On the 11th August 2016, the first cultural event was organised by the new Committee of the Sardinian Association of Sydney, in collaboration with the Circolo Culturale Sardo Su Nuraghe of Biella (Piedmont) and the Autonomous Region of Sardinia.
The event had its focal point, a little known element to the occasional tourists who flock to the beaches of Sardinia, but plays a strong role in all the traditions of the region, bread.
To present a topic so broad and deeply tied to family rituals, Christian religious cults and ancestral meanings, the Association called upon Professor Battista Saiu, specialising in the culture and traditions of the island of Sardinia and with a vast knowledge of Sardinian bread.
Accompanied by chef Raffaele Zanella, Prof. Saiu is making an important journey to discover Sardinian Associations in Asia and Oceania, bringing a symbolic and affectionate hug from the Assessore di Lavoro, Dr Virginia Mura.
For such a special occasion, the Association chose a prestigious location, the plenary hall of the RSL Club in the Italian suburb of Five Dock in Sydney.
In addition to the stage and a video projector, the room was set up with a very valuable exposure, 80 authentic ritual breads, made in Sardinia especially for the event by Giovanna and Anna Quai of Tertenia and shipped to Sydney in record time.
The breads, which were placed on embroidered tablecloths and on traditional baskets, were the subject of the presentation by Prof. Saiu, which exposed some meanings of their shapes as well as archaic and family rituals from which they originated. The presentation was enriched with images and films illustrating the process of these small works of art.
There was great emotion before and after the cultural event when the audience, almost all first generation Sardinian Australians, were invited to attend a small “round table discussion” where they were interviewed. These interviews will form part of the archives in the Museum of Migrations, Journeys and Stories which will be in Biella. The interviewees recounted, their exciting and sometimes painful migration, which led them to leave Sardinia and start a new life in Australia.
The event ended with the distribution of the bread as a tribute to the audience, and a light refreshment of homemade sweets made by the expert hands of the generous members of the Association.
Note: do not miss to view the photo gallery.
Note: do not miss to download the conference speech.