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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2017 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 T o L'Italo-Americano, a month dedicated to Italian heritage is not enough. This is not a request, nor wants to be a provocation. It is, quite simply, the description of the work we've been doing daily for almost 110 years, and not only for the Italian American community. Surely, October is the month we dedicate to our Italian cultural roots and it definitely represents a good opportunity to reflect upon the true values of our community. However, this is an intense, substantial "job," that greatly transcends the more or less exploited question of Columbus'statues, or the colorful tri- colored parades filling up the streets and alleys of what's left of America's Little Italies. It is a daily effort to promote, preserve, learn and disseminate knowledge, which is not useful only to Italian Americans of all generations, but to whomever may be interested in our culture. But this job takes time to be accomplished, as our 100 years long experience shows. And we are committed to carry on. To many, we offer the linguistic and content support to rediscover their identity through the heritage of their family and community. In other words, we offer means to reactivate the values such identity can transmit to those feeling or recognizing themselves as Italians, at all levels and in accord to personal and social necessities. At the same time we also offer, to all those who are simply interested in our culture, in depth snapshots of Italian landscapes and stories of lives suspended between two continents. We offer first hand tales  of a country that manages to unveil its millennial history and juxtaposition of civilizations even in its - more or less known - touristic destinations. A country able to tell its story through the ingredients of a traditional dish, symbol of a savvy and ancient culinary heritage made of local flavors and exotic twists inherited from all the people it came in touch with. We're here for the Italian American community of the West Coast Italian Heritage Month: it's not only a month, it's our mission From the director (even though the rest of the world is only one click away nowadays), aware of its variety and heterogeneity: from Italy-born Italians to third- generation-onward Italians, who are fully American, but feel a strong connection with their roots. This is the reason we decided, a while back, to introduce bilingual articles. Awareness always begins with understanding. To be fair, we should keep in mind the Italian American community changed profoundly. It's very different from that of the first migratory flows, when the Italian imprinting was much stronger. Recognizing Italian Americans today is not as simple, as they have embraced so many social, ethnic and cultural influences from those around them that they may not even be a "group" anymore. Being Italian American in the US today is more of a personal feeling, an interest, an embracing of specific tastes and habits, that a definite portrait.    A bit as it happened to our Little Italies. Where they still exist, they've greatly changed, even to the eye of their residents of yesterday and today. And they'd be anything but a representation of Italy to Italians, who'd find it extremely hard to recognize themselves in such different canons. This is why we've been striving to offer a paper that moves with the times, instead of seeking refuge in old fashioned definitions. We want to bring to our readers an ever-evolving image of the Bel Paese, without forgetting its history and some benevolent stereotype, but also keeping in mind Italy has been changing and evolving. So, if it's true that neither Italy nor Italian Americans are the same as 50 years ago, we have to make a promise to ourselves: going beyond October and keep on choosing to "be Italian" in all that we do, every day of the year. Edition after edition, L'Italo-Americano has been working to reach this goal, by offering readings, always new and interesting, about a country that could be subject of millions of printed pages and stories. Even our raffle, to which many of you have just taken part (thank you!), had this aim: offering a new opportunity to learn about Italy. Winners of the tickets to Venice or Tuscany will be able to see with their own eyes what we write about in our articles and describe it to relatives and friends. Because this is the true goal we should all strive to achieve and that goes well beyond the Italian Heritage Month: preserving together a national identity to be proud of. Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS

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