giovedì 25 ottobre 2012

Pizzica & taranta

Today I'd like to show you some folk music and dances from Salento, in southern Italy. First of all: where is it? How does it look like?

So, Salento it's in the deep south of Italy: it's the heel of the 'boot' and it belongs to the region named Puglia. And it has got a beautiful sea, too.

Now, listen Salento folk music and look traditional dance: it's the pizzica (also known as taranta). Historically, it wasn't just a dance with festive and social aims, but it was a form of popular cure for poisonous spiders' bites (in fact, the word 'pizzica' comes from the verb 'pizzicare', which means to bite; and 'taranta' comes from 'tarantola', which is a kind of spider). Of course, the lyrics aren't in Italian, but in Salentino language.

These folk songs and dances are nowadays very popular. Since 1998, for example, a very important international festival is organized every summer: la Notte della Taranta. Of course, tradition is often merged with influences from other Mediterranean cultures and with modern music, as you can see in the following videos.

Moreover, it's interesting to see that in Salento lives also a Greek minority, settled in an area named Grecìa Salentina, and who speaks a form of modern Greek, named Griko. Here you can listen one of the best known songs in Griko.

giovedì 11 ottobre 2012

NOTICE: next meeting

Hey folks!

Next Wednesday I'll be out of Birstonas because I must take part to a training organized by Lithuanian national agency of European Voluntary Service.
But don't worry: our next meeting will be moved from Wednesday 17 to THURSDAY 18 OCTOBER, same time, same place.

Pay attention: the change is JUST FOR NEXT WEEK!


Let's train!

Italy's unification

mercoledì 10 ottobre 2012

Basic info about Italy

 National anthem, Il Canto degli Italiani, a.k.a. Inno di Mameli or Fratelli d'Italia (Italians' Song, Mameli's anthem - from the name of the author of lyrics - or Brothers of Italy).

Bella Ciao is a popular song of the Resistance movement, i.e. the partisans fighting against fascist dictatorship and nazi army  between 1943 and 1945. In my opinion, it can be considered a kind of unofficial anthem, because it represents better the spirit of the democratic republic created after II WW.