The official focus is always that people leave Sicily to find work abroad and this is why the island also looses competence. But it is not the whole truth. There are many young people who also flee their families because they want to have the same freedom we have. Not all families are controlling their children, but still the major part of sicilian families does not want their kids to live and be free.
In the 70's and 80's when the big tourism flow from Germany and Scandinavia came, many people changed their view of reality. Before the tourism e.g. a sicilian couple could never meet without having their whole family gathered or the girls brothers with them. This reality still exists. And when the couple danced the whole family controlled that everything went by the rules. Then this couple got married not even knowing eachother. Many times the father chose a husband for his daughter and the father did not let the daughters attend school. Then north europeans came to Sicily and things started to loosen up a little bit. People started to leave the strict mentality and wanted the same freedom as the new strange visitors. Unfortunately the strict mentality still lives in Sicily, also because something happened in the 90's, Sicily got closed and the tourism industry died, but is now rising again.
There is a minority in Sicily that lives in a modern way, where the family understands the importance of education, travelling, learn languages, respect women and let their children try life. These families do not depend if they are rich or not. One of my friend is a bus driver and his daughter does very well in school and the Region of Sicily selects every year top 10 students from their school and pays exchange trips to european countries. She is always in that group and been in Spain, Portugal, UK ecc and she is only 16 years old. He knows that their daughter will leave Sicily soon and he is happy for her. A very diverse approach than many sicilian fathers have. But still the majority in Sicily lives in great ignorance, in fear of the world, where a church exam is more important than school exam, and needs to control their children.
My cleaning lady comes from a rich but very ignorant family. Her father forbid her to attend shcool and when he had chosen a husband for her, she fled the family. The family turned their backs on her and for all her life she has been making a living cleaning other peoples homes. She has the same age as me. She said that a life with limited economy is better than a life in a mental prison filled with money. She inspires me very much!
One of my northern european friends likes Sicily very much and also sicilian women. The problem is that the awoken girls he meets wants to live in freedom and wants to leave Sicily, but he on the other hand would like to live here. With this family control especially the girls suffer because in many families there is still the mentality that women has to stay home with no rights and economy, and the man commands everything (to fatal consequenses). The problem in these families is also that the man is often controlled also by the mother who then also control the wife. The man often has no interest to work, nor having projects in his life. Everything is served by HIS family. A family that the girl has to obey, often also by calling his parents mother and father.
Today I met a girl in the dog park who left the sicilian man to be with an american. She feels more free and respected. He does not control her. She travels, has learned languages and studies in the university. She said that major part of catanesi men are Babboncini, which means that they suit better to live with their mothers. She does not want a man like that, she want to be respected for the woman she is. She is not the only young woman thinking like this. What will happen to the majority of sicilian men when women no longer wants to live under oppression? They do not know a shit what to do now!
Approximately 80% of the population are totally controlled by the family and lives in great ignorance. 20% are different and these are those who brings Sicily forward. The 80% believes that all their problems in life are politicians fault, and in this group you find people who have no intentions to do anything, they do not want to work, they need a silent obedient wife, they try to find a living by using others and blames the system. They think the world is like the TV shows. Then you have this 20% who understands that life is their responsability, they know politics is a problem but thanks of the lack of ingorance they know how to move in this system and makes a living. This 20% are those who goes ahead in Sicily, and the 80% blames the 20% of stealing everything.
Sometime ago I met one of the richest men in Italy, he is a sicilian. He comes from great poverty, but had an open minded family who pushed him into school. He told me that 2% of the population makes their own life an takes the situation in their hands, 98% waits for a politician or Jesus to save them. This is the problem in Italy. I kinda agree. To have a great life in Italy is not about stealing or make insurance frauds, there is a system that works for those who likes to do something. I know personally e.g. suppliers that started to pack aubergines in their garage for the local stores and today, 10 or 20 years later, runs companies with hundreds of employees. Because they made an effort. And they get regional economical support because they think futuristic. They do not have an uncle in the Region of Sicily.
Sicily has many problems but I do not see that politics is the major problem. The biggest problem is the 80% that has no intentions to lift a finger and blames the 20% of taking it all. Which they do because they make an effort. I would say that political problems comes second.
I have sent hubby back to his family. I am the type of a woman who is not very appreciated in a classical sicilian family. It is a family that lives in great ignorance and does not like very much women who knows how to take care of herself and brakes traditional family rules. I know there is another Sicily, and I want to be part of that 20% who goes forward in sunshine and in storm. Most of my friends are in that group. That is why I love Sicily, because there is wonderful a part of this island that the 80% will never experience...