La storia, intesa come memoria del passato e di ciò che esso è stato, influenza in maniera determinante il presente e la vita di ogni individuo.Giacché il ricordo di particolari tradizioni, occasioni ed eventi svanisce con le persone che li hanno vissuti e visitati, è importante preservare o risalire al proprio archivio familiare di fatti e ricordi e raccontare il patrimonio familiare che è costituito dalle sue memorie, siano esse rappresentate da un cognome, da oggetti antichi, fotografie, documenti o ricette trovate in cantina.
Historians aren’t the only ones who preserve and protect history. Sometimes a personal history is just as important as the history of any nation or country. An individual may have many reasons to preserve both their family history and heritage. It can also be done in a multitude of ways. Whether or not someone is sure of where their ancestors may have come from, it is always important to never lose touch with one’s ancestry and how they’ve come to be.
To preserve one’s own heritage is to forever cement the history and importance of their lineage and achievements. There are innumerable ways to always remember a family tree or a line of ancestors. Examples may include recording an old Italian recipe passed down from generation to generation or perhaps making a new recipe with family members and creating a brand-new tradition together. After all, food is a big part of Italian culture, and it’s a great way to share experiences with others while learning family traditions.
Another excellent way to protect one’s personal history would be to trace their own lineage or find meaning behind their last name. This is a good way to rediscover lost or forgotten ancestors while at the same time discovering what it means to have a certain surname. Names may come and go, but a surname has a heavy connection to many generations before our own. Different spellings of the same last name may also be present, which means someone may be connected to more people than they’ve previously thought.
A more personal option to rediscover and celebrate one’s heritage would be to listen to an older family member recall tales and stories from their past. This offers a more personal touch to discovering oneself and these conversations can be recorded and retold for generations to come. It would even be wise to start a scrapbook of older photographs in order to protect them and pass them on to the younger generation.
Attending Italian American festivals and celebrations are a fun and exciting way to focus more on a broader view of one’s own culture. Italian celebrations give a larger view of Italian customs and beliefs which may assist with rediscovering oneself. Festivals give attendees the chance to taste Italian food, listen to Italian music and converse with others who may share the same Italian heritage. Reading about Italy and Italian American culture in books, magazines and articles provides another option to learn. Learning the Italian language is another way to define and understand one’s own Italian heritage.
It’s impossible to know every ancestor, recipe or story that is related to one person, but that shouldn’t deter the desire to know as much as possible and save what could be erased forever. States and countries aren’t the only things with importance as people make up the world and keep it alive with tales and traditions that are given new life with each generation. People both young and old can truly appreciate preserving one’s own culture and heritage and beginning with their own history is the first step.