Sunday 20 October 2013

Seven feet of Sicilian ground

From reports surfacing in the Italian media, we know that at least five out of the hundreds of people who died the 3rd of October a few miles south of Lampedusa were buried as proper human beings. The Italians government has shipped the bodies of the deads all around Sicily, and the community of the small Sicilian town of San Biagio Platani decided to grant them a proper funeral.
San Biagio Platani is one of the poorest municipality in Europe, the yearly average nominal income is just over 6200 Euro, but even so they embraced the proposal of a local businessman, Sig. Enzo di Franco, and decided to tax themselves to collect the money required for a proper sending off. The local fuel station's owner, Sig. Salvatore Capodicasa, acted as the collector, and all members the community contributed each as for their own means, meanwhile local artisans and tradesmen prepared the graves and the tombstones.
As they couldn't know the religion of the deceased ones, a local muslim, Sig.ra Rizki Suad, got in touch with the Imam of Agrigento, and together with the Catholic priest of the town, they agreed to use for the tombstone a sentence from the Quran ("Ogni anima avrà la sua morte", that's it "Every soul will taste of death"), and then they celebrated a solemn funeral using the rites of both religions.
A thousand of the citizen of San Biagio Platani, more than half of the resident population, decided to come to the funeral to pay their respect, and most of them walked with the coffins to their graves, with local woman and children offering flowers and prayers, as per the Sicilian tradition. The major of the town, Sig. Filippo Borromeo, suggested the municipality will grant the honorary citizenship of San Biagio Platani to the five poor souls.

Sources (in Italian):