Showing posts with label Second Generation Italian American. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Second Generation Italian American. Show all posts

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.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Raising Second Generation Italian American Children in the USA

A guest post this week from Italian American Girl's sister, Maria.....

As a first generation Italian American raising my children I feel so honored to share so many special traditions and cultural knowledge with them. Growing up in a first generation household I learned the importance of art, history, cooking, traveling and most importantly- family. As I became a mother myself it never was a question of passing on all the beautiful and intense things I learned growing up.

I spoke Italian with both my children from birth instilling the gift of a second language and the flexibility to learn more than one language by the age of two. My children travel yearly to spend their summer on the breathtaking southern Italian beaches of the Mediterranean, indulging in the local cuisine, life style and building life-long relationships with all my relatives. The beauty is that it is all very normal to them to see a diverse lifestyle than here in the states and become educated on the vast culture Italians have shared with the world.

Cooking is an integral part of my children being raised Italian American, we follow traditions year round and indigenous recipes and tastes are always on our menu, not to mention the luxury of home-made, healthy foods, which are delicious! The kitchen is our meeting place and all family meetings are conducted around the table, not to mention my children appreciate wonderful baked goods we make regularly to pair up with our “coffee,’ which is a staple in our home.

My children are exposed to organic gardening by my father daily and appreciate the love and dedication it takes to nurture a delicious fruit or vegetable, they share the experience of loving the earth and nature with their Nonno and Nonna.

But for us the most important part is family, we support each other through thick and thin, we eat together, we cry together, we laugh and love together. We never think twice to help each other out if one of us needs a hand, my children are taught to share and give love unconditionally, which comes naturally because we lead by example showering them with love and support.

I am so proud to share all these wonderful things with my children and know that it will have a positive impact on how they interact in the world as adults.


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