The Italian National Committee for UNESCO has proposed recently the candidacy of the Arbëresh spring rites, entitled “Great weather”, with the request to be registered as an intangible cultural asset of Humanity.
“On behalf of the University Foundation “Francesco Solano” that has coordinated this initiative and that I have the honor to lead, I express my sincere gratitude to all groups practicing Arbëresh ritual traditions for the cooperation that they provided us so generously during this time conditioned by the pandemic. The letters of accession, full of forty, constitute not only a valuable contribution that is added to the technical-scientific preparatory work for the design of the project, but also a further impetus for the whole procedural practice “, says Professor Francesco Altimari, President of the Foundation.
Altimari added that on the basis of the joint research and awareness-raising activity carried out during the last thirty years on this topic by the albanological departments of the universities of Calabria and Palermo,”Francesco Solano” Foundation has coordinated, despite the difficulties caused by the current pandemic, a long research activity in field with the aim of identifying, describing and reconstructing the network of ritual traditions that represents the common cultural visage of Arbëria and that, although left in oblivion by the institutions, has been preserved only thanks to the direct engagement and determination of active practice groups in Arbëresh communities.
The rich language and literature of the Arbëresh of Italy, the Easter Dances, the celebration of the dead in the Eastern religious tradition, the suggestive ceremonial practices associated with wedding rites, but also the Arbëresh folk songs whether secular or religious, such as the typical handicraft products and rich Arbëresh female costumes, the products of weaving or food products, whether ritual or traditional food, all these are some of the cultural and ritual expressions that are part of the proposal of the intangible culture of Arbëresh, which during these last months has become an object of special attention and interest by the Deputy Minister of Assets and Cultural Activities of the Italian Government, of Arbëresh origin, dr. Anna Laura Orrico.
“In the general framework of international institutional relations, there has been a close cooperation and continuous support provided by Minister Elva Margariti and Deputy Minister Meri Kumbe,” Altimari was quoted as saying.