On a small proscenium stage, five girls sang in chorus; then one stepped forward: Calabrisella mia, Calabrisella mia, Calabrisella mia, Facimmu ammore
I have never forgotten that song, that melody, even though I no longer remember precisely where I was in the simple hall in Reggio, Calabria that night.
It was spring of 1966. I was visiting the old town as part of a group of students doing ‘comparative study’. There were 15 of us from a university in Belgium, and students from various other countries in western Europe, all studying impoverished farming areas, which t...