Sardinia seen from Argentina has the flavor of the past, of memories, of the family of origin, of a land that – albeit distant – is present in all the discourses of emigrants and their children and grandchildren. Like Margarita (for all Marga), born in Moron, in the province of Buenos Aires, 63 years ago.

His father was Cosimo Tavera, born in 1924, who left from Ittiri, it is said with the classic cardboard suitcase, in search of fortune. Unlike other emigrants, Cosimo already had a two-year contract in his pocket. He planned to return at the deadline, but in the end he stayed in Argentina.

He spoke only Sardinian, little Italian. And after more than 60 years of emigration, his dominant language was Spanish.

He began as a bricklayer with the Casiraghi firm, a Milanese company that had brought him to Argentina, but he has the stuff and character to sell and in a few years he becomes an entrepreneur. The work absorbs him almost completely and yet he finds the time to go and look for some fellow countrymen and the Sardinian club, at the time led by Fausto Falchi. In 1970 Cosimo succeeded him and became president of the “Associazione Sardi Uniti”, active since 1936 (emigration from Sardinia had been very consistent in the 1920s). And in 1989 president of the then Lega Sarda, which later became the Federation of Sardinian clubs in Argentina, and Consultor for emigration for the Region of Sardinia.

Marga has also frequented the office since she was a child: «My father always took me there, and over the years I have seen with my own eyes the great work they have done, what I too continue to do today: making Sardinia known, explaining Argentines its incredible history, show them the beauties of the island, the traditions».

But that's not all, because there is a journey that will change Marga's life and that she remembers as if it were today: «It's 1980, my father gives me a ticket to go to Ittiri, he wants me to know where he is born, the one he talks about with such nostalgia. I arrive in Alghero and find many people at the airport. So I think: there must be someone important, a politician, an international representative, an actor, a singer. But they're all there for me, there's practically the whole country. I tremble with emotion, I have tears in my eyes. I stay in Sardinia for two months, I meet uncles, cousins, nephews, distant relatives. And I see that beautiful world."

From then on, nothing will be the same again.

"Exact. My life changed: from that moment it was all a before and an after. I returned to Buenos Aires feeling like a Sardinian born in Argentina. It was a journey that marked me deeply."

Has the commitment in the world of organized emigration changed too?

“It was more and more intense. Gradually I not only became more actively involved in the Sardinian club but then also in the board of directors since 1996. In 2009 I instead became president of the Argentine federation, and since 2020, emigration consultant for the Sardinia Region".

How many member associations are there today?

«Now there are 8 clubs, with more or less common problems».


«Everything starts from the economic question, from the policies that Argentina pursues. If you want to have a future and you are young you have to study. And this is true everywhere. In Argentina that's not enough: you also have to work at the same time. And this is one of the reasons why young people rarely go to associations: where do they find the time? Maybe they collaborate in the most important activities but they are not protagonists. Of course, there are always exceptions."

Who are your partners?

«Many are children of emigrants and grandchildren, they too, like me, have inherited this love for Sardinia. The last Sardinian migratory waves in Argentina date back to the post-war period. Today we have about 1,500 people in Buenos Aires alone."

Does each club have a peculiarity?

«Certainly, everyone promotes Sardinia but in a different way. Even if all the circles make the island known in all their demonstrations, conferences and events. The Rosario club, for example, has a folk group made up of Sardinian children and grandchildren. In Tucuman they have a school that adopts a particular teaching method as well as passing on some songs in Sardinian to the children. Together with the educational part there is also all the history and tradition of Sardinia. In Mar del Plata they organize important literature competitions with local schools on the subject of Sardinia but in Spanish. At Villa Bosch they are very well integrated into the local context and collaborate with the Municipality in various initiatives. In La Plata they have a language laboratory in collaboration with the "Su Nuraghe" club in Biella, they read poems in Sardinian, Piedmontese and Spanish. In San Isidro there is a theater group and they stage representations of Sardinian fairy tales, then there are exhibitions of Sardinian-Argentine painters and other events throughout the year».

And the last born, the one from Patagonia?

«They were recently recognized, that too is a beautiful reality. The president is Marianela Fava Signorini, for years they have been promoting the image of Sardinia in the extreme south of the world».

But in Buenos Aires?

«We always participate in a very important event organized by the autonomous city of Buenos Aires and the Italian consulate: "Buenos Aires celebrates Italy". Each region has its own characteristics: products, handicrafts and folk groups. Buenos Aires organizes a stand as well as Villa Bosch. We reproduce the most famous Sardinian recipes but with local products, obviously we don't have those from the island here. But the result is appreciable, we can say that we always have great success. In addition to gastronomy, there is a Sardinian handicraft stand (owned by the club) and brochures on Sardinia. And the Folk Group Sa Sardinia of Rosario is never missing. The 2023 appointment is for today, June 11, and it is the first after the pandemic, obviously it is highly anticipated ».

Un'edizione di "Buenos Aires celebra Italia" (foto concessa)
Un'edizione di "Buenos Aires celebra Italia" (foto concessa)
Un'edizione di "Buenos Aires celebra Italia" (foto concessa)

Being Sardinian in Argentina is not easy.

"For nothing. My eyes, all of us, sparkle when we talk about Sardinia. And we try to make it known throughout Argentina, and we do it in Spanish, also because the idea is to spread the island's culture in favor of the Argentines. It's that we are very far away, we are Sardinians who come from the end of the world, literally, to affectionately quote the words of Pope Francis. Only when they come here from the island do they realize the distance and costs to reach it. But that of emigrants abroad is a great value, a wealth that few other regions can boast».

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