Thursday, August 21, 2008
I am proud to be an Italian American
I bet some people are going to find this to be Un-American. It isn't. I was born here in America, I love my country and I am aware of what freedoms I enjoy here. I appreciate that. But I am also proud of where my family came from. I am not an American Indian, so it stands to reason this is not my only "nationality" My family came from Italy mainly. My dad's grandparents came from a small town called Balangero near Turin. My Grandmothers parents fell in love and moved to the USA where they landed in Utah, Bingham County. They owned a store for miners. After her father passed away due to Influenza, they moved to the Gilroy/San Martin area where they had family. They lived there, in the same house ever since. They farmed many crops.. prunes, apricots, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers...
My Grandfathers family came from Torre Del Lago I do not know as much about them. I know my grandfathers mother was an opera singer and a strong, large, happy woman.
My Mothers family came from England, Denmark and Italy. They remain more of a mystery.
So, yes, I am American as you get. I love my freedoms, I love that I can vote, make my own decisions, I can protest the war and not get thrown into jail. I do not display the American flag, its not my style. I do respect what it represents to America. I would never even think to fly the flag of Italy before I would the American flag... I know people who do that, and personally *I* find it to be a bit insulting.
But yet I am proud to call Italy the place of my people... the beginning of my family, and I want my children's eyes to see that land of beauty. I want their eyes to look upon its glorious vista and see the same things relatives from many generations ago looked upon and loved. The same things I have looked upon in amazement and awe. To see the church where your great-great grandparents married is something so special, so unique. To see gravestones from 300 years ago with your last name makes you wonder who they were and who they loved and hated and what they wanted out of life. It makes me wonder if someone had my son's almost Asian eyes, or if they all had our dimpled chin. It makes you love your family even more than you did before.
Americans are strong, generous, opinionated, friendly, and hard working people. We strive to be the best we can be, we have a desire to help others and the means to do so. We are unique, we are truly a melting pot with so many cultures represented on our shores.
Italians are warm, passionate and emotional people. Food is an art form and a rich part of everyday life. I try to bring the best of what America represents and the Italian zest and love for life to my life. I try not to work all the time as we seem to do... I try to take that relaxed, pleasure loving feeling that Italians seem to have mastered and make it a part of my life here, in America.
So, in essence that is why I am proud to be an American...and Italian American. I want the best of both worlds, and I am an American. I will get what I want. I am an Italian... I will take what I want out of life and merge the two.