Friday, March 9, 2007

PAL Should Desire "Subgroups"

As you probably already know, there are already numerous regional and provincial Northern Italian cultures spread around the world. First, it should be pointed out that Northern Italians didn't emigrate in any large numbers anywhere until the late 1800s to the 1950s, or even up to 1960. The peak was in the early twentieth century. This migration was to South America. There's a great irony in that the Southern Italians migrated to America and Canada, while the Northern Italians migrated to Argentina, Uruguay, and Sau Paulo (in fairly sizable numbers as well).

[above: "Bergamask" folk musicians]

In particular, there are large numbers of Lombardian heritage societies and clubs in Argentina. So, if you can imagine the sense of community that say Americans of Sicilian descent have in Brooklyn, Chicago, or Philadelphia, then imagine a similar sense of community in Buenos Aires for example. Argentina is a beautiful, albeit underachieving, nation filled with Spaniards, Italians (Lombards, Venetians), Germans (and Austrians, Swiss), and British Islanders (including English, Welsh, Irish, Scots), so therefore very different than Mexico or Puerto Rico. I dream of a day, very soon, where you and me can plan a trip to Buenos Aires, or Melbourne, or Toronto, and be received by people who would treat us like family... and of course we could do the same in return.

It's not just Lombardians, but other regional cultures as well (Tuscans, Piedmontese, etc.). One example of a provincial culture with a very strong sense of identity are the Bergamaschi (Bergamo Province in Lombardia). Perhaps it's something in the water, but these people have incredible passion! When the soccer teams from Bergamo and Brescia play, they practically riot! The Bergamaschi nel Mondo ("Bergamasks in the World" in English) have clubs all around the world (but not America). It's amazing the closeness they feel for each other, even after emigrating. They take a lot of group pictures, and you can really sense the close-knit feeling of family and extended family. I find it interesting that there's such a prominent Bergamaschi nel Mondo, but no "Bresciani nel Mondo" anywhere, for example.

I would strongly encourage any of you, to just go ahead and create some regional, or even provincial, society. It would also go hand-in-hand with research you may be doing. It could be a lot of fun, as you can connect with a lot of people all over as well. Make a name, but probably Anglicize it with society, circle, association, etc. At, you can see that there are some in the Bay Area who have done this.

I think I mentioned in past writings that there is a branch of the Northern League party called "Padani nel Mondo." The only activity that I have heard them do overseas is in Argentina. Consider taking that step. Just kick the idea of a name around, and you may be surprised that you could really develop something. It would be more than "Joe Blow's Blog," as your name would be associated with it's name. Lets say, for example, that you descended from "Lucchesi." You could call it "Lucchesi nel Mondo of the Bay Area," or the "Lucca Circle of Northern California."

It's a shame that there isn't a Lucchesi or Genovesi society in California, or even a Lombardian one in Missouri (St. Louis once had a "Little Lombardy" district. With my obligations here, I wouldn't be able to do it right. In other words, with everything I'm planning to do, this endeavor would require a "double set" of everything. I would rather someone else do it, and I would assist them in any way I could, and any of the rest of you as well. I would like to make a "Clan Rondoni" website, or a "Bresciani nel Mondo" club, and I could go in other directions as well, but you can see that it's difficult to duplicate each activity in this way. Anyway, something to think about.

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