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Community Forums › How Can I locate my Family in Italy › Southern Italy › Traditions lost

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Traditions lost

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Romano1970
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Traditions lost Reply with quote

This is not a question to be answered just a thoughts that I have been having while doing research. Where have the traditions gone?

I remember so many wonderful traditions my family had while I was growing up that seem to have been lost in time.

Sunday dinners after church. My grandmother cooking as we came back from the 11AM session because she was already at church a 6AM like she was every weekend day. The Italian Bakeries with the smell of the fresh Semolina bread. Every barber shop in town was either "Tony's Barber shop" Angelo's Barber shop. You didnt just go there for a hair cut but also to see your friends and even eat sometimes. My Father ALWAYS would were black trousers with a white shirt to his mothers house. Grandma would always have candy in her pocket for us.

Nowadays it is all fast food and no one ever eats together anymore, church is easter and christmas now. If we are looking to the past to find our ancestors now. I believe we are also looking for the lost traditions that we cherished so much as kids. Just a thought. Consolidated efforts to resurect these old time ways should be a part of all our lives.

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JoeB
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

One thing remains in my small town. Our barber shop is owned and operated by a really great Italian guy who is quick to offer expresso and grappa to the afternoon crowd. A soccer game is always on the TV and the lively conversation turns a 20 minute haircut into an hour of fun. My wife will say "where have you been?" I say "just went for a haircut dear." Otherwise the world is as you say, boring.
Joe B.

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Researching DeMaso, Del Favero, Nebbiu, Valle di Cadore and Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy.
Also researching James Blackwell, Royal Regiment of Artillery in Ashton-Under-Lyne, County of Lancashire, England. b:1827 Macclesfield, County of Cheshire, England. d: About 1889 at Garden Island, Ontario, Canada.
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nuccia
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

I was talking about this very thing yesterday with a friend. My parents arrived in North America in the late 50' and early 60's so they brought a lot of their traditions and values with them. Grandma and Grandpa were still alive then as well so we grew up with the big family dinners (which were really late lunches), Church EVERY weekend, fresh bread from the Italian bakery and then off to visit family and friends. Dad always wore a suit on the holidays (he still does) and insisted that the table always be full of food (even things he would not eat but he wanted them on the table anyways). Mom spent hours in the kitchen cooking and Sunday mornings were filled with the smell of homemade sugo which we were allowed to eat with fresh bread to hold us over before dinner. Meals were two hour events and no one thought about leaving before Dad said it was ok. Conversation was a big part of dinner although we really were only allowed to listen to the adults talk most of the time. After dinner we had to clear the table - but God forbid you removed the glasses! He said that that meant you wanted your company to leave and was rude.

We didn't dare say no to my father about anything - he was the boss - and if Grandpa was around, then he would decide the days events. We learned how to make homemade sauce, bread, vino, grappa and sausages as children and having a catina was much better than a pantry. While my friends parents planted flowers in the Spring, we planted the tomatoes, parsley, basil (to make the homemade sauce in the late summer) cucumbers, swiss chard, lettuce and peppers (we can't forget the peppers or what would we put on the pasta?) This was the same pepper that we brought to every Italian wedding and passed around, discreetly to put on the food served since it was not served at that time. Whenever anyone was terminally ill, the adults would always whisper when they talked about it as if afraid of being overheard. We went to every family birthday, engagement, wedding, baptism, communion and confirmation. Our cousins were like siblings - even the second and third cousins and although our parents were strict, we could go out as long as we were all together.

My mom kept this tradition (or most of it) until after we all married and had moved out. Dad would still visit daily and tell us what we should be doing - how to raise the kids, what repairs were necessary in the house, etc. When we bought our home it had a modest yard but we still have the vegetable garden - Dad decided he need more room for his peppers so I inherit plants every Spring. He also starts his own tomatoes from seeds from the previous years batch and I always get those too. I still make the sauce in the fall but the vino and sausage are a no go. My house does have a catina though which my parents hang all their sausages to dry in. They recently downgraded to a smaller home with my brother which didn't have as many stairs or in need of as many repairs. Dad insited on a garden and staked one out - we teased him that we were going to replace it with a swimming pool since it was so large. Mom still makes the sugo on Sunday mornings and the brotho since Dad likes to have a bowl often during the week. I also make the sauce every weekend and the kids always ask for it with bread but somehow it never tastes quite as good as Nonna's.

We still visit often of Sundays but the kids now complain they have plans with their friends and can't always make it. Sit down dinners during the week seem to be a thing of the past with soccer games and other after school activities. Sometimes I only see my kids for a few minutes each day before I need to go to bed because I wake up so early for work. Sometimes I find out about whats happening in my kids life through facebook or text messages - although when we do sit down to talk we REALLY talk. The kids only see their cousins on very special events and some they don't even know.

I know this is a sign of the times but it is so different from how I was raised. I have learned to go with the flow though because I am often accused of being old fashioned and I wonder - what traditions will my kids have take with them when they start their own families? Not many I think...

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JoeB
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Great story Nuccia, you should write a book!

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Researching DeMaso, Del Favero, Nebbiu, Valle di Cadore and Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy.
Also researching James Blackwell, Royal Regiment of Artillery in Ashton-Under-Lyne, County of Lancashire, England. b:1827 Macclesfield, County of Cheshire, England. d: About 1889 at Garden Island, Ontario, Canada.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Glad you liked it Joe - I cut it short because just found out, through facebook of course that a relative was pregnant - it just proves my point. There would of been a time when every one got a phone call about something like this - or they would have kept it a secret until AFTER the baby was born . *sigh* Ok..a book, huh? Who would read it? lol lol

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Romano1970
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Nuccia, you have captured the thoughts that I had but couldnt get them to the screen as eliquently as you.

How do we, or rather how can we set a pact here and now to never let these traditions die. I cant see a life without the wonderful smelsl, tastes stories and laughter that I was brought up with for my children.

I will be 40 on the 18th of this month. I have many many years left ( I hope ) however I still worry that evrything our ancestors brought to this wonderful country we call home ( nuccia for you cananda ...correct? ) will be lost into attics and basements of our children. Our stories, are worth the respect they deserve. Once our generation is dead and gone.....will our efforts to try and trace our roots be gone as well? I hope for our sake it is not............

To all of you here on this site , and other sites as well. Burn these stories into the memories of your children so that they may take them into the future.

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choprjohn
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

You guys brought a tear to my eye. How true both your posts are, being 67 years old my relatives are all gone except for my mom. The cousins are spread far and wide, no one sees anyone any more, its a crying shame, but its the world we now live in.

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Romano1970
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Well......lets do our parts to change that. Nuccia....I will absolutely by the book.

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

You know - I agree with you all on some any things. I'm lucky my parents are still around so I can pop in once a week and mom ALWAYS has extra food ready for me since she says I am tired after working all day and I probably don't have the time to cook a proper meal. Besides, it's just as easy to make lasagna for 14 as it is for for (she makes my sister and brother food too). The first time I made gnocchi from scratch I made the mistake of using a store bought tomato sauce. I really caught it from my dad that night. He refused to eat it although mom ate it (I think just to make me feel good and not give up doing it again). I work all day and when I get home the first thing out of the kids mouth is "can you make me something to eat?" when all I really want to do is sit down with a nice hot cup of coffee and relax. We used to not only take turns cooking when we were younger but we would have mom's coffee ready and waiting when she got home from work - and espresso at that.

You guys talk about the barber shops - we had a barber in the family. My Uncle, the poor man, would have to cut all our hair. I remember once when I was six and we were just preparing to move from Canada to the US to be closer to my grandparents, he gave me a haircut. It was so short that I screamed and cried for days with a bag over my head refusing to go out in public. (Don't laugh - you know you have all had one of those bad haircuts yourself) I didn't even want to go to school but I had no choice - my father made me go. And there was none of this huggy cuddly "Oh you poor thing" from my family - no it was "You needed a haircut and so you got one so deal with it and stop crying before I give you something to really cry about" and then came the jokes. The "authorities" on "proper parenting" would call this abuse and say how this traumatic experience would have scared me for life - yea right. They obviously never grew up in an Italian home because if they did they would have only had to look around and see that everyone else had the same haircut! Besides..it gives us something to talk about now when my family gets together..

Years later I cut my hair just as short, because it was fashionable and when I had a daughter I did the same thing to her..wonder what the authorities would say about that...

oh yea ---> Here's me with the haircut and then almost 11 years later with the same haircut...

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Movie star material Nuccia, movie star! So what films were you in...

Very Happy

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Researching DeMaso, Del Favero, Nebbiu, Valle di Cadore and Pieve di Cadore, Belluno, Veneto, Italy.
Also researching James Blackwell, Royal Regiment of Artillery in Ashton-Under-Lyne, County of Lancashire, England. b:1827 Macclesfield, County of Cheshire, England. d: About 1889 at Garden Island, Ontario, Canada.
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liviomoreno
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

The second picture (nooch.jpg, the one taken last year!) is great, you really look like a movie star!

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nuccia
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:11 am    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Smile You all make me feel really good! I left after writing this and headed to the hairdresser. It inspired me to get a haircut ! lol lol

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lilbees
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:58 am    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Nuccia, you are writing from the minds of all of us who had family from the "old country" and the family traditions. Isn't it funny, my "kids" are all in their 50s now and trying to bring back some of the "traditions" with their families.

lilbees

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Romano1970
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Explorer....... make sure they do. I am only 40 but eveything is still fresh with me. As a matter of fact I am making a trip to Denver today. ( imoved from NY/NJ out here to Colorado) and finding what everyone around here call good italian food. I will be the judge of that. It is beautiful out here, but the food leaves something to be desired.

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Romano1970
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Traditions lost Reply with quote

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Hope your holidy feast was amazing.

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