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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2018 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 I dentity is a serious matter, but not too much. Let's explain it better. It's something important for the consequences and the effects it may have and, for this reason, it must be taken into right consideration. But it cannot be rigid, absolute, definitive. Identity is essential, but it is a continuous work in progress, something following a constant process of becoming; it means everlasting change, perpetual evolution and progressive metamorphoses. Identity is essential for each and everyone of us, it's our motor, our beating heart: we always look for ourselves in what we do, in the people we spend time with. We define ourselves through our choices, the studies we do, the jobs we pick or we adapt to, through our hobbies, through what we think and in the opinions we express, through the books we choose among the millions available. But it isn't an innate quality, nor an objective which, once reached, characterizes our lives for ever. It doesn't even happen with the way we look: hair change color, either by choice of because of age; our face goes from being as small as a hand to fill up with wrinkles; our height peaks during adolescence, only to retreat during old age or under the weight of labor. So, we shouldn't think that our identity is something defined, nor should we believe it's easy to define. Each one of us is Italian or Italian American in a different way and, therefore, each one of us will live or consider this Italian Heritage Month differently. But, beyond personal opinions, beyond the value we give to it, this month is important for at least one reason: it makes us think about our identity. In its routine, in its coming back each year, just like the 31st of December, it forces us to make an assessment. Of course, we may not care about celebrations, they may leave us entirely indifferent.Yet, this doesn't change things.There's always something, from what we eat to the language we speak, from the name and surname we carry to the area we live, that will bring us to understand who we are, if we take a tiny bit of time to think about it; it will make us think about our heritage, that is, about that baggage we inherited and that somehow does define us, whether we are aware of it or not. It's a matter of identity. Happy Italian Heritage Month From the director Because even if we don't pay attention to it, there may be others, those who are not like us, who give us certain characteristics. In the sense that, sooner or later, we all have to do a bit of soul searching to understand what we are for the rest of the world and what we believe to be. In short, sooner or later even those who don't care about their appearance, just as they don't care about social celebrations, mass phenomena, community events, end up in front of a mirror. Whichever way we put it, we are social animals and we are bound to be part of group, whether we like it or not. This Month of Italianità could also remind us of something else. Exception made for cases of pure anarchy, as we always hope others accept us, recognize our essence, let us be what we want to be, we equally shouldn't be stern with others. We should, in other words, learn how to accept if we want to be accepted. This is not political correctness, it's an exercise in flexibility. If we want our diversity to be accepted, then, even before being tolerant and condescending we should be elastic. This is useful both at a social and interpersonal level because, certainly, it'll be easier to relate to people if we learn to be less stern and more malleable, where malleability doesn't mean the inability to protect our condition, a weakness of spirit, of energy, of character, because of which we let external factors deform us, create concrete structural changes. It's a matter of respecting other people's freedom and peculiarities. Welcoming the possibility of comparison doesn't mean getting weaker, but developing the ability to adapt, an ability which could bring to a successive evolution, to an unexpected, but possibly welcome, change. Just as it happens with our own personal identity, coming to terms with our cultural and social one, with our Italianità or Italo Americanità, within or without our national borders, or far from those where our grandparents and parents started from, as well as from those of where we ourselves grew up and lived, is an essential process. It'll last for the entirety of our existence, it'll be continuous and will bring us surprising changes, but it'll always be determinant for our well being. We cannot be at peace with ourselves and our potential, if we fail to confront our social evolution and image, too. Simone Schiavinato, Director NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS L'Italo-Americano is looking for the first 2 editions of 2018. If any of you has copies of the 2 January 2018 editions please get in touch with us. JANUARY 11, 2018 JANUARY 25, 2018 We would gladly compensate with a subscription promotio- nal offer if you are able to pro- vide us with the editions requested. We will also pay for any ship- ping charges. You can get in touch by calling us at 626-359-7715 or email us at... accounting@italoamericano.org Thank you! NOTE TO READERS

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