Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgiving. Show all posts

Saturday, October 5, 2019

October is National Italian American Heritage Month - 'Why Some Italian-Americans Still Fiercely Defend Columbus Day' - NYTIMES

October is National Italian American Heritage Month where an legal order was always signed by the standing President, I just researched to see if our current president has signed anything and did not find it, maybe you will find it or maybe we will never see it again.

  It goes without saying our cultural history in America goes back to the 1800's where over 5.4 million Italian immigrated to the US to find a better life, We were vilified then as many Mexican Americans are now a days.  Granted in my case, my parents came to the USA with all the proper paperwork and protocol.  They did come here from a war torn Italy and my father created a foundation for my mother's arrival years later.   Today over 26 million Americans are of Italian descent making us the largest ethnic group.  Stats from Italian American Foundation

With evolution comes controversy, and as many of us grew thinking, Columbus day signified a day to celebrate our heritage here in the USA, as we were all taught in elementary school that Christopher Columbus discovered America, I mean he was Italian.  Well as we've become a more sensitive society to ethnicity and social awareness's, it has been deemed incorrect to celebrate Christopher Columbus because according to history he slayed and murdered Indigenous people in his quest to colonize the USA.  Last time I checked this was called Thanksgiving a national and huge economic engine of a holiday where we are basically celebrating the slaughter of native Americans, but there is no argument there, instead we focus on Columbus Day and the so called heinous acts of the explorer.  Instead in elementary school you were taught how the colonists had a dinner with the Indians and they were all so happy, were they?

In all honesty, we don't need Columbus Day or Thanksgiving they are both if you want to break it down celebrating the same thing.  Its not about Italians at all.   This country before you and I was built on explorers from the 'Old World' coming to the "New World" and yes, according to history did in fact use heinous acts to colonize or so they say, you and I the person who is about 100 years old would NOT know either.  All we have is supposed history books.   The moral of the story, we are here in America, we have contributed to the history of this country along with many other ethnicities and cultures.  You can't deny history and label one person or one culture.   This is America. 

This was an article published in the NY TIMES; Take a look, a lot of great points. What do you think?

Why Some Italian-Americans Still Fiercely Defend Columbus Day

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Italian American Thanksgiving

I will start off by saying, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thanksgiving a true American holiday and one of those holidays that were never quite 100% the traditional Americana. Growing up in my house as a first generation Italian American child, we definitely struggled with adopting American traditions, because my parents just weren't versed in the traditions as we know them today.

I remember being in elementary school and learning about the true story of the pilgrims and why Americans celebrated with a day off and a big turkey feast. My mother learned from our neighbors that you were supposed to buy a turkey and make all sorts of things like yams, cranberry, stuffing.. all things that are not really Italian. So, to assimilate and take on the American holiday, my mother cooked the turkey, made the stuffing and presented the cranberry. This was really foreign to my parents. Our Italian American Thanksgiving would consist of stuffed mushrooms, lasagna, pasta, olives and more a la Italiana menu.

Make no mistake we are all Americans, celebrating a great tradition but at the same time Thanksgiving became a combined holiday of traditions just so we as Italian Americans could relate to it as well. I would imagine other ethnic cultures have experienced this as well when originating parents or grandparents did not grow up in America; therefore having to learn the traditions of the American holidays. As I write this or sit at the table and prepare for the holiday meals, I often wonder do other Italian Americans feel this way..? Or is harder from a first generation perspective because we literally learn, assimilate and practice as we go? Food for thought? I'd love to hear your opinions and or thoughts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Calabrese Thanksgiving.

In preparation for the upcoming holidays, my sister and my mother were discussing the who, what, when and where for Thanksgiving. Now, as we know Thanksgiving is an American holiday, so in keeping with traditions of course we do the (ta-kee-no) but with my mother's Calabrese touches. When you ask my mother about her first impressions about Thanksgiving and being here for her first American holidays, she always tells you about how strange she thought everything was when it came to food. She had to adapt to making a large bird with stuffing, then the traditional cranberries on the side..yada yada. I mean, if you look at the meal and how she makes the stuffing now, she could be a grade A -American Thanksgiving expert.

Now, why are we celebrating Thanksgiving? There was a whole learning process that went into the reasoning for why you cook a big bird on this day. For her, it was always like the day every year that Americans cook turkeys. But, obviously she learned about the history of the first pilgrims, settlers, Indians and the idea of giving thanks. So, as much as its educational and all, its hysterical, because as I write this..I hear my mother telling me the story about "perche fanno un (ta-kee-no) ogni anno?"

In celebrating this holiday, we do the traditional American things but with our Italian twist. So, we do have the turkey, but we have to have the lasagna, meatballs, salads, pastina and we don't buy store bought stuffing, my mother goes beyond the depths of making from scratch. Then after the turkey, we will have pastries followed with espresso. There might be an apple pie, but I'm not sure anyone will eat it. I guess what happens is there is a traditional Italian meal also prepared with the turkey as the opening act, but I think we all secretly wait for the real familiar Italian food. So, as much as there is American in this holiday, of course we Italians have our touches on meshing this festive occasion. When it comes to meals, Italians use reasoning along the lines of how can you make only one thing? All I have to say is, I'm glad I'm American and Italian.