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THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2023 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 W h a t b r i n g s a l l i m m i - g r a n t s t o g e t h e r ? They speak different languages and they c o m e f r o m v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t places. Some of them traveled first class on a late 19th-centu- ry transatlantic ship, where surviving the crossing was an achievement in itself. Others w a i t e d t e n y e a r s f o r t h e i r Green Card, or maybe they won it. They may have arrived as children because their par- ents or grandparents decided for them, or made it to the New World on their own, propelled by dreams and ambitions too strong to be silenced. Regardless of the fate, driving force, cause, or circumstances that physically led them "somewhere else," migrating caused a physical fracture, a separation in all of them. It marked a "before" and an "after." It was a water- shed moment, a more or less painful cutting of the umbilical cord. Separation, for migrants, can take the shape of emancipa- tion or pain, it can be a painful tear or an evolution, a trauma or a positive starting point, a conquest or the end of a dream. In any case, it is always a change. It doesn't really matter if it is deep and lacerating or seemingly superficial: separation What do all immigrants have in common? The great gift of having two souls From the Editor means opening a gap, little by little. Tackling the challenge sometimes paid off, and sometimes it led to failure: whatever the result, the plunge had been taken. Going back, sometimes (but not always) is possible. Sometimes it's just a trip or a summer vacation; sometimes is forever, because we realize our dreams cannot become true, or we struggle to fit in, or because of force majeure. Whichever reason we go back, we are not the same person who left. We are going to be different when facing those who never left and those who did; we are going to be, more often than not, discordant with the surrounding context, foreign- ers in both lands. Different from the people who have never left home, but also from the world which we had strenuously tried to integrate into. Migrants are not only those who carry within a life experi- ence different from that of the community that welcomes them, they are also those who become different from the community they had departed from. If you think about it, they spent their most recent past in a foreign land, a place they slowly came to regard as a second home. They poured their life and energy into this place, often without getting back much, yet they absorbed its colors and nuances. That's why, when they go back home, they are no longer the same person they were before, and they feel profoundly different from those around them. This experience propels them to confront some fundamental questions about their past, their roots, and their identity within the society they originally came from. Regardless of whether the migration experience is suc- cessful or not, whether it lasts two months, ten years, or a lifetime, whether it began as a temporary venture due to a study trip but ultimately transformed into a life choice, or whether it was initiated to break away from the past and start a new life chapter, that departure unequivocally marked a specific stage in life, leaving deep, indelible traces. The sense of belonging to one place over another, or the coexistence of two worlds, constitutes an internal fault line that will shake one's certainties each time; it is like an unset- tling question that will persistently nag. This isn't just because deciding which side to stand on — what to become, whether to assimilate or reject elements of one world or the other — is the result of a choice. This is also because, unlike a natural journey where everything seems predestined, each change here brings a moment of self-questioning, a renewal of choice. Migrating means reconciling constantly who you were before with the person you've become. It means handling how you're navigating the transition, with dreams and ambi- tions, and the doubt that life under different conditions could have been starkly different. Migrants share a sense of estrangement, of dual belonging, and of never feeling fully at home neither here nor there. Yet, if there is a common mis- take, it is not recognizing the inherent wealth in this coexis- tence of multiple identities: an enhanced heritage to be proud of. Struggling to adapt, absorbing new things, learning a lan- guage and a different way of living, they all speak of our will- ingness to take risks, to be, in a sense, better than what we had imagined. This is more than a personal victory, more than a personal wealth: it also contributes to both our society of origin and our new society, each placed in a position to "learn" something new. Why do so many people living the migration experience find common ground in life stories and experiences that seem vastly different but are, in essence, very similar? Pre- cisely for these reasons. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italianaall'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which repre- sents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Nittoli SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Matt Walker, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, Generoso D'Agnese, Jessica S. Levy, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Chuck Pecoraro, Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003

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