Saturday, August 4, 2012

Italian American Grandchildren Understanding Their Culture

Anthony & Gianna
Yesterday, my nieces and nephew were eager to help my mother collect the ripe tomatoes off the plants my parents had growing separate from the garden. My mother had done it earlier and the kids went crazy, asking 'Nonna, why did you do that without us?' She had to think quick and tell them OK, we have the other plants you can collect from -- she saved the day otherwise there was going to be trouble. As I stood there watching and laughing at their enthusiasm, it made me so proud. They listen to every word my mother says, on how and which tomatoes to pick, the kids understand that growing your own garden is second nature and they know Nonna makes the most amazing tomato salad with the tomatoes and basil fresh from the garden. Sometimes, I think will my nieces and nephew have the same passions as Italian Americans like my siblings and I do? Today it's harder than ever to raise kids to know or even understand their background. We're so saturated with technology and lack of culture in suburbs or maybe even in the cities - there is an disengagement factor that happens and it's not on purpose. My nieces and nephews get their education straight from Nonna and Nonno, which I think is amazing. They know they're Italian American and they know my parents came from Italy. They understand the struggle and learn more about our traditions as they get older and become more aware of their identities. I'm so happy the kids get this pure exposure to their culture. Growing up Italian American can not be compared to anything else.
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