I was trying to act all interested with talk shows and programs this morning and started to reminisce on Italian television. In particular in Salerno, I was hangout with a friend -Tony ( I now know about twelve Tony’s all in one country, Hey Antonios!) Since almost every fourth male is named Antonio I have resorted to giving them all non-Italian nicknames. This Tony I call Jersey, why? Because he lived in New Jersey for about four years of his infantile life and has held on to the dream thirty-something years later; ” I love America, especially New Jersey!” Since his parents immigrated there on a boat( yes a boat) way back when to live the American dream. Long story short he was a Jersey boy, learning jersey things fugetaboutit – he does say this often (smh) , his father however didn’t like life in America. He told me Americans work too much and are too stressed out for him, so he told his brother;who stayed, arrivederci and took his family back on a boat to Italia. In the end I think this was a good choice,Tony has a love for PYT , which is great in Italy in United States =rap-sheet. Tony recently changed his view of the United States last year when he returned to the good ol’ US of A and realized he is more Italian than ever. That is another story, yet he still loves Jersey.
Anyway at Tony aka Jersey I saw a program called Don Matteo, it was a cross between Murder She Wrote and Matlock only with a priest on a bike. And I must say Don Matteo’s dismount was always flawless even in a high stakes scene. I on the other hand would have broken something and everything. I have spent many a day in Italy and Jamaica on a bike, especially sitting side-rail ,which truly hurts . Thank God for cars and motorbikes where at least have more cushion for my tush.
Back to the Don, his program was so “the more you know” type deal . It was always pleasant, the criminal always confessed to the crime , possible because the Don has piercing blue eyes with his on- point Italian tan who wouldn’t confess-Really who??. In the episodes I saw the victims had minor injuries yet everyone always looked very grime as if death was near for a sprained ankle. Many of the incidents were a crime of passion aka infidelity- Shocker!. They did have parts where the carabinieri ;police that are made fun of a lot not by me but Italians; chased down a drug dealer and they always caught their man the first time, have commentary at the prescient about their family life and the case at hand, a joke here and there and a flash mob scene. It was great television .I learned some Italian thanks to Don Matteo-Grazie Papa!
I’m actually writing a post about this right now but I saw your post and had to comment. Francesco has started trying to give himself an American name in light of receiving his greencard (yay!). His choice? Franky I.S. for Franky Italian stallion. He clearly has questionable opinions about what is cool. Save me.
Unfortuanelty Italian Stallione has been used by every male in New Jersey,so back to the drawing board. ……Quite a bit my my Italians friends want to leave, however, they cannot because they are devoted to their parents. I meet a girl that was offered an internship in London, she turned it down because she is the only child. She is sad about because work is hard to obtain. She works part time for a family friend. I hear this story over and over….kind of sad. I am not a real American and my parents are always worried someone is going to attack my sisters and I YET they tell us to go and live our dreams (and bring back a husband). Go figure.
It’s something I really dislike about Italian culture. Everyone isn’t like this, but the ones who are really hinder their kids from growing and living a fulfilling life. I don’t love American culture because it’s too independent and hands off (though my father is an immigrant so my family is also a bit different). But a lot of Italian families are so incredibly selfish it’s unbelievable. My husband’s family, for example, has nearly destroyed our relationship a few times because their selfishness gets in the way of our happiness. It’s a totally new thing though. Italian families were not THIS attached to their children even two generations ago when many, many Italians worked in Germany, England, and the US. The mammoni thing especially is very new. It’s sad.
I posted your article on my fb page about a few weeks back. I was told it’s because of the economy that this phenomenon has thrived. I do like the family gathering in Italy,there are so many similarities to Caribbean families that I would live in Italy. I do think their children should be able to achieve their goals , seize opportunity when it comes knocking. I am thankful that my nervous ,superstitious mother has at least allowed this freedom.