Italianizzarsi - diventare simile a un italiano per lingua o cultura (to become similar to an Italian by language or culture)
One of my good friends here in Italy mentioned that I’ve become more Italian since she’s known me. I found her observation very interesting because I felt Italian before I moved here but then immediately felt less Italian as I tried to integrate into this relatively “new world”. There were many times when I felt like a fish out of water and it began to make more sense that the Italian word for foreigner is “straniero” (which sounds a lot like stranger in English).
I’ve been in Calabria for almost 2 years now and have slowly over time found my footing, albeit clumsy, in my new home. I guess after so much time in one place, it’s inevitable that some change would take place; I just didn’t realize that it would be so apparent to those around me.
I know that I’ll never be completely Canadian or Italian and I’m perfectly okay with that. I’m fortunate to have a point of view a little different than many of the people I encounter here. It allows me to stay open-minded and less jaded about the day to day life that someone in Italy experiences. It’s nowhere near perfect here but deep down away from all the dysfunction, corruption and desperation you hear about on a daily basis in the news, there is a natural beauty that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. This is the part of Italy I hope to take in and make a part of who I am. If this is the part of me that has become more “italianised” than I can most certainly live with that.
In your opinion, what does it mean to be “Italian”?