Una Connessione con la Cultura

In quest’articolo, lo scrittore Chris Althouse descrive le ragioni per cui studia l’italiano. Lui spiega che i suoi bis-bisnonni sono immigrati dall’Italia. Lui aveva solo poche informazioni della sua eredita’. Quando ha cominciato i suoi studi all’università, ha deciso di fare più ricerche della sua famiglia italiana ed anche ad imparare la lingua italiana. Althouse ha trovato qualche parente in Italia e poteva finalmente sapere più della sua storia. Lui scrive anche che pratica la lingua italiana con amici madrelingua. Chris Althouse frequenta Dickinson College a Pennsylvania e studia la lingua italiana e la scienza politica.

As someone who has always been interested in my roots and lineage, learning to speak Italian and connecting with my Italian relatives were necessary steps. Starting at such a young age, Italian traditions have always been a part of my life. From indulging in Italian cuisine to having weekly Sunday dinners, I have always been at least slightly in touch with my culture. With this being said, a part of me has always wanted to have a deeper connection and knowledge of Italy.

Since I was a child, I had always wanted to know more about what life was like for my ancestors in Italy; where they were from, what they did, how many children they had, etc. I would always receive the same answer when I posed this question to my family: They were from Abruzzi, Chris. For some reason, this was not enough for me. I wanted to know exact cities, lifestyles, and names of my distant cousins.

In more recent years, this curiosity spread to numerous other family members. We wanted to understand more about not only our immigrant great-great-grandparents who sought out a better life and more potential in chasing the “American Dream,” but also the relatives that were the same age as us, who possibly lived similar lives and were easier to contact. One cousin of mine decided to use genealogy to connect with relatives all over America and back in Italy in order to create connections with distant family. It felt amazing to finally gain clarity and have all of my questions answered.

Along with this, I felt a disconnect because of my linguistic disadvantages. Out of all of my Italian family in America, some know limited words and phrases, but none of them speak fluent Italian. This was the new goal of mine: to pursue the language in order to understand the culture better. In learning a language, you also learn about habits, traditions, customs, and general attitudes of a group of people. This is the next level of connection that I desired. I took an online Italian course one summer in high school, but with no one to speak with, I immediately forgot everything I studied. Upon entering college, I decided to devote myself fully to this goal. I took two Italian classes my freshmen year and almost immediately fell in love with the Italian language. Through my school, I was able to make connections with students my age that lived in Bologna, with whom I was able to video chat and practice my speaking skills.

With the help of my family members and my school, I am on the path to finding a deeper connection with my roots and who I am culturally. By living in such a technologically advanced society, it has never been easier to pursue and obtain linguistic and cultural knowledge, and I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to find a better self of understanding of who they are.

Chris Althouse is very American. His Great-Great-Grandparents and their siblings emigrated from numerous places in Italy. Most were from Molise and Abruzzi, but some came from Sicilia and Campania. Chris is studying Italian studies and Political Science at Dickinson College. He is a contributing writer intern for La Gazzetta Italiana.