“Roots create culture and well-being”. Giuseppe Stefio, Mayor of Carlentini (Syracuse) said yesterday that last Friday he met with Jean Stothert, Mayor of the American city of Omaha, at the end of the marathon where the duo started working in the center of Nebraska. With celebrations of the “common patron” Saint Lucia. Among other things, he returned after a two-year epidemic.
Steffio recalls how the first Carlindian immigrant to Omaha, Giuseppe Salerno, arrived in 1893, thirty-five years after the city was founded. Four thousand villagers had already reached it in the early years of the twentieth century. Thus, today, the descendants of those immigrants make up seventy thousand people out of a total population of half a million.
Therefore, this is one of the reasons that led the two cities to carry out the twinning process, which already started with a trip to America, carried out last July by Steffio, who later said: “Visiting the cemetery of Omaha. Reading all those Sicilian names confirmed what I thought. Our community – from the memory of its American children. destroyed, were proud of their Carlentine origin, so they preserved the values and traditions handed down to them in a sacred way.
Starting from Santa Lucia: the ninety-eighth party in his honor in Nebraska was celebrated during the mayor’s visit, in those days he began to form a duo with several Italian-American associations and his colleague Jean Stothert. The latter, at the end of the week, returned the remainder of his visit as the guest of Carlendini with a hundred citizens of Omaha.
“In Nebraska – recalls Steffio – we have established relationships with universities, chambers of commerce and very large entrepreneurs”.
Eleonora Formica, president of the Carlentini-Omaha Association, also attended: “The twins represent the only opportunity to experience a large number of visitors to this part of Sicily. By inviting children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of immigrants who decide to visit the village left by their grandparents, it is a tour of the roots. It is a question of changing the economy through. New projects will revolve around this idea, such as the production of books in English and Italian, genetic research and so on.
As art and performance. Carmelita Troya Nanfido de la Guardia, singer and entrepreneur of the show business, vice president of the Cicula Italia Foundation, one of the duo’s promoters, spoke about this. Carmelita, who moved to Omaha when she was four years old, fulfilled her dream last Saturday: to return to her country and perform in the square, a song she wrote especially for Carlendini. With this he opened the evening, which culminated with a performance by Esther, another Carlentinese singer.
“My parents – he said – always invited me to think positively. I did not know how to express the emotion that was in my heart. I wrote the song The Sicilian Hearth and it was time to finally put myself on the piano and sing.
“A moment of great emotion – Steffio concluded – the high-speed exhibition held on Friday evening in Carmine’s Carlentinese Plexus and organized by Circolo Leontinoi. Written by Ciro Militti and directed by Alfredo Martines, watching Carlentini Live & Love with vintage images touched the emotions of the Omaha and Carlentini communities, once again in front of those unpublished photographs. Told the stories of those who left and those who stayed.
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