Welcome in the Hands of Friuli: Meeting Friulian Cultural Expert Dino Persello

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Dino Persello and Jeremy Parzen

Dino Persello studies tradition, history, and language of Friuli and is a specialist in accent and dialect of the region. He spoke to us tonight about what it means to be Friulian.

“First I want to tell you, “Mandi!” That is, “I put you in the hands of God. I let you go in the hands of God.” It is important to know where you are and most important to know in whose hands you are in. Here you are in the hands of the Friulians.

“Now, I want to tell you the facts of the Friulian people. We are jealous. We have a border problem. The first thing we want to realize is to build a home. In Italy and in Europe, we are the people who mostly own our home. It is very important for us to own our own properties. We have a problem with hosting others. But, once we know the people we are hosting, we are happy to have them here.

“There is a saying in the Friulian language that means not to blow up the bubble. Stay down to Earth. It is such a shame we do not blow in the right way the bubble. Because the bubble is not full of nothing. In the bubble you can find our products–we believe in something important. And this is the reason why the Consortium and the Associazione Produttori Schioppettino invited you. To teach us how to blow the bubble in the right way. So, the idea of the Consortium is extremely smart. They invite experts like you [the wine and food bloggers] to help inform us and to involve other people.

“But one of the things we are proud of, for example, is that most people here [in Friuli] are involved with volunteering, with helping and involving with other people. There was a big earthquake in 1976. After an association of volunteers, the Protezione Civile, was formed. It now helps after every nature disaster for free all over Italy, and it started here in the region.

“Two other things we are very proud of, considering how many people live in this region, is that most are donating blood and organs. We have the most people donate per capita of any region. It is the ultimate spirit of giving and wanting to help people. Also, donating stem cells for research, it is the highest level per capita, especially considering we started to donate in this region one year after it started anywhere.

“One of the things we are proud of is our own language. It is not Italian. Every village has its own dialect. The language I am speaking started here.

“Thanks to my daughter, I met another brother across the ocean, across language, and today we became friends on Facebook. Mandi, my friend, Jeremy. “I’ll see you later.” … Jeremy knows a lot about our history, culture, heritage …the important heritage, history of the people of the region. There is a poem by Paolo Pasolini that is about the difference between rhymes of languages, meaning each language is important. What is important is to keep speaking the language our mothers taught us.

“Last thing we are extremely proud of–we are very loyal. We do not betray you. Today, being loyal is like winning the Nobel Prize for Existence.

“The bubble we ask you to help us blow we are sure you will help us blow with colors and fashion.”

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J.C. Reid was able to record a complete video of Dino Persello’s speech. I look forward to seeing it. Dino has inspiring charisma that is felt powerfully in person, and no doubt on video too.

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Thank you to Lara Persello for translating from Friulian to English her father, Dino Persello’s speech.

So honored to be here witness to the incredible people of Friuli. Thank you to Dino for his discussion of Friulian culture, to the Consortium Colli Orientali del Friuli, and to the Associazione Produttori Schioppettino di Prepotto for hosting a wonderful event and tasting of the Schioppettinos of Prepotto.

4 COMMENTS

  1. […] He said, “One of the things we are proud of is our own language. It is not Italian. Every village has its own dialect. The language I am speaking started here.” Dino calls his people “proud, loyal and selfless.” I am going to agree. […]

  2. Hello, my name is Tim .

    I’m writing to you because your names came up on a web search I did on the Fruilian dialect of Northern Italy. My Grandparents immigrated from the Buia/Udine region to the US in the 1880’s and very little is known about my family prior to coming here. I’m hoping you might be able to give me some sources I could contact for any information. I’m guessing they spoke Fruili at the time they left Italy. I’m particularly interested in the meaning of our surname since there is a small conflict between family

  3. Hello everyone my name is Pippa,
    I am currently undertaking an education degree in Australia and I have just began a community research project for my history unit, I am working in collaboration with the New Italy Museum. There is a small population of people originally from Friulia in my area who I will be working closely with and I’m searching for a topic that will be fulfilling for my Friulian partners and fascinating for me. My class mates are researching topics like the tradition hand crafting techniques of wooden clogs that will be displayed at the museum another is collecting recipes from Italian families that have settled in the area, which will also be displayed in the museum, my lecturer has suggested I could investigate traditional wine or cheese making techniques from Friuli.
    If anyone has any ideas or information they would be happy to share i would be delighted and forever in their debt, there are just so many fascinating layers to Friulian history and culture I don’t know which direction to go in and I only started researching this morning.
    All the best everyone.

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