i-ItalyNY - 2014-06 - page 17

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June-July 2014
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i-
Italyny
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17
in NewYork City. His wildly popular Italian
restaurants are an example of the authentic
value of Italian culture and theMade in Italy
brand.
That is one of the reasons why we worked
so hard to make sure that there were Italian
subtitles for performances of Italian operas
at the Metropolitan Opera.We wanted
Americans who love Italian opera also to
enjoy the original libretto.This project was
made possible thanks to Italian Americans,
Italians, and Italian companies.This is an
example of the substantial impact that the
community can have by working together.
Before my term comes to an end in a few
months, I amworking on another dream: to
bring the Italian language to the NewYork
City public schools.
When I first read an article about the French
dual-language programs in the NewYork
public schools, a light bulb lit up in my head:
why shouldn’t we do the same for Italian?
When three parents – Piera, Martina, and
Marcello – came to the Consulate a few
months ago asking for support to organize
a dual-language program in Italian in New
York’s Public Schools, I thought it was destiny.
We then organized an event at the Consulate
to explain what a dual-language program
is and how to create one for Italian. Not
knowing howmuch interest to expect, we
were amazed to receive more than 200 RSVPs
and messages of interest.
Sharinglanguage,culture,androots
The response of the community exceeded
expectations. I was overwhelmed, realizing
all of a sudden there was something else I
had not fully understood. I had considered
the three souls of the Community to be three
different groups with different needs and
little or nothing in common. This is not true.
They do have something in common. They
share the same essential need: to maintain
the culture, the language, and the roots of
our country.
After four years in NewYork, I am deeply in
love with my community! Arrivederci New
York!
●●
Italians literallybuiltNewYork
But Italians have literally built NewYork City,
from subway to the Empire State Building
and the GeorgeWashington Bridge, to name
just three monuments. Italians have also
contributed greatly to the political and social
development of the city.The history of New
York has been made by such Italian American
leaders as Fiorello La Guardia, Rudolph
Giuliani, Mario Cuomo, Bill de Blasio, and
Andrew Cuomo. Italians who have fought
against inequalities and organized crime
include Joe Petrosino, Carmine Russo, and
Arturo Giovannitti, among many others.
There are thousands of Italian names among
the officers of the NYPD, the FBI, the Secret
Service, and the Fire Department.These
men and women are our strength and an
extraordinary resource.
Theimportanceof Italianlanguage
Over the past four years, I have been trying to
help the community tomeet andwork together
in newways and on new issues. I have been
particularly involved in the promotion of the
Italian language,more as a personal mission
than as a duty.The study of the Italian language
is one of the best ways to promote Italy abroad. I
havemet Americans who have been successful
because they have learned our language and
through our language learned to love our
country and culture.An excellent example is
MichaelWhite, one of themost admired chefs
TheItalian
communityhere
has“threesouls”: the
ItalianAmericansof
secondorthird
generations; the
Italianswhocameto
theUSinthefiftiesand
sixties;andthenewest
waveof immigration,
theItalianswhoin
Italyareoftencalled
thebrain-drain
generation.Theseare
not threedifferent
groupswithdifferent
needsandlittleor
nothingincommon.
Theysharethesame
essentialneed: to
maintaintheculture,
thelanguage,andthe
rootsofourcountry.
Onemust learnto
graspthegreatasset
thismulti-faceted
communityrepresents
forItaly.
Above:LuciaPasqualiniwithpopularmusician,
actor,anddirectorRenzoArboreduringhislastvisit
toNewYork.Left:Celebratingi-Italy’snewFiat500
withus.Leftpage:attheItalianConsulateGeneral.
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