I have always been, in a sense, 'The Italian Friend,' or colleague. Even though I was born and raised in Australia. My father was also born in Australia and raised here. He never saw Italy. My mother was born in Italy, but migrated here when she was six years old. That was in 1952.
Nonetheless, I am 'The Italian' living in Melbourne.
I was the girl at school who had melanzane sandwiches (eggplant parmigiana.) I talked about my Nonna rather than a Nana or Gran. I spoke of my Papa` and Mamma and Zias and Zios (uncles and aunts). Friendly discussions among the older generation of the family sounded like heated arguements. At Easter I ate crostoli and at Christmas I ate panetone. I wasn't allowed to sleep over my best friends house until 15 years of age. A boyfriend had to come in and meet my father, discuss cars over an espresso or beer and await approval from him. At weddings we danced the tarantella and the duck dance. These things are pretty typical for an Italian family living in Melbourne.
Today, I have a family of my own. My partner Giuseppe and our 8 month old son Valentino.
Valentino was born in Melbourne. Giuseppe was born in Verona, Italy.
We are about to leave Australia for Italy.
Soon I will be 'The Australian' living in Verona.