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Thursday, March 02, 2017

THE GREAT MIGRATION


During the late 19th century and followed by the early 20th Century, America was taken by storm by the mass immigration that came mostly from Naples and Sicily and paved the way for many other Italians from regions all over Italy to come to America and make it their own.

  
Anything can happen.
As I grew up, “from the other side” meant a link to Italy, to family that lived in the old country. It was always a curiosity to meet someone with the accent and fluidity of speech that emanated from his or her hands, orchestrating the conversations with body movements like they were the maestro of the most beautifully conducted music of all time.

I recall the embarrassment when out in public amongst the “Medical” the look of judgment that filtered through their eyes and body movement, as this strange person who doesn’t speak their language tried to communicate made me angry. Remembering my grandmother when she dealt with people that for personal or business reasons she needed an interpreter, would make me cringe for her sake and mine.

Then I started to realize, they couldn’t hold a candle to her or any of these immigrants, These Pioneers that came here to America so bravely, without the benefit of language, how could these people judging grandma fare in Italy without knowledge of Italian do under similar circumstances?

Looking back at the past hundred years, and contributions made by Italians to America, first from the name alone, to the many generations of doctors, professors, entertainers and the remarkable influence of food and fashion, the sciences and education, we as Italian Americans have so much to be proud of! We are truly Americans first, but it is in our pride of our ancestry, the Italian passion, creativity, and love of life, that we shine and take comfort.

And so, like so many who have written about this before me, we recognize as each day passes, the fabric of America is woven with the Italian American pride, making America stronger and more civilized.

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