The society of the citizens of Pozzallo

After the First World War, Italy, like much of Europe, suffered a grave economic crisis, compelling thousands to seek their dreams in new lands. And while they may have found the opportunities they sought, they also found loneliness, problems of communication, and difficulties in adapting. For these reasons “The Society of the Citizens of Pozzallo” was created, to give immigrants who arrived in Brooklyn, NY, a point of reference and a sense of community, to replace some of the things they lost when they left their homeland. When the Society was founded in 1918 it counted more than 400 members and was created not only to gather with friends, but also to help integrating the people that still had to cross the ocean, confronting themselves with such a different environment from the one they left behind. And while the society, on the surface, is a joyful place, one can sense the feelings of melancholy and loneliness lying beneath. The society can never succeed in fully relieving the feelings of detachment from Italy, nor can it make them feel comfortable in a country they do not feel wholly a part of. It does succeed, however, in sweetening the bitterness. The society is an institution where one can recognize a strong Italian character, but more specifically the traditions of Sicily, since all the members are from Pozzallo, a small town in the province of Ragusa.