“What Italian customs do you see fading in our culture? Things grandparents or parents did you don't see now.
For example, as a kid every Italian wedding had the lively Tarantella dance performed, and you got a small handful of white candy-coated Almonds in a little piece of white netting tied with ribbon. Anyone remember those?”
This was posted on Facebook today and it makes me realize how much things have changed. This realization appears to be factual due to the progression of time.
We happened and we no longer went to tradition as Italian Americans but instead, as Americans.
First of all the customs are Italian that once were, not American. Things like, almond sugarcoated candies in white lace wedding favors were a product of small Italian neighborhood bakeries that no longer exist as they once did. They catered to the Italian immigration experience that no longer as prevalent, the casualty of progress for Italian life.
The Tarantella? How many of us took the time to learn it from our parents or grandparents that we could dance it today? I’ve seen attempts from some of us but it never seems to work out.
This is not to say that I don’t miss it, it is to say though that there is a successful transition going on, one that Grandma and Grandpa wanted when they arrived here on these blessed shores, to be American.
Today, weddings are between Italian and Irish or German and Spanish last names. We are melded into the American dream as it was meant to be. My wife is Irish my sisters married Poles and Japanese. We are collectively the American experiment and the American dream come true. It is good. It is good we have our heritage, one that would be wasted on our children since they never experienced the joy of growing up with Italian immigrants.
Take heart, one of the things Thomas Jefferson took back to America after a European trip was a pasta maker and pasta. He must have figured it out early on, it cooks quicker when it is home-made.