The Real Sicilians !
December 1991 / January 1992
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What is your first thought when I tell you I’m originally a Sicilian? The reaction I’ve been getting is something like: “Do you have Maffia connections, relatives..?” as if jokingly. The truth is, most Sicilians do not condone the actions of the Maffia, because of the reputation it gives the rest of us. It’s amazing how such a minority can give an entire culture such a bad name.
Sicily is a country with a Mediterranean climate, which is very warm and moderate. The warmth of its people reflects the climate of their country. They are loving, hospitable and highly emotional.
I might stress that they are very demonstrative in expressing their emotions. I’m sure anyone who has ever been at Pearson Airport when a flight from Sicily arrived would agree. It is not uncommon to see groups of teary eyed families kissing and hugging and talking, with everyone doing these things simultaneously. It might appear as just a lot of commotion to the onlooker. Sicilians also demonstrate a strong love for the land. They are very attached to it; Probably because their entire way of life has always revolved around farming.
It is so picturesque to see the olive groves, the almond and pistachio trees, and the grape vines. The countryside is very scenic and panoramic.
The family unit is very important and family ties are very strong among the Sicilian people, with each member taking a keen interest in the others’ affairs.
Most Sicilians have a great love of life, preferring to live a simple, uncomplicated lifestyle. The types of things they would consider to be important are good friends and good food. Religion plays a key role in the life of the average Sicilian, with Catholicism predominating. They pay homage to their saints by holding feasts in the town and village squares, and also by having religious processions.
Honour and respect seem to be the order of the day when friends deal and interact with one another.