“If it rains, let it rain”, the wisdom of popular sayings


By John

The wisdom of popular sayings joins the tradition of the Messina dialect, the pure and original one, in the new book “If it rains let it rain”. Messina dialect curiosities of the journalist (historical collaborator of Southern Gazette), writer and careful scholar, Antonino Sarica. A man from Messina who is passionate about the history and traditions of the city of the Strait and of Sicily, and therefore is constantly looking for documents and testimonies that tell them about them.
A leap into the past to rediscover “that original dialect”, preserved in old ways of saying, proverbs, curiosities, vivid expressions (now out of use) of the so-called “parrata missinisa” or the language of the common people. By way of example, some of them contained in the essay are indicated: “Si ghiovi lassa ghioviri” (if it rains let it rain which translated means patience the clear sky will return), “Sinceru, comu l’acqua di maccaruni” (sincere, such and as the macaroni water, that is to say not at all sincere), “Com’a monica nto mirror” (to indicate a quick gesture like the nuns once did who lingered in front of the mirror for just a moment so as not to sin of vanity). “U Signuri è a San Jachinu” (the Lord in the church of S. Gioacchino, which means no money), the prayer to the medical saints Cocimu and Damianu (Cosmas and Damiano) to preserve the body from illnesses or invoke healing. As an attentive researcher, Sarica in this essay (Edas publishers, 96 pages), managing to delve into the past, it draws on the ancient phrasebook made up of common sayings, figurative dialect forms combined with orations, songs, verses, riddles, double meanings, metaphors that restore the dialect to its naturalness. “If it rains let it rain”, at the same time, is intended to be a tribute to the wisdom of the wise old men expressed in dialect proverbs.
«A cultural and anthropological heritage that is still alive – writes the journalist Milena Romeo in the preface – to be safeguarded and enhanced as a configuration of the Messina identity» . Therefore, not a dead language, but a very living one that must be recovered through written testimonies such as a book. From “Patri Francia” (father Annibale Maria Di Francia) to the “Case Mignuni” (Avignone district), the church of San Gioacchino and Monte Scuderi, metaphors and double meanings, songs, riddles. Typical expressions of the dialect language and in which the Messina identity is reflected.
In the synopsis of the book edited by the journalist and literary critic, Sergio Di Giacomo, it is underlined «how this essay, born from the author’s original research, is in continuity with the path of studies on the dialect started by Sarica himself, fitting into the general trend of research on long-term Messina traditions. These forgotten sayings allow us to experience a small ancient world up close. Fascinating and original.”