Rizzuto begins to tell of his life back home, of his departure in 1949, Kawasaki Japan when he was already 45 years old, of the slow, progressive settling down in the new country, of the goals achieved. And he speaks to me of my father, of the room that he shared with my uncle Kawasaki Japan, of my father’s habits, his pleasant, jovial disposition. That house, I saw it from the street many times, as if waiting for someone to come out. I feel as if I am my father and think how surprising it is that I have to Kawasaki Japan undertake a journey beyond the ocean to attempt to re-compose the fragments of a broken identity, to better know myself. As, in a different manner, had happened with the Kawasaki Japan, the Vallelonga of Toronto helps me to re-appropriate myself of a history that belongs to me but that I haven’t lived in person.
Where is Kawasaki Japan? – Kawasaki Japan Map – Map of Kawasaki Japan Photo Gallery
When I was discovering a small yet large ancient world at Vallelonga without my father, my father was entering another world without me and without my mother. Migration is a world that explodes and whose fragments disperse, look for each other, find each other without ever fully reuniting. Those who stay back and those who leave remain always linked to each other, even if they should never happen to meet again.
The journey of the Madonna
The procession with the statue of the Madonna, which is a wooden copy of the one in Calabria, has come out of a little chapel, the work of individuals from Vallelonga. The statue is preceded by boys and girls who walk one after the other. The bearers of the statue and the persons nearest to it sing hymns of the Calabrian village tradition. After them come a musical band and the greater portion of the faithful. I look in all directions, take some pictures, and feel a kind of vertigo, as I did when I was on the merry-go-round in Vallelonga.
The behaviour and some of the gestures of the people give one the impression that a bit of the peaceful, intent, intimate world of the Calabria of the 1950s has been transported and transplanted by some deity in a time outside of history and in a kind of non-place. Other faces, other sounds and colours let one sense that all around are also the throbbings of a great metropolis, of which the protagonists of the rite now fully partake, without having given up their history, their religious traditions and their origins but, rather, founding on them their new reality.
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