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May 4, 2012     Post-Gazette
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May 4, 2012

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Page 10 POST-GAZETTE, MAY 4, 2012 Italians of America Unite! From Rhode Island: A Call for Unity to Italian Americans of All Ages L to R: Rino MaseUi, Stefano Salembeni, Maria Gina AieUo and Vincenzo Carnevale. "To infinity and beyond!" The famous catch phrase from the 'Toy Story' movie can be safely borrowed to summarize the mission of the ICF of RI -- Italian Cul- tural Foundation of Rhode Island -- a newly born orga- nization aimed at reuniting all Italians and Italian Americans (in the State with the highest percentage of residents of Italian descent in the Union) under the same roof and inspire them to push together for a "re- generation of the Italian Spirit and culture", as stated in the association's mission which although relying on tradition must look at the present and especially tend towards the future. According to a famous Ital- ian proverb "ll buongiorno si vede dal mattino" (The early morning will tell you how good the day is going to be). And in the case of ICF, born last year on the wings of the enthusiasm for the 150 th anniversary of Italy's national Unity, the dawn was as glorious as it gets. The dinner dance/fundraiser event for the association's first birthday was a classy and successful affair. The over 170 guests -- among whom were many already active and well known members of Rhode Island's Italian American commu- nity -- enjoyed an evening of elegance, fancy food, uplifting music (with arias and songs performed by Italian opera singer Chiara Therisod) an address by deputy Consul General Luigi Munno, and a heartfelt good- bye by ICF founder and President Maria Gina Aiello -- also well known to Rhode Islanders as the host of Voice of Italy a radio program air- ing every Sunday since 1999 -- to the Scalabrini Fathers "responsible" for founding the very first Italian church in Providence who after more than a century of com- munity service are now leaving the area to focus their effort on places where more recent immigration created a greater need for their services. Then came the keynote address. Boston based Italian What I want to get to is this: and I will re- peat myself. We changed this country and we keep changing it -- mostly -- for the better. However the past and the present for us do not always mix: Young and old Italians in America should communicate and feel on the same page. Much more than they actually do. After all, they all came here to make their dreams come true. There is a huge gap between the generation who came here after World War II and the ones who came in the last few decades. The former escaped a country in post-war shambles, were often recalled here by relatives and therefore fit more or less into the groove traced by their predecessors. The new ones don't. I believe, everybody is partly responsible for this gap and everyone should take steps to bridge this gap. However in my opinion it should be up to the younger ones to take the bigger ones. To begin with, young Italians should stop snubbing the old ones. Looking at them and at their activities -- no matter how colorful, flam- boyant and rooted in a time long gone -- as if they had three heads. They should understand that processions, religious feasts, tarantella shows, dinner-dances and what not, have kept their Italian predecessors alive, as'far as iden= journalist Stefano Salimbeni delivered a 30 minute Speech based on his decade long experience as a RAI International US correspon- dent, in which, after listing a few (among the many) examples of past and present Italian contributions to American culture and way of life, pointed out the commu- nication and collaboration problems within Italian com- munities as a well as be- tween different generations of Italians living in the US. He then wrapped it up on a positive hopeful note with a few suggestions on how to solve them. Entertaining and poignant at the same time, the address touched more than a few raw nerves in the Italian American na- tional and local scene and without a doubt sent every- one in the audience home with something to reflect upon. For reasons of space we only publish the conclu- sions. However to read Mr. Salimbeni's speech in its entirety, please check out www. bos toniano, info. tity is concerned. For many years it was a way to hold on as a community against all the forces that compelled them to fully integrate in Ameri- can society by giving up what defined them. They kept doing it in the face of prejudice and discrimination and ultimately succeeded in showing the country that "No! We were not all Mafia members, or dirty, lazy, garlic eaters!". Today it might be a popular thing to do, but in the '30s, '40s and '50s it took guts to scream "Viva La Madonna" with a big statue of the Virgin Mary on your shoulder in the streets of Boston's North End. What these people did is prepare the field for the new ones, convince the country of the goodness, of the value of Italians and in the end making America fall in love with them. Then came the young professionals and sci- entists who now find a country which to the sentence "I come from Italy" usually responds "cool!" Well, it wasn't always like that. The new "highly educated" immigrants should take that into consideration ... and once in a while enjoy a meatball sub with their older fellow countrymen! If for nothing else just for the taste of it. On the other side of this "canyon" the old- timers should stop looking down upon the new ones and let go of their own stereotypes about what's Italian and what's not. Maybe even try to learn the language or at least learn what today's Italy is really about. Today it's easier than it has ever been. Everything is literally a mouse click away ... a Logitech mouse click away. Also they should try to get rid of the internal bickering over petty details of power struggles. Wherever I have been, Italians do not seem able .... (Continued on'Page 14) Due to his increasing popularity and several suggestions from rectders (and after much negotiating on our part with his huge salary demands), our friend Freeway has consented to try to answer readers' questions concerning him or any of our little four-legged friends. You can email your questions to to the attention of Freeway. Don't forget folks, Freeway is not a vet, so please keep the questions light- hearted! Thanks. Freeway says, I looked at my calendar and remem- bered May 13 th is "Mother's Day." I maybe a little early with my article but for all the women readers and mothers that read my articles I don't want them to think I forgot them. Mother's Day is very special. Mother's Day is all about you MAMA. Sometimes it seems like "alone" time is just a faint memory, but as a room, tak- ing time for YOU can be one of the most important things you do wit h your day. Having dinner with family and the wonderful feeling of having all your love ones around you at the dinner table. Remem- bering fun times, times of love and joyful events. A mother is a gift such a won- derful and loving gift and as we get older we realize how precious that gift really is. Here is a short story if you don't mind me telling you about it? There was a little boy hold- ing a shopping bag just wait- ing in the middle of the mar- ket for his mother, while he was waiting some people got worried because he had been standing there for so long. One women found a police officer and asked ff he would check on the little boy "she was concerned." The officer went over to the little boy and asked his name, he re- plied "Sam." The officer then asked, "why was he standing in the middle of the crowd at the market?" Sam said, "he was waiting for his mother, she was the most beautiful woman in the world." The officer waited with Sam and before you knew it, the woman coming down the street with bags of food had a long skirt and old shoes and a scarf around her head, she looked old and worn. The little boy yelled up "Mama, Mama over here" and he ran towards her. Sam looked up at the officer and thanked him and said, "I told you my mother was the most beau- tiful woman in the world." OUR MOTHERS ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD THROUGH OUR EYES. This is a story i will never forget, as my luman com- panion told me this story, just as her mother had told her as a little girl. And you know what? For better or worse or indifferent they are OUR MOTHERS. To all my readers, I wish you "A HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY". Don't let me forget to wish my girls at the Post- Gazette "Happy Mother's Day" That's all for howl WHAT IS A MOTHER WORTH? I humbly appraise my mother's worth, It began with pain to give me birth, Which triggered off a love so strong Blossoming into a life-long bond. When needed, she was always there Someone I realized would always care, And the older I got the more I knew A mother's love sincere and true. Now as I watch my mother age in years, l'm happy to help and ease her fears. Privileged now to play my part As she did for me from the very start - Anonymous Leave the DELIVERY to Us! With a Gift Subscription to the Post-Gazette, your generosity will be remembered every week of the year. We'll send the recipient an O,yearCiftSubsc,ipaon] announcement of your gift.  .S,.Gq.=.E  Their subscription will begin with the current issue and continue for one year. I ................................. Fill out coupon below and mail with payment to: Post-Gazette, PO Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 I would like to send a one year Gift Subscription of the Boston Post-Gazette to the following person(s). I have enclosed $30 per subscription. Recipient Name Giver Name Address Address City City State Zip State Zip Phone Phone