Italianizzarsi ~ Becoming Italian

Italianizzarsi diventare simile a un italiano per lingua o cultura (to become similar to an Italian by language or culture)


One of my good friends here in Italy mentioned that I’ve become more Italian since she’s known me.  I found her observation very interesting because I felt Italian before I moved here but then immediately felt less Italian as I tried to integrate into this relatively “new world”.  There were many times when I felt like a fish out of water and it began to make more sense that the Italian word for foreigner is “straniero” (which sounds a lot like stranger in English).

I’ve been in Calabria for almost 2 years now and have slowly over time found my footing, albeit clumsy, in my new home.  I guess after so much time in one place, it’s inevitable that some change would take place; I just didn’t realize that it would be so apparent to those around me.

I know that I’ll never be completely Canadian or Italian and I’m perfectly okay with that.  I’m fortunate to have a point of view a little different than many of the people I encounter here. It allows me to stay open-minded and less jaded about the day to day life that someone in Italy experiences.  It’s nowhere near perfect here but deep down away from all the dysfunction, corruption and desperation you hear about on a daily basis in the news, there is a natural beauty that I’ve never experienced anywhere else.  This is the part of Italy I hope to take in and make a part of who I am.  If this is the part of me that has become more “italianised” than I can most certainly live with that.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be “Italian”?

  1. lapiubelladitutte

    October 31, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Hello I am Greek and I moved to Italy six months ago and desbite crisis and all I would never change it. Unfortunately I don’t have any Italian rutes, only a deep love for the country and the culture. I myself try to Italianizarmi as much as possible!!!

  2. Carmela Timpano

    June 2, 2012 at 4:54 am

    I am always fascinated about what people write about been Italian. I was born in Italy province of Reggio Calabria my father migrated to Australia in 1969 followed by my mother and three children in 1970. Destination Melbourne, I returned to Italy in 2011 after 42 years of living in Melbourne. I loved every moment of it and hoping to return again in the next 2 years God willing. What an exsperience it was met relatives that I never new I had. I also had the opportunity to visit family in Germany and Spain. I love been Italian and eventhough I was born in Italy Australia will always be my home. What I love about been Italian is my history, language, food and culture in itself. My family has remained with family values of old and realised this more last year when I returned to Italy after a long absense. Which I am very pleased about beacuse we are still very much Italian, my children love coming home for dinner as we are always very loud, we laugh and eat. Well this is my short story there is plenty more to say, but it will take too long to say it all. A big hello to you all from Australia..:))

    1. LuLu

      June 8, 2012 at 1:46 am

      @Carmela I love reading and hearing about people’s stories, too. There are so many people that have roots in Italy and feel so strongly connected to them. It’s so beautiful to read how traditions brought to different parts of the world have continued and are appreciated and respected generation after generation!

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