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Rome Reports

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Artists dance for the Pope while he returns their gifted drum

This group comes from Caggiano, a small town with 3,000 inhabitants in southern Italy. They have brought their customs to the Vatican and were able to meet other artists like themselves in the Jubilee for Circuses. They briefly greeted the Pope and wanted to give him a drum, but Pope Francis surprised them with his answer. MAURIZIO CARUSO "A guy got the idea to give it to the Pope, but the Pope said, 'No, I'll bless it and then you take it home, so you can take my blessing.' We had our moment of glory, so to say." They are called 'Folk Group Caggiano' and were created in 1986 to bring the tradition of dancing all over the world. They have about 10 performances a year and have been to America twice, once in 1996 and then in 2000. GENNARO CARUCCI  "It was an idea to keep our traditional dress, as you can see that we have on now. It was to carry on the traditions of a small town, from a song for the bride, to a religious song, to popular entertainment. We even have a dance for a pig slaughter.â? Unlike other artists who met during the Jubilee, they are not professional dancers. For them, it is a way to have fun and to strengthen ties with their neighbors. GENNARO CARUCCI "We meet every Monday night in a small center, kindly provided by the Church. Children learn first and then the group of elders. After the lessons, they always have an opportunity to party because with 50 people, someone is always celebrating a birthday or feast day.â? Now they return to their home to think of their next performance. As the Pope said, they know that wherever they go, they take the joy of their roots. IPC/MB RR VM -BN up:YA