Friday, November 14, 2008

Italian Americans, What Really Matters To Us When It Comes To Connecting With Our Heritage?

Italian Americans constitute almost 6% of the population here in the United States. That's a good chunk of us here in America that were brought here by our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandfathers and grandmothers. We might be close in the generation gaps or really removed by fourth and fifth generations. Either way, no matter how far you fall from the generation tree we are all seeking to hold onto our culture and identity.

Sometimes, if you meet someone out and start talking about your background, you might come to a familiar conclusion that you're both Italian or know of each others similar upbringings. These familiar cultural characteristics that we identify and try to grasp are what hold the Italian Americans together. Sometimes the guys who act the parts of the stereotypes we aren't so fond of, just don't know any better, and to them this is their part of the culture they think is the culture. I guess, it might be true..everyone wants to be Italian.

We hold onto what we can, we are American --rightfully and proudly so, but one day once the generations fall further and further apart, we will be grasping onto the time capsule of traits, familiarities, traditions and culture. What really matters to me is keeping my heritage real and tangible. I see how easy it is to dilute our heritage when we are submerged in an everyday melting pot. It has to be our job to keep these amazing traditions and feelings of identity preserved, active and sacred.

Does the feeling of holding onto your culture bring you closer to your roots? Do you have a sense of pride and love for where you came from? Could the answers to these questions help us in figuring out what really matters to us when connecting to our Italian heritage?

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