Reflection of My Culture

When someone first looks at me, not much of ethnic diversity usually comes to mind. Instead, most just file me under the tag of “white girl American”. While I am a proud American, there is another part of my culture that often goes unnoticed even though it is very important in who I am today. My grandparents are from Italy, so for every Christmas, Birthday and Thanksgiving, there was some kind of Italian tradition that came along with it. When my grandparents would come over to my house, they would often talk about how things were like in Italy and similarly to Ojeda in “Growing Up American: Doing The Right Thing,” it made me question what the Italian people were like. One act that always makes me feel connected to my Italian culture is listening to, or playing the accordion. It was the first instrument that I ever learned how to play. When I was only seven or eight years old, my grandpa bought me a child’s accordion and he would try to teach me all the classic Italian songs that he learned in Italy from his father. Though I don’t play it now, every time I hear an accordion playing, I think of my grandpa and it brings me closer to the Italian culture. Another large aspect of Italian culture that I feel particularly connected to is Religion. Italy, especially Rome, is largely known for it’s religion. Being Catholic, I’ve been going to Mass pretty much every Sunday since I was old enough to remember. Though the Italian culture is not the only culture that is strongly Catholic, the history of the country still relates back to many scenes in the bible. This is shown in many classic museums in Italy like the Accademia Gallery in Florence. Religion has had a huge part in shaping me into the person that I am by making me a more grounded, humble and forgiving person. As well as being strongly religious, Italians are known for being very expressive, when it comes to their affection for people. Growing up, my grandparents always greeted anyone they  met with a kiss on the cheek. I didn’t think it was strange until I had a friend from school come over and she became frightened that my grandparents were so affectionate towards her. I am very much like that with my friends. Of course I don’t kiss them on the cheek, but I do greet them and leave them with a hug. There are several other  things about my personality that I notice that are derived from the huge impact Italian culture had on my life growing up. Small things such as using my hands whenever I’m talking in a conversation with someone,  No matter what that conversation is about. Similarly, my taste in food choices is very limited and is often something that is comparable to the authentic Italian food that my grandparents would make me while I was growing up. Whenever I am at a restaurant, the first thing that I look for is a pasta or pizza dish of some type, because that is my comfort zone when it comes to food. It’s what I grew up and it’s what I still choose to eat most days today now that I’m older. Though I’ve only been to Italy one time, there are still several characteristics of my culture practices that are straight from Italy.

3 thoughts on “Reflection of My Culture

  1. Great post! I thought it was very interesting how you brought up the topic of religion, because I agree that religion plays a huge part in shaping our cultural identity. I can understand how you being Catholic enhanced your understanding of your Italian culture, because of how related they are in their history and the Bible. I’m also the same way, where I became a Christian first, and then enrolled in a Christian school since elementary school. And being in a supported environment of my religion furthered my understanding of the Bible and faith.

  2. I think it’s awesome that you are so connected to your culture through your grandparents, and that even when you go to a restaurant you can find comfort in items because of your family’s heritage.

  3. Good post! It was interesting to learn that you play the accordion and how much your Italian culture influences you. I’m glad that you can identify with your culture and that it has played such a huge part of your life, and made you the person you are today.

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