I recently moved back to England, partly because I found my dream job, my life’s calling; and equally so that my son could go to school in peace after his school in Sicily fell down. Now that I am back in England I am realising that the level of pity and sympathy for refugees is … More Why are these refugees coming to Europe anyway?
I’ve seen a lot of nonsense talked about the refugee crisis in Europe. This uses Italy as an example but applies to all of Europe. Take a look at some FACTS! How many immigrants are currently being processed in Italy? Right now there are 93,608 migrants in the Italian system awaiting processing, some housed in … More The Italian Refugee Crisis in Numbers
This is the first article in a Friday series about the refugee crisis facing Europe. Here in Sicily, we get no choice over the refugees we take in. In these hot, dusty border countries where the EU looks out upon that scary place known as The Third World, we fish them out of the sea and take … More EU countries are “Refugee Shopping” to pick the refugees they want
What effect are all the African migrants having on Sicily these days? Three documentary makers and a great many blog readers have asked me about African immigrants in Sicily, and about “cultural fusion”. Until now I had seen literally no sign of any impact at all; it was as if they were all invisible. One … More What are these Africans doing in Sicily?
What colour are Sicilians? This seems to be the most controversial and provocative question one could possibly ask in relation to Sicily. I receive a regular stream of distressed or outraged comments from people who cannot bear it when I mention that Sicilian skin spans a range of many tones. They are always Americans with Sicilian … More What do Sicilians Look Like? Let’s dig into the DNA
After my bleak presentation of the immigration issue facing Sicily, I am really excited to find and share this initiative to welcome and help new immigrants integrate into Sicilian society. Sicilian Donkey: Sicilian Street Food Tambah Jenneh, 18, is a migrant from Gambia now working at 11eleven in Catania (c) Sean Neil / Al Jazeera … More How Sicilians Are Helping Young Migrants Arriving On Their Island
I keep getting queries from people scared to come on holiday to Sicily, worried that the island is so packed with immigrants they’ll hardly be able to move. If immigration into Italy continues as the current rate of 1,000 immigrants per day (it’s actually been more than that for the last couple of weeks) then, … More Sicily’s Immigration Crisis: Why we need Boots on the Ground in Africa
There is not one manufacturing industry in the world that can work without sulphur. When the industrial revolution took place in the 19th century, 90% of all the sulphur in the world came from Sicily. These are Sicilian sulphur miners: Why are they working naked? It was 40 degrees centigrade above ground and down in … More Sulphur, Sicilians, and the Exodus to the USA
“Mummy, why are the baddies English?” my son asked me last week. He was watching “Rio”, a cartoon film about parrots in which the bad parrot, from the Brazilian jungle, inexplicably talks with a very posh English accent. “Well, it’s just one silly cartoon,” I reassured him. Then he listed all the English baddies he … More So you’re Sicilian. Are you in the Mafia?
A wonderful guest post called Sicily vs. England, written for my blog by Pecora Nera, turned out to be so popular that it inspired another great Sicilian blogger, Rochelle Del Borello of Unwilling Expat, to write this article – Sicily vs. Australia – for my blog. ***** The beauty of experiencing different cultures is seeing how they … More Sicily vs. Australia
This afternoon we went for a walk around central Palermo. In Piazza Politeama we saw these fellows. The man at the bottom was sitting cross-legged on a glass tumbler. All along Via Ruggiero Settimo there were buskers playing drums and guitars, there were fire-breathers and jugglers, there were men on stilts making balloon animals for the … More Multicultural Sicily: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ridiculous
I ended up dancing in the street with a Nigerian tramp yesterday. (Tramp means “homeless person”, in case you’re American.) How does a Sicilian Housewife end up acting so weird? Well, it started with some Christmas shopping. I find this activity traumatic, for three reasons. 1. Almost all toys in Sicily are made in China … More Dancing in the Street with a Homeless Nigerian
Q. What do Socrates and a spleen sandwich have in common? A. Read on to find out! There was already a significant Jewish population here in Sicily by the 5th century BC. They came with the Greeks from Athens, which also had a large Jewish community. Since the Jews influenced Greek culture a great deal … More About Jews, Greek Philosophers and Offal sandwiches
Immigration is a hot topic in most developed countries. Apparently the Latino element in the USA turned out to vote for Obama in record numbers and are now asking for immigration policy reforms, to legitimise their not-so-legal relatives as formally recognised US residents. Olé! These people are mainly economic migrants, though. In Sicily, we get … More Have we got too many immigrants?