I have been staying in a small village in the north of Sardinia. I’ve written about some things I have learned about Sardinia over the last few years.
Sardinia is like no other place. The island is continually rebuilding its traditions and culture that existed in prehistoric times, before being temporary washed away by invading foreign powers. Sardinia was living in a shadow until the curse of malaria that was eradicated in 1949.
The land is covered in ancient sites, a testament to its wealth and abundance in past millennia. Lying in the centre of the Mediterranean sea, with its neighbour Corsia, it has been of significant strategic importance to empires, the effects can still be seen today.
Luckily, Barbagia and other regions in central Sardinia were strong and determined enough to hold tight to the sacred wisdom, and traditions of Sardinia, during times of invasion. They fortified the mountains, and now invading force could penetrate the cultural heart of Sardinia.
The word Bargagia was coined by the philosopher Cicero, as he referred to the area of Sardinia, as ruled by Barbarians. The traditions and culture remained safe there until it could be dispersed again across the island.
I have noticed the connection that the Sardinian’s, especially the older generation have with nature. A young farmer took me to see the Sardinian grains he had planted in his fields. On the way back, he pointed out several different plots of land, some with goats, and some with vegetable patches.
Each one he said belonged to locals from the town, who work full-time jobs, one was a train driver, another an official in Sassari. Yet when these locals have a moment free they spend it in the countryside, trying to cultivate something to share with their friends and family.
Maybe it’s some goats cheese, pumpkin, honey or, olive oil. It’s deep within the culture of Sardinia to provide some food for yourself and to pass the day with the soil and the sun.
Life in Sardinia is very relaxed, there is time, and space to enjoy life, and reflect. Older men spend their afternoons playing cards together in the local bar, passing time with conversations, and banter. There is no rush, Sardinians simply follow the flow of the day and the seasons.
Most families in the last few centuries have lived very simple lives, raising sheep, and working in the fields. They have lived with little wealth but lives full of enjoyment and satisfaction.
Sardinia was once covered with forests, these were destroyed by the Kingdom of Piemonte that occupied Sardinia. To be used for the construction of railways on the mainland. It is believed that without the trees the water would wash through the valleys of Sardinia, making pools of water that were a breeding ground for mosquitoes that caused much devastation in Sardinia for centries.
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