Sunday, October 18, 2009

Are Italian Americans Being Forced To Forget Their Heritage?

This past month of October we were reminded by some media outlets that we were celebrating, "Italian Heritage Month." You may have known if you read my blog or visited some of the other Italian American sites, but if you hadn't --would you have known this fact-- that nationally as Italian Americans we were celebrating October as Italian Heritage Month?

I will say, many media outlets did a wonderful job in broadcasting & reporting Columbus Day parades locally & across the nation. But, honestly...if I wasn't so involved with my site and reaching out to other Italian Americans, I don't think many people had the opportunity to know or realize what resources are available to connecting to their Italian culture.

As Americans, yes --we are just that, American, but as an American we are part of something bigger, which is our cultural history. So, when you become surrounded by no resources, a sense of assimilation, and a society who shuns cultural education..then yes..I believe it could be possible we are becoming forgetful of our cultural history as Italian Americans.

Now, I don't want this to come off as negative, but there are so many everyday examples that can add to this theory. For instance, can your cultural identity be conflicting in your everyday life? My personal experiences have always leaned toward this being true, but you make amends with your upbringing and values, which then ultimately shapes your everyday life as an American.

You know, the more and more I am engrossed with my blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc..I realize so many Italian Americans are looking for anwers, relationships, ways of connecting to their cultural pasts. The biggest reason why they or YOU seek these answers to your Italian background is because this very thing I speak of, has happened--the fact that maybe your ancestors, parents, grandparents were forced to forget their cultural backgrounds not on purpose but because that was part of fitting in and becoming American.

So, now the generations come full circle and we all seek a common connection. I can only hope that collectively through my site and other Italian driven resources that we can remain, respect, celebrate and practice our traditions and memories as Italian Americans. So, lift a glass of wine this month and toast to your cultural background and be proud to be Italian American. Salute!
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