martedì, ottobre 17, 2006

I left my heart in San Marino

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.

4 commenti:

Anonimo ha detto...

I studied immigrant literature and we read a book about Italian-Canadians from the Soo (being a Sooite I expected it to be crap but the more I looked at it I realized it was beautiful in its simplicity and it did a very good job of making you feel like you understood the characters). Black Madonna by F.G.Paci. Food plays a prominent role - the daughter is obsessive about it and the way the generations deal with their heritage is recognizable and well thought out. If you're interested in the topic it is well worth a read.

Melbine ha detto...

I think I would have loved some of your master's courses Sugarplum..

I think most Canadians don't have too far back to go before they reach immigrant status. I think that Italians keep their food much better than Dutch people. But Dutch people don't have much food glory to go on anyhow..

Anonimo ha detto...

The Finnish people try their best and they do have some good food - ooooh, the mighty spices of the North - salt, pepper, cinnamon and cardamom. Is sugar a spice?

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I don't know. Let's ask wikipedia.

"A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring.

Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring purposes. Herbs, such as basil or oregano, may be used fresh; spices, however, are dried."

Well, sugar is the dried up juice of canes or beets, right? So it's vegetative and dry. But then it's not nutritionally insignificant. Anyways, it's good to know the Finns are good with sugar. They're sure fucking good with chocolate. The Fazer brand is so - why - I feel faint just writing about it.

I've had good food in Holland. They have nice sandwiches there.