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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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PURPOSE OF GARLIC

EATING FOODS SPICED WITH GARLIC WILL INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN
APPROXIMATELY TEN YEARS.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A SERIOUS BELIEF AMONG SICILIANS.

Where learned: SICILY ; PALERMO

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Food Drink -- Flavoring Herb
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: CA00001930

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PURPOSE OF OCTOPUS

OCTOPUS IS OFTEN SERVED ON CHRISTMAS DAY AMONG SICILIANS TO BRING
GOOD LUCK AND HAPPINESS INTO THE HOUSEHOLD.

Where learned: SICILY ; PALERMO

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- P122 P122.8
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.46

Date learned: CA00001920

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COUNTING OUT RHYME

TICK TOCK THE GAME IS LOCKED AND NOBODY ELSE CAN PLAY,
CAUSE IF THEY DO WE,LL TAKE THEIR SHOE AND BEAT THEM ALL DAY.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS SAID AS THE PLAYERS LOCKED ARMS IN A CIRCLE AND ROCKED
BACK AND FORTH.

Where learned: SICILY ; SIGONELLA

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse

Date learned: 00001960S

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Custom

In a Sicilian family, it is customary to name the first
son after the paternal grandfather. The second son is
named after the maternal grandfather.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: Person / Nickname
686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001977CA

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Ethnic Joke

Can pick any three ethnic groups to use, but one has
to be the "brunt of the joke."
Three guys are in a bar. One is Polish, another is
Italian, and the last one is German. There are three
girls sitting at the other end of the bar. The guys
decide they want to impress the girls with their
knowledge of drinks. The Italian says, "Give me an
RC." The girls say, "Oh what's that?" The bartender
says, "Rum and Coke". The German says, "Give me a
W&W." The girls say, "Oh what's that?" The bartender
says, "Whiskey and Water." The Polish guy says, "Give
me a 15." The girls say, "Oh what's that?" The bartender
says, "What's that?" The Polish guy says, "7&7."

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

James Callow Keyword(s): Mathematics--addition

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote
BELIEF -- Poli

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Italian Christmas Tradition

Eldest cousin buys the youngest cousin a gift.
Paternal grandfather buys the newest member a
welcome gift to the family.

Submitter comment: The newest member is a new addition to the family.
This includes a new baby or someone who married into
the family.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Italian Funerals

Only wear black colors to a funeral. The widow
must wear a veil.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00001984CA

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Wedding Custom

All females must wear white; that includes the bride.
Bride has to wear veil to cover her whole face.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 00001984CA

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Revolving Christmas Eve Dinner

Every year dinner changes to another female member's
house. This has to be an eight-course meal.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Good Luck (Italian)

Throw salt over left shoulder for good luck. The
paternal grandfather does this on the day of a wedding
or birth.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Christening Outfit

Paternal grandfather gives first born grandchild
a christening outfit. All grandchildren wear this
outfit, but the eldest gets to keep it to give to
their children.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Baptism Naming rite

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Mafia Tradition

Mafia members send white roses to the widow of an
enemy upon his death. This means that they will take
care of the widow. The grudge is broken because her
husband is dead.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Mafia Tradition

Oldest child has the responsibility to take care
of his father when the father is over 65 years old.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.66

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Mafia Tradition

Oldest child has the responsibility to take care of
mother both financially and emotionally when the father
dies.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Italian Food Custom

The men always eat first and the women last during a holiday
meal.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

James Callow Keyword(s): SEXISM

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.

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Christmas Presents

Open smallest gift on Christmas Eve. The rest are
opened on Christmas Day.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of quantity or weight

Date learned: 00001972CA

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Death Custom

After a family member dies in an Italian family,
the relations must all wear black for one week.
They have to wear everything black!

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 00001972CA

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YOUTHFUL EXPERIENCE IN ITALY

ONE DARK, STORMY EVENING A YOUNG MAN NAMED LUIGI DELUCA
WAS RETURNING FROM THE MARKET TO HIS HOME IN SICILY.
HE WAS RIDING ON A DONKEY, AND WHEN THEY APPROACHED A
BRIDGE THE DONKEY REFUSED TO STEP ONTO IT. LUIGI THEN
DISMOUNTED THE DONKEY AND BEGAN TO SMACK IT TO TRY TO
GET THE DONKEY TO CONTINUE THE JOURNEY. BUT, NO MATTER
HOW PERSISTENT LUIGI WAS, THE DONKEY STILL REFUSED TO
BUDGE. FINALLY, LUIGI LOOKED UP AND SAW A DARK, EVIL
FORM STANDING IN THE CENTER OF THE BRIDGE. HE WAS
THANKFUL FOR THE DONKEY'S WISDOM AND RETURNED HOME
VIA ANOTHER ROUTE.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY WAS TOLD TO CARMELLA SPINEK BY HER FATHER
LUIGI. HE CLAIMED THIS EVENT TOOK PLACE WHEN HE WAS
A BOY IN ITALY. THE INFORMANT SAID HER FATHER SPOKE
OF IT OFTEN AND COMMENTED ON THE DONKEY'S WISDOM.

Where learned: SICILY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal Tale

Date learned: 00-00-1945

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If you were doing a year's remote duty or a year's combat duty
your last ninety-nine days you were dubbed a double digit midget
on base because of the envy everyone had of you since your time
was nearly up. You made a short calendar where at the end of every
work day you would color in the appropriate number of that day. When
you finally got to day one, your tour was over and the next day
you were returning back to the states.

Where learned: ITALY ; SICILY ; Comiso Air Station

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535

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