On 2 October, at 11 am and again at 4 pm, children and the elderly, grandchildren and grandparents, shall be able to take part in a free and guided tour of the museum spaces and participate in a "playful visit" in the space dedicated to the objects collected by the Salesian missionaries over the 150 years of activity around the world. The visit will be with a particular variation: a focus on the toys used by children and musical instruments around the world.
“We intend to show how the little ones played and play in other parts of the world, discover the originalities but also the similarities with our toys,” explained Elisabetta Gatto, anthropologist, curator of the Museum. “There are, for example, the terracotta dolls of the Caraja of Brazil and the toy canoes of Tierra del Fuego. We will make the objects talk; we will tell the story of some toys, some still present today though with the evolution of newer materials.”
The choice of the date was not accidental: "Grandparents' Day" is celebrated in Italy on October 2, and was established with a specific law - No. 159 of July 31, 2005 - and was set on that date because in the Catholic tradition, October 2 commemorates the Guardian Angels.
With the Day established in 2005 in Italy, the decisive role of grandparents in the formation of the new generations was emphasized. And this is exactly what is observed every day in Italy: grandparents who take up for many tasks that parents were unable to support in ordinary living conditions.
“But they should not be considered only substitutes,” explains Fr Daniel Antúnez, SDB, the new President of "Missioni Don Bosco". “They are also bearers of a unique relationship with their grandchildren that we find important here as in the cultural contexts of any other country in which we operate.”
The role of the elderly is also attested by the symbolic recognition of their authority. “In the Museum, there are the objects of the village leaders,” Gatto said, “which recall the importance of their experience, which also assigns the role of guide to the communities: the stool reserved for meetings, the staff of command to sanction and decisions.”
All this in a free 30-minute visit reserved for groups led by the same curator of the Museum.
The anti-Covid-19 rules will apply to the visits.
Far from wanting to be exhaustive about the widespread presence of Salesian missions in the world, the Ethnographic Museum of Don Bosco Missions, is set up according to geographical area, showcasing the most significant of Salesian presences alongside indigenous peoples and to protect the different cultural traditions.