Mission Statement

Duality of Persona

stock-photo-the-other-self-4716715 Having been raised by Italian immigrant parents I have always had one foot in this country and one in theirs. Neither one truly belonging to me.  I can only speak about my own experience as the daughter of immigrant parents but I would like to explore what it is like growing up as a first generation American of any nationality.  Do we share the same challenges or has the passing of time and generations made it easier for today’s immigrants.  Is the duality of persona still a common issue and how do we reconcile that duality with our own families.  How much of our immigrant parent’s customs and morals influence how we raise our own children.  Do we embrace their ways whole heartedly or do we find our own way in this new world of ours combining the old with the new to create something better.

My Italy

When I was 16 I decided it was time for me to take a trip to Italy to visit my parents home town.  I needed to see it for myself, to draw my own conclusions of this infamous town that had shaped my upbringing with its customs and rituals and rules and morals.  What was this place that had such a hold on my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  Was it as beautiful as they described it?  Was it as poverty stricken as they remembered it after the war.  What was it like to grow up in a small village where everyone knew everything about you and you of them?
So I badgered my parents to let me go to Italy for the summer.  My mother was adamantly opposed mostly because I was the oldest of her five children and she needed my help around the house.  My sister had just been born and I was leaving my mother to care for my three brothers, a newborn, two brother-in-laws a mother-in-law and my father.  
I persisted and my father gave in.  I plied him with the guilt that he may never get the opportunity to take all of us and wouldn’t it be nice to let at least have one of his children know where they came from so that it  could be passed on to his grandchildren.  I think he gave in because he secretly hoped I would meet a nice Italian young man to marry.
So began one of my greatest adventures. One that shaped my life on so  many levels.  It was the first time I had ever flown, been away from my family, visited another continent, earned my own money for the plane ticket and experienced a culture unlike any I had ever know, for to be Italian in the United States is completely different from being Italian in Italy.  My love for travel and everything european was born.  I learned the joy of truly belonging and feeling at home even across a great ocean.  I learned that Italians in their home land, free of the insecurities and responsibilities that come with being an immigrant, are the most giving, loving people on earth.  In that summer I became Italian and no longer Italian-American. I embraced my heritage and made it my own.  It was no longer my parent’s, Italy but mine.