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Proud to be Italian

From: Anna Maria
Date: 05 May 2001
Time: 07:17:16
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My family came to Canada in 1952 along with thousands more at that time. I am the first child born here in Canada, the rest are from Italy. Mind you, they were young when they left Italy,they still remember the life over there . I grew up with all of the Italian culture my parents brought over with them, that's all they knew. I started school in 1961,with my english not quite what the Canadians expected. I remember being so Excited going to school with all my Italian friends. At that time we were the minority in our town, so in my school there were roughly 20 of us Italians, and our parents being from the same town we were in a sense "related." There were bad memories as I can recall. The Canadians could not except our differences.At lunch time we would sit in "our" corner and nearly hide our food whil trying to eat lunch. We would get teased. We were teased about everything, our clothers, our hair, colour of skin, the way we talked their language. There was not much that these Canadians accepted about us. It was quite hard growing up in our town. I remember lots of tears were shed and my bothers and sister tried very hard to support me, but funny as it was, they did not seem to have the hard time I was having. Maybe they were older. But I found out later that they had more of a backbone and were able to let all these people get to them. As I grew older I resented being Italian and began to do things the Canadian way. That was the worst mistake I ever made. These people made me feel so low about myself and I believed them. I was not proud of my heritage. Time passes and they say the past catches up to us. For the past few years I"ve been doing my geneology and it has opened my eyes to so, so much. I called my oldest brother one morning and told him I had found a picture on the net, of the boat that my mother came to Canada on. I was so excited. He told me before I made any more progress on my research to read the book "Canadese". I hunted all over the city for it and found it in the library. I got such a rude awakening reading this book. Tears fell and I was brought back to the little girl in school. I was so ashamed of the years I had resented my roots. I had missed so much of my life. The Italians are a beautiful people. They actually built this country. The way I look, my clothes my food thay my mother taught me how to cook, this country is copying it all from us. All these years I had it in the palm of my hand and I almost let it go because I wanted to be acceped. I raised my girls to be who they are and be proud, but I was not doing it myself. I thank the many Italians out there who are helping me with my research , I am so proud of who I am today..... I hope that if anything that I mentioned here did not offend anyone, I was expessing the truth of my experience. Now when I take my grandson to school and walk in his class, I see so many different cultures and I smile. Time has changed, maybe the world is more excepting now, but I will not forget the struggles my people had to endure, and what I learned. I admire our parents for having that pride that was carried here through the waters, from their little towns, from the southern part of Italy, and that pride built this nation. Thank-you for listening to me.. Anna Maria

Last changed: May 05, 2001