The vice-president of the Calabria Region Council, Giusi Princispoke today, representing the president Roberto Occhiuto, at the Arberesh Day-III summit of the Albanian diaspora, which took place in Tirana on 22 and 23 November.
In the opening plenary session, the vice president explained to the authoritative audience of participants, including the president of the Albanian Republic, Bajram Begaj, the prime minister Edi Rama, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, The Hasansthe prospects for collaboration between the Calabria Region and the Republic of Albania.
“Two realities – underlined the deputy – united by a historic and strong bond. For over five centuries, we have hosted the largest and most consistent Italian Arbëreshë community, which includes, in Calabria alone, almost 60 thousand people distributed across 33 communities, between towns and hamlets, mainly concentrated in the province of Cosenza”.
“Therefore – she stated – I am extremely pleased to represent the Calabria Region in this event, aware of the richness that comes from diversity and the need to contribute to ensuring that the traditions, language, faith and age-old culture of a now ‘historic’ people of Calabria, can be preserved and handed down. This ancient bond that links Calabria to Albania must therefore become the starting point for launching new synergies and virtuous paths that always place at the center the valorization of relations between the Arbëreshë communities and Albania as a further attractor of Albanians towards the whole of Calabria ”.
Vice President Princi then presented the regional planning of interventions implemented by the Region intended for the protection, promotion and valorisation of the Arbëreshë culture in Calabria”, through funding allocated for culture and tourism.
“In particular – he specified -, the Region intervenes through forms of active contribution and patronage for the main cultural and folkloristic events, to allow the particularities of this culture to be known not only to Calabria, but to all of Italy, and the beauties of the Arbëreshë places of Calabria, in which you have the possibility of moving within Italy while managing, at the same time, to feel like you are in a different reality, immersing yourself in an ‘other’ culture, which allows you to discover places, colors , oriental perfumes and traditions while remaining, precisely, in the West”.
“The Arbëreshë people – added Princi – are also a people of immigrants and emigrants, exactly as we Italians have been, and indeed, are perhaps even more aware and mindful of this history than we are, and this is why he has the merit of being able to experience modern immigration with a strong sense of welcome, capable of grasping and understanding, much more than us Italians, the problems of integration.
I am therefore really pleased – declared Vice President Princi finally – of the sincere friendship and collaboration that is being achieved, also with this initiative, between the Republic of Albania and Italy – in particular with the Calabria Region – because it represents a unique opportunity to allow both communities to grow not only in economic terms, but even more so on a cultural and social level”.
The speech of the vice president was much appreciated by the large audience and the authoritative presences, so much so that the presenter, in greeting the vice president, complimented president Occhiuto by stating that previously he had the belief, at this point incorrect, that only the their Prime Minister managed to find valid leaders.