What we THINK we know about our Italian heritage today will send our ancestors laughing and shaking their heads in their graves! Forget about the orange drunk crazy peeps from ‘Jersey Shore’, we really do have ourselves a SITUATION.
Q) Judging by your name, you’re obviously Italian. Did you grow up with traditions or more American?
A) I say a little mix of both being first generation. I was definitely brought up on more of the traditional side. Speaking the language, the feast traditions and religion, too.
Q) Who will be your main interview subjects for most of your stories ad reports?
A)I’d like to highlight folks within the area who come from Italian values of family, food, traditions and religion.
Q) How important is Italian Culture in Philadelphia?
A) It’s very important for our city. If you look at Philadelphia as “a city of neighborhoods” what comes to mind when you hear someone say, “I am from South Philly?” All the goodies from Italian restaurants and bakeries, the Italian Market on South Street and the Columbus Day Parade. Organizations who promote cultural awareness come alive in October, which is Italian Culture Awareness month.
Q) Do you think ‘Jersey Shore’ or movies like ‘Rocky’ and the ‘Godfather’ change the way people think of Italians?
A) The mafia existed strongly back in the day and in some cases it still does. Gangs from southern Italy were sent here by the government during the great immigration to steal from hardworking families. As for Rocky? It added a little entertainment getting an Italian name up on the big screen. Don’t get me started with ‘Jersey Shore’ that show was a disaster.
Q) What do you want to accomplish by the end of this class?
A) Through my findings and reports, I’ll have a better understanding of where we are today and did our ancestors do a good job at culture preservation?
Anyone can be proud of their heritage and what I hope to accomplish is to better understand this “gap” of authenticity my relatives and Italian Culture Awareness groups far and wide have been notably saying and believing for quite some time. For more updates on Italian Cultural awareness stories and events head to Francesca’s following outlets.