Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Immigration Story

Nana and Aunt Jane, second generation of Italian Americans in my family.

My Great Grandmother immigrated from Italy to Ellis Island, New York...

She and her family settled in Princeton, NJ, although many other Cifelli's from the same town in Italy settled in various other parts of the state. Most of my family members are in the US and we do not communicate with any relatives that might exist back in Europe. My family members brought some aspects of their culture from Italy with them, such as special recipes and the need to cook for anyone and everyone. Easter is a big holiday, and large portions of family members get together, and all eat "Easter bread" that is a special recipe that has been passed down. Another important food is beets, which are like fried doughnuts. I believe this food is particular to just my family, and not just a general Italian recipe.

I do not believe that my family ever intended to return to Italy after being in the US for a short amount of time. Since the members who immigrated are all deceased and their remaining children are in their 90's, not many people really know the reasons for immigration or intentions after arriving. The family members have blended well into the American society, while still keeping some of their own traditions. My grandmother is still obviously Italian in many ways, especially in her cooking. She makes a lot of pasts, meatballs, and sausage. She insists on feeding anyone who visits and always makes sure they have had plenty to eat before leaving. The next generation however, is very Americanized and does not outwardly display any Italian traditions or do anything special for holidays. My family's culture does not have much in the way of religion and has no requirement for a place of worship in the home.

1 comment:

  1. i'd like to come to dinner...even for the beets. great photo. nice post.