Oh, Sole mio, Stai front a te,
Oh, Sole mio, stai front a te,
Oh Sole, Oh, Sole mio, Stai front at te,
Stai front a te!
This is one of the most popular Italian traditional songs from the southern part Sicily, called: “Oh, The Sun, My Sun! “
At summer time in Italy, people especially love to celebrate the beautiful weather with food, wine and fine-art looking pastry! The annual community festival is usually from mid-July until the beginning of September in most cities each year. Every evening after 7:00 pm, the fiesta starts with loud music then the people start to dance and sing along. I would always order a cup of mixed fruit juice (I don’t drink coffee or tea), a fresh baked chocolate croissant and sit under the sun umbrella at the open bar by the street, listening to the music, thumbing through some magazine’s pictures, watching the people walk by talking with their hands, looking so Italian… For the longest time I thought I was living on another planet until the Italian language became part of my blood.
Today, Saturday the August 4, 2012, Samantha Termizi (Miss Asia Sacramento, 2nd Princess) and I are invited to Sacramento Annual Italian Festival volunteering for the event as the MAS members. Perhaps the Asian beauty and talent do take a small part of the Italian culture. : )) haha… Please forgive my sarcasm.
I checked in at the entrance to the music of Oh, Sole Mio. My feet were dancing with the beat; my spirit was lifted by the European atmosphere of the festival. We were assigned to be at the Language booth at this event. I forgot to mention that I have an Italian Modern literature degree under my belt, and worked as an Italian – Chinese interpreter for 4 years and used to live in Italy, Torino (Turin) from 1991- 1999. Basically when I was living there after my study I worked as an interpreter for the court, judges and lawyers to deal with the illegal immigrants; provided my service to the local restaurant owners to meet the requirements of the Health and Sanitation Rules of the local Food and Beverage Control Department’s Continue Education Classes; worked with the Chinese Academy Dance Troop from Bei Jing, China which performed in the Torino Loyal Theaters; and was a part time teacher of Chinese language adult class of the University of Turin (Wednesday and Friday evening), a partner of the first Chinese school in Torino, Italy!
I remembered so well when my future husband Herman visited me the very first time and he had to tag along wherever I had to go for work. He was impacted and impressed deeply by what he saw. He had the pleasure of meeting a dear friend of mine, Jacqueline Ng, who is from Malaysia and still lives in Italy with her own family today, also doing so well during the time when many Italians are jobless, income less. I really felt God’s mercy had graced my little tiny life over the years because even I am surrounded by people are doctors, attorneys, double PHD’s, accountants, engineers, MBAS, architects……yet I have survived and come a long way. But honestly, compared to those very talented professional licensees’ black belt, my Italian degree is just a white one!
I think when the coordinators of the event invited us they had no ideas what a great fit for Samantha and I to be part of this Italian festival. Samantha looks like one and I act like one. We blended right in. Samantha gets lots of promotional gigs for her modeling career. So in less than 3 hours we had 18 people signed up for Italian language classes, interested becoming a member of the society and receiving the monthly newsletter.
Being at this festival, I got to taste the original Italian fine cuisine again. I tried some home make beef ravioli; Fontina cheese with red wine, Foccacia with garlic, and salami capaccio from the local Italian venders. I am so glad that I don’t have these luxury treatments on the daily basis. My friend Jacqueline Ng who still lives in Torino, Italy once was an extremely cute Asian girl, but after years of the fine Italian dining she has become a big, beautiful Italian mamma. Oh, No…..I have zero desire to become one any time soon. Oh, My God! She will kill me if she reads my blog. So, please don’t tell her!
Oh, sole Mio, Stai front a te….. An image together with this music was burned in my brain for all these years. It was a hot summer late afternoon just before the sunset. I was sitting next to the window waiting for Auntie Mickey’s visit. I saw our neighbor Mr. Riccardo coming home. He held a grocery paper bag. When he got closer I could see there were a French bagget, a bouquet of mix flowers, and a bottle of wine……I can’t help to think what a typical Italian man that he is. The bread was for the kids on the dinner table, the flowers were for his beautiful wife, and the wine was for him!
Is that not every father’s job to Provide and Protect his family?
That evening, that picture with the sun set coming down at my windows forever framed in my memories…………