilian and the first Sicilian-E nglish-Sicilian dictionary, w e are about to be first in pro\ue000 v id in g o u r m e m b e rs w ith a g u id e toT h e S o u n d s o f S ic ilia n , a c o m p re h e n \ue000 s iv e g u id e to th e p ro n u n c ia tio n o f S ic ilia n . T h e p ro je c t in c lu d e s a te x to f 36 interactive pages recorded on a C D , w ith an abundant selection ofp o \ue000 em s and dialogues spoken in Sicilian by native speakers. T he aim of this project w as to m ake it possible for m em bers to begin reading the S icilian te x ts p u b lis h e di nA r b a S ic u la . T h e b o o k le t a n d C D w ill b e s e n t fre e to a ll m em bers in good standing as Supplem ent 9o f A r b a S ic u la .
I w ant to m ention tw o additional item s that are im portant for A rba Sicula. T his past D ecem ber I traveled to P alerm o for a C onference orga\ue000 nized by the CO ES and I presented the concept of establishing a Center for Sicilian Studies at St. John's U niversity. T he proposal seem ed to cap\ue000 ture the im agination of the people present w hich included m any m em bers of th e S icilian P arliam ent w h o declared their support. W e w ill see w hat w ill com e out of it. T he second event is planned for M ay 13-15 in M azara d el V allo. It is a celeb ration of th e S icilian A u ton om y S tatu te w ith m an y conferences focusing on the Sicilian language and w ays of prom oting its use and its su rv iv al.T h is w ill b e a very im p ortan t m eetin g for th e future of Sicilian. I w ill, ofc o u rs e , report the outcom es to you in the nextS ic ilia
ARBA SICULA is a non-profit or\ue000 ganization. A ll contributions and sub\ue000 scriptions are tax deductible.
A ll m e m b e rs o f A R B A S IC U L A in good standing autom atically receive SiciliaP a r r \u00e0 , A rba Sicula, as w ell as supplem ents published by the organi\ue000 z a tio n . S ic ilia P arr\u00e0 is p u b lis h e d tw ic e a year, in th e S pring and in th e W inter. F or inform ation and to su b m it m ateri\ue000 als for the new sletter, w rite to D r. G aetano C ipolla at the address above. A dvertising rates for SiciliaP arr\u00e0 are as follow s:
th e m to th o s e o f p re v io u st o u r s , th e th in g th a t s ta n d s o u t in m y m in d is th e n u m \ue000 ber of receptions that w ere offered to our group by local dignitaries. I recall that one of our m em bers m ade a com \ue000 m ent to m e in C e falu after the reception held in the M ayor's office. D r. Barry K anzer told m e that heh a d com e to S ic- i l y a num ber of tim es before and this w as the first tim e that he had been w el\ue000 com ed officially tw ice in tw o days. I re p lie d th a t th a t w as ju s t th e b e g in n in g and that m any m ore receptions w ere w aiting forhim . A nd indeed there w ere m an y m ore. In ev ery city w e v isited w e w ere w elcom ed officially by the high\ue000 est representatives of the local govern\ue000 m en ts.I n P alerm o after th e v isit to the P arliam ent w e w ere received w ith gra\ue000 cious hospitality by the O ffice of the President of the Province of Palerm o who offered ourgroupa delicious lunch and m em entos of our visit. I never said a n y th in g to th e g ro u p a t th e tim e , b u t I th in k I o u g h t to m e n tio n it n o w b e c a u s e it gives an idea of the esteem that A rba Sicula com m ands on the island. W e w ere running late andw e w ere supposed to v isit P alazzo A b b atellis, th e S icilian N ational G allery, before it closed at noon. It w as already1 1 : 3 0 w hen w e ar\ue000 rived at the P rovince office and w e cer\ue000 tainly w ould never have arrived to the m useum before it closed. W hen w er e \ue000 alized this our guide D iana M azza m en\ue000 tioned thep ro b le m to our host w ho pro\ue000 c e e d e d to m ake a phone call to the M u\ue000 seum . In our honor the M useum stayed o p e n u n til w e a rriv e d . S u c h a th in g is never done, D iana told m e later.
In A grigento w e enjoyed a w onder\ue000 ful perform ance by local dancers pro\ue000 vided for us at no charge byP r o f . E nzo Lauretta, w hose book
laboration w ith A rba Sicula. The danc\ue000 ers perform ed w onderfully, but perhaps an even greater perform ance w as given by our own m em ber, Joann Persico- S m ith , th e S t. J o h n 's W o m e n 'sV o lle y \ue000 ball C oach, w ho w hen she w as picked out of the audience and put on the spot reacted w ith such spirit and nonchalance thats h e stum ped the perform ers at their ow n gam e.
I n Siracusa, the local T ourist O f\ue000 fice paid for the G reek tragedy perfor\ue000 m an ce for th e en tireg r o u p . In ad d ition , w e w ere entertained by the great group of singers know n as the Canterini di O rtigia whom w e had enjoyed at St. John's the year before. The m em bers received a beautiful booklet by M aria R a u d in o e n title dA m a ru
glish. T hat night M aria R audino, Salvo Bottaro, an English teacher w hose nam es escapes m e, and m yself recited parts of th e poem in Sicilian, Italian and E n g lis h to an a tte n tiv e a u d ie n c e .
Scapagnini who gave A rba Sicula a beautiful silver reproduction of the sym bol
d'argentu". The M ayor and I w ere in\ue000 terview ed by the local TV . That w as not all, our group w as regaled to a de\ue000 lic io u s lu n c h e o n a fte r th e re c e p tio n in one of the restaurants in V ia E tnea. In Taorm ina, w e w ere offered a w onder\ue000 ful dinner by the present m ayor, A urelio Turiano. I say present m ayor because that evening w e had tw o m ay\ue000 ors present at the dinner in our honor. M ario Bolognari and A urelio T uriano. T h edinner, w hich w as cheered also by the presence of local entertainers, w as
held on the m ain strip of T aorm ina at La B o tte . N aturally every year w e have been fortunate to be guests, all 45 of
This year again w e had the pleasure of spending a few hours basking in the w annth of Sicilian hospitality that m y cousin Rosetta and PeppinoG iam boi have provided w ithout hesitation for the past ten years together w ith m y other cousin Nunziatina Cipolla-Cagnone. T hat w as not the end. T hat sam e night w e traveledt o the slopes of M ount E tna overlooking C atania, to have dinner in an e ig h te e n thc e n t u r y p a lm e n to (w in e \ue000 p r e s s )
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