Dante Alighieri Committee in Bulgaria and Promotion of Italian Language Worldwide
Article by Aurelio Donati, President of Dante Alighieri Committee in Sofia, for the "International Survey: Bulgaria-Italy" of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency)
It is impossible to write about the work of Dante Alighieri Committee for promotion and dissemination of the Italian language and culture worldwide without reminding of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.
National unification, meaning also linguistic and cultural unity based on The Divine Comedy written about more than 700 years ago by our greatest poet, who later on became the father of our language.
If it is true that the language is NOT a veil over reality but an expression thereof, then the Italian language gains a very special significance for the expression of so much perfection of a country that has given much to the whole world. From architecture to the art of painting; from culture to knowledge; from art to theater; from music to show; from fashion to design; from motor bikes to cars; from fragrances to the colors of the Italian cuisine.
From Verdi to Rossini and Puccini; from Caruso to Pavarotti; from Del Monaco to Modugno; from grand opera to modern music.
From Rome to Venice, Florence and Verona, each of these cities – made known to the humankind - evoke in every citizen of the world memories, moments and events of their lives, all bearing an Italian touch.
This is how the language of Dante was able to accompany the economic and cultural development of our country and the growth of its presence in the world. Therefore it is so simple and yet so complicated to disseminate and highlight the importance of the Italian language worldwide.
Today more than 400 Dante Alighieri committees in more than 60 countries dedicate their efforts to this mission. Hundreds of volunteers are teaching thousands of Italian language courses, organizing and holding cultural events on annual basis and managing more than 300 libraries with more than 500 000 volumes.
A Dante Alighieri Committee is operating also in Bulgaria with more than 200 members and an ambitious program of activities which for this year includes as follows:
Courses in elementary and specialized Italian language designed for companies and their employees; PLIDA examinations (certificate for proficiency in Italian language); courses in colloquial Italian; courses in accounting and taxation; teachers training projects; training courses for Bulgarian nationals who want to work in Italy; courses for Italian children living in Bulgaria; courses designed for translators and interpreters; courses in Bulgarian language for Italians so that integration to become more than just a declaration of intentions.
Some of those initiatives will be held in collaboration with the delegations of the Italian institutions, mainly the Embassy of Italy, while others – in cooperation with the Italian economic and business organizations. In this connection it is important to emphasize strongly the recent contract concluded between our Committee and Confindustria Bulgaria which provides for joint activities and initiatives in support of associated companies and their Bulgarian staff.
Of special importance is the decision of September this year for the organization of a seminar entitled 'The Language of Dante – a Challenge to Internationalization'.
Significant efforts will be made to find forms for cooperation with Bulgarian institutions, organizations and universities for working on projects of mutual cultural importance.
However, the most important meeting with the Italian spirit in Bulgaria is the Italian Festival, which has been held for 8 years already and which this year will be held in June in the center of Sofia. All the Italian institutions and associations in Bulgaria are currently working for it.
It will be a feast, rich in proposals and economic and cultural events, performances and exhibitions, as well Italian cuisine and Italian wine tasting.
Meetings, which, we believe, the Bulgarian public will honor with their participation as in the previous issues of the festival for which Dante Alighieri Committee will make its concrete contribution.
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