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Italian Families Italians symbolize a value system organized primarily around protecting the family I feel that the family is one of the most important elements in our family My grandparents are full-blooded Italians My grandparents parents came over to America from Italy As I read this article I am learning that my grandparents today believe in the same customs and traditions as our long ago ancestors Between 1900 and 1910 more than two million Italians mostly peasants from southern Italy immigrated to the United States to escape poverty and find a better life Most of the people that came over from Italy preferred urban living This pattern was largely influenced by the importance Italians placed on family neighborhood connections and relationships where children feel obligated to remain close to aging parents Many spent their whole lives in the same neighborhood not even visiting other parts of the city or town I know this was true with my grandparents and their parents All of my family lived in the same city and town Most of my family even lived in the same neighborhood while growing up Italians took pride in home ownership not wanting to rent because this meant that they were dependent on outsiders The home was a symbol of family not of status and the family table was at its center Today when my grandparents are over to eat dinner no one can start eating until everyone is sitting down and we have said grace My grandmother always makes this wonderful salad with every type of fruit and vegetable possible Sometimes I am really hungry and cant help but pick at the salad that is sitting right in front of me My grandfather always gets really angry because he has strong beliefs that no one should touch the food in front of them until everyone is sitting and has said grace together In the New World prejudice against
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