(Family) memories in Sicily in front of the TV: today the world celebrates the “magic box”

The uncle who posed as a scientist, the “schiticchio” with friends and relatives and a room dedicated only to her. Today is World Television Day

Nowadays, to feel like a top communicator, all you need is a smartphone and an internet connection, not even the best or fastest, and here, mind you, there is no controversy on my part towards influencers or content creators.

But tell me now which was the most important, useful and revolutionary means of communication in history that you can remember… I doubt that any of you could not have given the correct answer: television. Yes, just her. And did you know that there is even a party to celebrate it?! I think not this…

In 1996, none other than the United Nations Organization, with which very different concerns are usually associated, established the World Television Daybetter known as World Television Day, to be celebrated on November 21st.

In this way, TV has in fact been recognized as having a fundamental role in the dissemination of culture, information and entertainment. Even more useful than one of those Baariote friends or neighbors who know everything, absolutely everything, about everyone, without even bothering too much.


TV is the most influential means of mass communication in the world, where freedom of expression and democracy dominate, already because everyone is given the opportunity to have their say, even when perhaps it would be better to avoid, and I admit that this time a vein of controversy is taking over me…

Many years have passed since that day in December 1996, and it is undeniable that today TV is no longer the only means, or the main one, to which this pivotal role in information can be recognized … however it still remains one of the most used all over the world, survived its own transformation and above all that of the public of users.

The greatest events in contemporary history have seen us all glued to the screen, then think of the work of local broadcasters that show us the reality closest to us in the round.

How many of you saw the last horse race in Bagheria on TV? Or even more so when a name or a face that is familiar to us ends up on national networks…e Bagheria, to be honest, nothing has ever been missing! From the Rai specials on the sfincione bianco, to the illegal building on “Striscia la Notizia”, ​​always leaving us a little amazed but also proud when we hear, often distractedly, the city of villas brought up on TV.

In large or small, TV is an amplifier of events that affect us from near or far, and still today, even if we learn from the web news of great importance, good or bad, the instinct is to turn on the TV to better follow the developments with one of the many special programs that are sure to be on the air. Do you wish there wasn’t a model of Bruno Vespa ready for every occasion?!

It wouldn’t be mom Rai! Honestly, nothing to do with the tam tam of news that only the real neighbor is capable of spreading, but television is still today an information tool and “companionship”, perhaps at a low volume and in the background, while we are around the house, without pay her who knows what attention.

What was it yesterday? For those wondering, when it was born, in 1927, and when it then arrived in Italy starting in 1954, although the first diffusion tests had begun about ten years earlier, it was just a “magic box”. More or less how small children still perceive it today, but really small ones, because already after the first years of life they are much more accustomed to electronic devices than we are.

No one uses Sky remote control voice commands like my niece Viola. In the 60s then, you see how here we always arrive a little late, it had its greatest diffusion, although it was not yet within everyone’s economic reach.

That was how it passed by magic box to something more, slowly becoming an aggregation tool. It was still in black and white at the time, in fact only at the end of the 70s did the color ones arrive which, much more expensive, tempted the Italians who, however, moderated, as long as the previous one worked, albeit in black and white, never ever they would never throw it away.

Then each family had its own “scientist” on duty…so I still have in my head the memory of the stories of an uncle of I don’t know what degree of kinship who, with sheets of colored acetate, had given life to his own and very personal version of color TV.

And who knows how many of these uncles were in every house… but above all who knows when color TV arrived in Bagheria. Considering that Italy was lagging behind Europe, and I suspect that Sicily was lagging behind the peninsula… if it gives me so much, it will have literally arrived “at ease” with us.

If the televisions and not the people were able to talk, who knows how many things they would have to tell about those evenings in which, with the excuse that the relative Tizio or the neighbor Caio was lucky enough to own one, they gathered around her hordes of people of all ages.

I imagine the scene of the little ones on the floor and the older ones on chairs and armchairs, all crammed into the TV room, all intent on following the programs in amazement and joy and then, in the following days, discussing them together and having one more turn the “excuse” to meet again.

My grandparents, for example, among the first of their street to own it, had one in a large room on the ground floor at home, in the historic center of Bagheria, and then it was there that they met with friends and relatives to share time and emotions.

And it was like this everywhere, from north to south, because among the merits of this invention there is certainly the ability to unify and bring together, shortening distances, of whatever nature they may be. Then in the south, and more precisely in Bagheria, every opportunity is good to transform what elsewhere would have been simply a meeting into a real “I crackle“.

If you get together with your loved ones, it is known that where 5 eat, 8 or 9 will do so, so if it was December then we shared a pizzuddicchiu of sfincionein the summer perhaps a plate of babbaluci with garlic and parsley or a sandwich with panelle, to then conclude with a slice of frozen watermelon or a nice ‘nguantiera of sweets.

Yes, because here the good things to eat are above all “beautiful”. The advent of the internet has turned the world of entertainment and information upside down, but for a very long time television was the only way to get to know and discover the world near or far from one’s own home.

Cu l’avissi vistu Neil Armstrong on the moon?! Today TV is going through yet another phase…just think that with on demand the way of “receiving” it has changed, now we can not only choose what we want to see, but above all when we want to see it.

The world has changed and there are even those who have the slightest bit of attitude radical chicboasts of not even owning a TV, or whether it is a mere household appliance that has fallen into disuse, abandoned in an unspecified area of ​​the house because, a mirror of the decadence of the times, it impoverishes and should not be followed.

Except that everyone is well informed about the events on television more trashy that can be imagined and to talk about with the usual neighbor who is always the most prepared on any curtigghiu …

(Family) memories in Sicily in front of the TV: today the world celebrates the “magic box”