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June 14, 2013

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. Page 4 POST-GAZETTE, JUNE 14, 2013 L'Anno Bello: A Year in Italian Folklore 1 An Outsider s Perspective to Italian Culture by Noah Symynkywicz (Ally s fiance!) As some of you might have ing holidays and maybe dur- Italy that lives on to this guessed, our beloved Alessiaing a graduation. But the generation. How much more Di Censo will be unavailableItalian family is a different implication do things like by Sal Giarratani to write this week's column. She will be sadly getting married on June 22"d to me, Noah Symynkywicz. She is currently busy preparing herself and with all of those nuanced "bride things." I have neither her eloquence nor her wit -- and I am not Italian for that matter. Rather, I trace my heritage back to several different an- cestors from Germany, Ukraine and France. So what can a mongrel like me tell you about Italian culture that you do not already know? I can tell you about what I have observed being part of Ally's family -- and it really has shown me why I am so attracted to this woman and why I want to spend the rest of my life with her. One of the elements that really intrigued me about Ally during our first' months dating was how close Ally is to her family. I see a lot of Ally's family. And no, I do not just mean her immediate nuclear family. I feel that Ally's grandmothers, uncles, aunts and cousins are a con- stant presence in my life now. I am disappointed if there is a week in which there is not some type of big family supper or holiday meal where I do not see these fine relatives. These suppers include, off course, exquisite Italian cuisine that fill you for an entire week. I did not lead a deso- late existence from family. No, rather I feel I had a close connection to my family for most of my childhood. I would see my extended family dur- creature. Ally sees her ex- tended family multiple times a week, which means that she probably sees her ex- tended family hundreds of more times a year than me. When Don Corleone mutters "a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a man" he brings up an important Italian paradigm. Famiglia really is the center of how one finds fulfillment in Italian cul- ture. With that constant re- minder that you are always surrounded by people that care for you, I always feel nurtured when with Ally's family. It really is a sooth- ing element in my cold, overly pragmatic lifestyle. Ally always pesters me about not knowing more about my cultural heritage nor my genealogy. And she is right. Even though I have multiple countries to call "home," I know little about German or French holidays. Perhaps this is my simple American ignorance, but I think that there is a differ- ence between my cultural upbringing and Ally's. You see, I thought that culture was something you read about in history text books, not something in which you take an active part. For Ally's family, you are taking a part in an Italian custom that has come long before your time when you eat fish on Christmas Eve. All of those delicious pastas or soups that you consume have such meaning be- cause they are not simply just food. Rather, they are part of the cultural patria of food have when they are tied into your very identity? Ally always reminds me to always remember the beauty of the world around me. If you have read any other articles of Ally's, you know that she always ties her thoughts to the chang- ing seasons. When we take walks in the autumn at a local park, she always men- tions some type of festival soon taking place. She al- ways amazes me with her knowledge of the natural world and all of its curious wonders. I will let Ally, the expert on such studies, talk about these elements in her future articles, but I just want to state that Italians are people of the earth. Most of their tradition and spiri- tuality stems from the heartbeat of the earth, not from human hands. Ally chuckles at me for eating out of season -- and that is per- haps because she has grown up in a family that promotes being in tune with the changing seasons. In short, I am marrying Ally for her beauty, her in- tellect and her personality -- but am also marrying her because of the powerful Ital- ian culture that she will bring to our future family. I want my children to grow up having a family that cares and fosters them. I want them to know the places that their ancestors have trod and the seasons that surround them. More than anything, I want to build that future with you, my sweet Ally. May we have many pre- cious years together. Noah Symynkywicz and Ally Di Censo will get married on June 22"u. East Boston Social Centers Summer Program for Children Ages 5-14 activities include daily field trips, swimming, art and culture, physical fitness, en- vironmental awareness, lit- eracy & math, science & technology and much more! We currently offer trans- portation for children liv- ing in East Boston, Revere, Winthrop and Chelsea. The East Boston Social Centers is gearing up for the start of the Summer Pro- gram for children 5 to 14 years old. The goal of our summer day camp is to pro- mote an enriching experi- ence and a fun, safe envi- ronment for all the children in our care. The many JOSEPH A. LANGONE III "JOJO" Honorable Senator JOSEPH A. LANGONE, JR. You are both remembered in our hearts and thoughts always on Father's Day ... Your Children and Grandchildren Join us for the whole sum- mer or a one week session, starting July 8~ and continu- ing to August 23rd, 2013. Required documentation: 1) Participants birth certifi- cate, 2) Parents/guardians photo ID and 3) Copy of child's health insurance card. PLEASE NOTE: Registra- tions are by APPOINTMENT ONLY -- please call Kelly at 617-569-3221 ext. 25 for appointment, details and registration. St. Francis of Assisi Church, located in Cam- bridge at 325 Cambridge Street, will be celebrating a Special Mass, conducted by The Most Reverend Peter J. Uglietto S.T.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. The Feast Day Mass will be held in honor of Saint Anthony of Padua on Tuesday, June 18th at 7:00 pm. Osmani Rodri- guez, classically trained and renowned tenor, will be the guest cantor. Saint Anthony bread and oil of lily will be available. The End Still Doesn't Justify the Means As an aging baby boomer who remembers well my required reading list in high school and college, both "1984" and "Brave New World" ended up as some of my all-time best required reading assignments. Fol- lowing the conclusion of World War II, it was my generation of Americans who ended up fodder for our politically-run mismanage- ment of the Vietnam War. During my college days, I protested the war and sup- ported the end of the draft which came about thanks to Republican President Richard Nixon in 1972. My generation also wit- nessed the fight for full civil rights in this country. I remember back in the Sev- enties when I was part of the anti-forced busing movement here in Boston, the so-called Cradle of Liberty. As some- one who valued the study of history, I remember well the old maxim that he or she who does not remember his- tory, is doomed to repeat it. I remember at 20-some- thing during the Ameri- can Bicentennial of getting caught up in America's birthday and our roots based on individual freedom and economic liberty. I remem- bered the struggles made following the midnight ride of Paul Revere and the battles of Lexington and Con- cord and the Battle of Bun- ker Hill in Charlestown. We all remember the names of our important founders like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams. We remember their leader- ship and heroics. However, we forget the ordinary folk who picked up arms to thrust out tyranny from this land. Further still, we have forgot- ten the warnings made by the likes of Ben Franklin who once said, if we were to choose security over liberty, "we deserved neither." Then there was Jefferson who proclaimed that if he had to choose between newspapers and government, he would choose newspapers over gov- ernment. Then of course, his most famous statement (or infamous, if you are a Tea Party-hating liberal) that every generation needs a little revolution. Our democratic republic was founded by men who distrusted big government. They already had a good example of that mistrust in the British Empire and good old King George III. Americans dressed up like Indians and dumped tea into Boston Harbor to protest a minimal tax on tea (by today's standards) but they did it for principle proclaim- ing "No taxation without representation." Rather than bash tea party folks who I don't always agree with, we should be thanking them for bringing issues to the fore- front since the mainstream media won't do it. Recently, I have been exploring the issue of taking DNA samples from those arrested by police. A recent case was decided down in Maryland by the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 rul- ing that police had the con- stitutional right to take DNA at arrests. Up to now, one had to be charged and pros- ecutors could work to get DNA taken from suspects by getting judges or grand juries to authorize it. Dis- trict attorneys across the country are now hailing this June 3 court ruling as good for our democratic society. Of course, the ACLU says just the opposite and in one of those rare moments, I agree with my liberal friends that if you can take DNA from someone arrested, why can't you just slide down the slope and take it from anyone you wish? Perhaps, the government could set up a databank at birth and take everyone's DNA the moment that cord is cut? As a police officer for over 27 years, I want the bad folks caught and punished but I don't think taking DNA from those arrested really smells constitutional as our founding fathers would have seen it. Our government grows and grows in power and each time it does, our individual liberties are quietly curtailed. Probable Cause is still prob- able cause. When you have it, you can get DNA. How- ever, when you don't have it, don't go DNA testing whom you wish in hopes of catch- ing the bad guys out there still on the loose. I think that on this issue, Thomas Jefferson and I would agree. What about you? The last time I wrote on this issue, lots of folks were calling me a no good liberal which I am not. Everybody needs to re-read the US Constitution again and again. Let it sink in and embrace it. Summer is a delicious season for fresh vegetables I and herbs from the garden. I I have several recipes in my cookbook I Using fresh vegetables and herbs. I A Tribute to Francena's Sicilian Heritage and Her Beloved Nonna. I Now expanded and enhanced in its 1 lth printing with 10,000 copies sold. SUMMER SALE PRICE $12.00 - (REGULARL Y $13.50 EXPIRES 9/1/13) FRANCENA - 125 Boyce Road, Centerville, OH 45458 937-433-7313 -