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The Impact of Italy and Italian-Americans on the United States In January of 1999 I embarked on a quest to become more familiar with the Italian-American community and its rich heritage As an aspiring Urban Planner it is central to my goals to learn more about the many cultures that make up the wonderful mosaic that is New York City To facilitate this journey I enrolled in Italian-American Studies 304 at Lehman under the tutelage of Professor Anthony LaRuffa Professor LaRuffa provided us with the academic foundation necessary to capture the full essence of this vibrant and interesting community The principal source of information we referred to was the ethnographic study written by Professor LaRuffa entitled Monte Carmelo An Italian-American Community in the Bronx This book captures the heart of the Italian-American community of Monte Carmelo and dispels the misconceptions that have long been ascribed to people of Italian descent This paper will seek to provide a topical analysis of Monte Carmelo and the selected readings from the Journal of Ethnic Groups Particular emphasis will be place to note the impact of Italy and Italian Americans on the United States During a recent visit to Monte Carmelo I can recall that the streets were decorated with streamers of red white and green the smell of sausage and peppers in the air the friendly atmosphere All of which contribute to the festivals performed each and every year in Monte Carmelo On one of its most visible occasions the Italian culture comes to center stage Everyone enjoys themselves regardless of their heritage And all are welcome the revered generosity and hospitality associated with Italian culture as vibrant as always It is at these times that everyone experiences and acknowledges all that Italian culture has contributed to the uniquely American culture But what the average festivalgoer does not see is that this culture and joyous attitude is present most of the
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