Last weekend my old roommate from Italy came to visit, and it was so nice to see her again. It got me thinking about Italy, as do all the episodes of the Sopranos Figaro and I are trying to get through (in a binge reminiscent of Deadwood all those months ago), as did the Piemontese Argentinian girl I met on Sunday, as does Figaro himself, as does my family.
People have asked me how realistic the Sopranos is as regards Italian families, and the answer is really that I've got no fucking idea. First because mamma mia is not Italian, which makes all the difference, and second because I have no experience of Italian families outside of Italian families who are actually in Italy or Italian families here in Canada. I don't know shit about Italians from the tri-state area.
What I can say is the integration process looks familiar-ish; most of the Italians in Canada who I know are off the boat or else first generation so it's not as far along, generally, as the families in the Sopranos. We've been crap at keeping the language, half-assed about keeping the religion, and pretty faithful about keeping the food, which I think is the standard immigrant pattern.
But then it's so different - what Figaro tells me about his Australian Italian family is so different from mine here, which is so different from the shit you hear about tri-state Italians. If I was an anthropologist I would love to sink into a study of how immigrants from the same shit-poor Italian regions shape themselves to suit their new surroundings. Think of the food alone. Fucking hell. I wonder if someone has done that yet.