I’m just reading a story in today’s The Times, with the heading “Church bans vulgarity during village feasts”.
I found this very intriguing. In fact, I’ve spent the last five minutes racking my brains, trying to figure out just exactly how they plan to go about it, especially where indecent clothing is concerned.
Are special agent priests going to hide stealthily behind trees as if they were wardens and dash out like latter-day Flash Gordons to cover up every female midriff, every cleavage, every butt cheek, every gleaming thigh, every naked male torso with discrete white sheets?
How do you ban vulgarity, and more significantly, who is going to draw the line between what is vulgar or not? Frankly, I’ve seen my share of respectable married women with children in tow during their village festa who are dressed so va va voom, that you would be forgiven for thinking that they had taken took the wrong turn and meant to go to a nightclub instead.
Bearing in mind that festas take place in the sweltering Maltese summer, it is going to be quite difficult to convince people to cover up, especially since the situation (particularly among the young crowd) has been allowed to unravel to this extent. I agree that festas have turned into a decadent free-for-all; I often hear of how many ‘festa babies’ are born nine months after the village feast to girls in their teens. And we have all witnessed the drunkenness, the raucous behaviour, not to mention the drugs, none of which have anything to do with any patron saint I can think of.
But a clampdown at this point is not going to be easy, and I wish the Church luck on this one. I would not be surprised if il-marc ta’ filghodu, which is when things tend to get really wild, ends up fizzling out.
And if the Church manages to ban vulgarity I wish it would let the rest of us know how it managed to do it, because if you ask me, it’s not just festas which suffer from this malady.