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L'Italo-Americano THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014 www.italoamericano.com 22 THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014 Dear Readers, March (Marzo) named for Mars, the Roman god of War is also known for unpredictable weather as this Italian nursery rhyme suggests "Marzo pazzerello esce il sole, ma prendi l'ombrello. *** March 8th is International Women's Day, a holiday born out of women's struggles for suffrage, decent working condi- tions and other human rights at the turn of the century. In Italy it is known as una festa "in rosa" but they pass out flowering "mimosa". My daughter, Caterina, named after her maternal "Nonna" has a March 8th birthday. She often writes for the monthly "Business Women's Calendar", a source of business news, information and resources for Bay Area Women. *** Following a Woman's International Conference she attended in Italy, Caterina wrote:
 "While Italy is beautiful and Italian life is full of great food and good friends, it is not all antipasto and roses.
 Italian women are hardworking and they have to be. The unemploy- ment rate for women in Italy is 16.8 percent, in southern Italy for women under 25 it reaches the unbelievably high rate of 66 percent. This means the supplier side of the labor force has all the power. *** Therefore, before being hired for a job, many Italian women are forced to sign an agreement that they will not get pregnant or married. This practice is illegal, yet the fierce job competition means that many women are forced to compromise their lifestyles and even their dreams of children if they want to be employed. This may help explain why Italy has the lowest birth rate of any industrialized nation. In Italy women often cannot get loans to start busi- nesses. Some Day Care centers have five-year waiting lists and equal pay for equal work is a pipe dream.
 Even so, Italy has a lot to teach us as we strive for equity in all realms of our soci- ety. A very high percentage of the women in Italy vote regular- ly. There is a law which states that there must be candidates from both genders in every polit- ical race. In recent elections, 90 percent of the women running for office came away victorious.
 The most rewarding part of my travels was sitting down with women one-on-one and learning about their lives. I met a woman, Daniela, who had worked in a bank for 20 years before she hit the glass ceiling. In Italy, dis- crimination based on sex is so prevalent in most industries that you may as well call it the cement ceiling. *** In Venice, at an International Congress of Business and Professional Women, there were 1,200 women from 46 countries. Women from around the globe, places like Nepal and Nigeria, Iceland and Papua New Guinea were represented. I found them hungry for knowledge and suc- cess. Whether they represented the private of public sector, they all wanted better work and a bet- ter life for themselves and oth- ers.
 I spoke with women from places like Turkey, Botswana, Jordan and Germany. They told me about the challenges they faced as women working in these far away places. I was both refreshed and saddened to find out that they faced the same challenge as we do in America, balancing work and family, man- aging others effectively and stay- ing safe in a complex world. One of the speakers said "Tutto il Mondo è un Paese", meaning "the whole world is one coun- try". It sure feels that way after getting to know women from all over the world." *** International Women's Day is a good time to check out Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum's book, "Liberazione Della Donna, Feminism in Italy" from your local library or take it off your bookshelf, as I just did, for a quick re-read.
 First published in 1986, Lucia, a historian, states: "A few decades ago, Italian peasant women served men at table and then ate their supper on the rocks of the fireplace. A little boy was taught to be bravo (capable), a little girl was taught to be buona (good)."
 "In tradi- tional Italian culture, a woman was good if she was a selfless wife and mother, subordinating herself to husband, family, church and society. Yet equal rights were written into Italy's 1948 constitution, and what may be the most advanced femi- nist legislation of Europe was placed into the Italian code after 1968." *** Re-reading Lucia's book "Liberazione Della Donna, Feminism in Italy", I was sur- prised to learn that as early as 1945, when many Italian born mamas were still standing by their stove, stirring the spaghetti sauce, a post-war anti-church Italian communist party leader, born in Genoa on a Palm Sunday in 1893 named Palmiro Togliatti was decrying Italy's historic subordination of women. Rather than repeating the Soviet formula that women's employ- ment outside the home would solve the woman question, he called for women's full politi- cal and economic equality. In his analysis of an Italian way to socialism, he envisioned a "new historic bloc" that included women with full autonomy.

 In an address in June 1945, Togliatti said that women in the Resistance had demonstrated that when women's energy enters the lifestream of a people, there is the dawn of a great renewal. Women, he said, were in the lead in the creation of a democratic society in Italy.
 And, earlier, just a few months after the Liberation of Rome, the Unione Donne Italiane (U.D.I.) was founded in September 1944. There had been informal communication between Northern and Southern Italian women, butgenuine coordination did not come until the war was over in Italy in May of 1945. Palmiro Togliatti Naming conventions for given names in a country of origin can help to tie together records of family members. In researching those who were born in Italy and emigrated to the United States, it may also be necessary to know something about how the given name may have been modified in the new country. There are four common ways in which a 'for- eign' given name may have been recorded in American docu- ments. Names were usually NOT "changed at Ellis Island", but were modified later, as the immigrant became Americanized. 1. The name was used "as-is" without any change. 'Angelo' in Italy is 'Angelo' in America. But the greater the difference between the language of origin and English, the less likely that the name was retained. 2. The name was translated and anglicized into a similar name. The Italian 'Antonio' or 'Antonino' became 'Anthony'; the Italian 'Vincenzo' became 'Vincent'; 'Michele' became 'Michael', etc. 3. The original sound or spelling of names were mimicked to produce names with different meanings. Examples: a) The Italian/ Sicilian 'Vincenzo' (pronounced 'veen-CHAINZ-oh') translates to 'Vincent', but often was angli- cized as 'James', because that sounded like the accented sylla- ble. b) The Italian 'Calogero' means 'good elder', and a literal translation would be clumsy. So in the U.S.,'Calogero' was changed to match the first sylla- ble, the result was 'Carl' or 'Charles'. 4. The name was changed by some arbitrary method, often because it was unpronounceable or un-spellable by American offi- cials: thus, "'Biagio' starts with a 'B', so let's call him 'Bill' ." 'Bill' then applied for a marriage license, and the clerk entered his name as 'William'. If you're of Italian descent, and your name is William, your grandfather's name may have been 'Biagio', or it may have been 'Guglielmo' (Italian for William). Depends on which method was used to anglicize his name. The method of the last example was commonly applied when a name was unfamiliar. 'William' derives from the German 'Wilhelm'. But a Biagio from Italy, a Vasillis from Greece or a Wladziu from Poland might all have been called 'Bill', and then adopted the name William. This is just one example. Numerous 'American' names bear no resemblance to the person's name in the original language, nor to the original meaning of the name. Given names in other languages, especially Latin, can help to understand how names were altered, depending on the com- munity in which the immigrant lived. Many given names came from Latin or ancient Greek names, some of which in turn came from biblical Hebrew names. Latin versions of names were used in many church records, and some names were given Latin equiva- lents by 17 th and 18 th century scribes, even though the name was never used in the original Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors – Basic Research: Names (Continued) ANGELO cONIGLIO Latin language. This article includes a brief table of corre- sponding names in different lan- guages. The origin of each name is in bold face. The list is necessarily incom- plete. Genealogy books for spe- cific countries of origin often give expanded versions of this table for a specific language. Common names from various countries can also be found by searching on-line. For derivation of equivalent English names from Italian/Sicilian given names, go to my page at http://bit.ly/ ItalianNames Visit Angelo's website, www.bit.ly/AFCGen, and write to him at genealogytips@aol.com. He is the author of the book The Lady of the Wheel (La Ruotaia), based on his genealogical research of Sicilian foundlings. See www.bit.ly/ruotaia for more information, or order the book at www.bit.ly/racalmuto.

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