Showing posts with label Siblings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Siblings. Show all posts

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.


**Photo- Copyright 2011 Italian American Girl - you must ask permission to use any and all photos on - Grazie

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What You Don't Understand About The Italian American Family..

Today is one of those days where I have to express what I'm feeling when it comes to family. Many people or maybe I should say non-Italians might not understand the bond or understand why we do certain things or sacrifice a lot of our selves for our family members.

I grew up with the belief that you always help or support your family. In my family we aren't one of these units that each family member lives across the country or in another country, but rather we live close in proximity and at times are sometimes up each other's a@@. I admit --I do complain that in my family we lack boundries, but really do boundries exist in Italian families? For example, if I'm in my sister's neighborhood, nine times out of ten I don't call before I show up, I just knock on her door and she opens it. Then we have coffee, even if she was busy.

Lately, more than one of my family members have been going through some tough times, and I have to say rather than just going about my business, we all come together and form a strong support system for each other. If you ask anyone outside of my family, they might say you should each do your own thing and not worry about what the other is doing, unfortunately (and I say this sarcastically) that does not exist.

I love my family, and no matter what -- we are here for each other, a strong support system on all ends. No outside influences can throw us off track from the real love and support we give each other. I know this to be true of our Italian family, perhaps it may exist with other cultural families as well, but I know for certain this is our Italian cultural and traditional belief. - family is everything.

Copyright 2011 - PHOTO of Italian American Girl -2011 = you must ask permission for reuse of any and all photos on this site.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Growing Up Italian-American, Siblings.

In this picture to the left is my brother, Santo and me on the right. Now, I found this picture today and just couldn't believe how funny we were in action all those years ago. I can remember always having the best of times and just hilarious moments because we were after all growing up Italian-American. For some reason, I will say Italians have such strong bonds between siblings that no one can break. We're pretty tight even till this day. The reason why we had so many hilarious moments was because growing up my father was always working and mom was pretty much the disciplinarian, so if anything went was my mom who enforced "ti faccio --Badingbadinga." Now, this word, was like the word, that let you know you were going to catch a slap, pinch, or worse. Yes, worse.

So, today we were talking about the time, when my brother and I were at church with my mother. My mother is church lady, and when its time to pray, you better pray. Of course, this day...Santo and I were in our usual giddy moods. Hitting each other behind my mom as we stood at the pews. Well, we were laughing so hard ( I think because the church was so it was just uncontrollable) that my mother grabs both of our wrists from each side and squeezed them so hard to pinching that we were dying of the pain. So, the pain was intense..then of course, which led to us laughing harder. Needless to mother didn't tolerate it. She calmly escorted us out of the church after communion and got us in the car. She turned around in the car and slapped the both us. Well, after that day...we never misbehaved again in church., but till this day my brother and I literally fall of the chair laughing when we talk about this story.