Oropa: back to “Home”
The initiative “Return to Oropa of the Piedmontese in the World” was launched in 2016 to invite all Piedmontese abroad, of origin and descent, to “Return to Oropa”: a return “Home”, to meet and share stories, tastes, anecdotes and relive, with the eyes of the present, places and stories of a past that has been handed down from generation to generation. The departure, the return or the distance, have transformed the lives of entire families and often of entire valleys: over the centuries and decades, for many generations of Biellese and Piedmontese emigrated abroad, the Sanctuary of Oropa has remained a fixed point both for those who still have ties with relatives, and for those who have lost them and are search of their own roots. The first edition received Pope Francis’ good wishes and saw the participation of the President of the Piedmont Region, Sergio Chiamparino, who stressed how emigration constitutes an important lever for change.
Young People abroad
The stories of life of the young people who chose to emigrate to follow the dream of having a job related to their studies and their abilities were the main theme of the 2017 meeting. Today the phenomenon of Italians who emigrate have different characteristics and motivations than in the past; it concerns different age and social categories. Compared to the older generations, “with the cardboard suitcase” full of hope, today’s young migrants are the most prepared, resourceful, eager to embrace new opportunities, to learn about different cultures and to build new relations.
Food, culture and identity
Speaking of emigration today is no longer just telling a story of the past: the migratory phenomena of the 21st century, which mainly involve scholars, entrepreneurs and young people who have chosen to emigrate to follow the dream of having a job related to their studies and their abilities, are topics of great relevance. On the occasion of the National Year of Italian Food organized by MIBACT, the third edition of the event dedicated to Italians abroad for the year 2018 was dedicated to food as a vehicle of Italian culture. Through food, the Italian lifestyle have been established in the world for a long time, even before globalization made the world smaller.
On the way to 2020
There are many Piedmontese who have expressed their interest in the inititive “Return to Oropa” by writing letters and coming to visit the Sanctuary to share their emotions and memories of an entire life. The V Centenary Coronation of the Black Madonna will take place on Sunday 30 August 2020. There will be many initiatives and proposals awaiting this special day, and our desire is to be able to celebrate together with all the Piedmontese ( and not only) that have always considered Oropa their home. See you in 2020!