Conflicted...............

Over 25 million Italians have emigrated between 1861 and 1960 with a migration boom between 1871 and 1915 when over 13,5 million emigrants left the country for European and overseas destinations.
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Conflicted...............

Postby MST995 » 31 Aug 2010, 14:58

This is a bit off the topic of citizenship, but does anyone have issues reconciling their American Patriotism with obtaining dual citizenship? I am applying for dual citizenship not only to honor my heritage, but also to open the door for job opportunities or obtaining an international MBA from an EU country along with countless other perks. I was recently at another website where they have forums for US "expats" in Italy, and it was basically a big America-bashing EU love orgy and I found myself thinking is this really the type of person I want to be seen as? Don't get me wrong, I am going to definitely apply for the dual citizenship, but I will always love the USA for the great country it is and for what it has done for my family and ancestors. Because America has been the prominent country with the biggest economy and wealth in the world, it seems like its become acceptable pick at all of flaws, ignoring what makes it great. Lately, all you here is how America tries to be the world police, and America is full of obese captalist pigs, and America has the crappiest most processed and hormone injected food in the world and America has terrible health care.... but you know what... for all our flaws, we're still the freest, most culturaly diverse, accepting, and, in my opinion, beautiful country in the world. I'm sorry, just had to get that off my chest... :D

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby mler » 31 Aug 2010, 16:29

I think I know the thread you are talking about. :) It is a bit disconcerting to hear so much America bashing because, IMHO, every country has its flaws, including Italy--and I say this as an Italian citizen who loves Italy.

Expats are people who have chosen, for whatever reason, to live in another country, and after a while, they become acclimated to a new culture and lifestyle. When they return to the U.S., it's a bit of a culture shock for them. It's interesting to note, though, how easily they ignore the different but very real problems in Italy. I suspect that perhaps focusing on only the negatives of life in the U.S. is a way of validating their choice.

I would venture to say that most of us who seek dual citizenship do so for the same reasons you mention in your post. I am thrilled that I was able to obtain Italian citizenship because it is, for me, a tribute to my grandparents who came to this country to give their families a better life. I am glad that I was able to reclaim what was once theirs and, at the same time, provide increased options for my children and grandchildren.

BTW, my husband, who was born it Italy, loves the U.S. as much as I do, and although he enjoys our visits to Italy and is proud of his heritage, he says that he could never live there--it would drive him crazy. I guess it's all what you get used to.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby johnnyonthespot » 31 Aug 2010, 16:42

Ha! I stopped posting in that forum a couple of years ago because, frankly, I think the regulars there have been inbreeding for too long.

You never know when they are going to suddenly gang up on you for no apparent reason; they will argue a point with you until you just can't take it any more and then - a few weeks or months later - you will see them saying exactly what you were saying all along and got bashed on the head for.

I have often thought, if that is what happens to people who make Italy their home, well, I find it somewhat frightening.

I love the US. It is my home, the home of my wife and son, and the place that my ancestors came to with hopes of a better life.

I also love Italy. It is the home of my ancestors and a beautiful country filled with millions of really wonderful people. Somehow, someway, some day, my wife and I will make Italy our home. And you can be sure, I will make every effort to not turn into an America-basher.
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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby MST995 » 31 Aug 2010, 16:56

Thanks for the responses... I would like to think that if I one day choose to live in Italy, I would not forget the blessings that the US has given me and my ancestors, while still embracing the wonderful Italian culture. It's good to hear that others are on the same page! I figured going to that other forum would give me a good picture of life as an American residing in Italy (if I choose to go for MBA or to live there for any other reason), but contrary to what some of them say, those are not Americans.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby mler » 31 Aug 2010, 17:32

Carmine, I've been avoiding posting there except in only the most innocuous threads. I think your analysis is spot on. That's why I love this forum; the posters are civil and respectful of each other.

MST995, it is indeed possible to appreciate and embrace the Italian culture and still remember that much of what we enjoy in our lives today, we enjoy because our ancestors struggled to make a new life in a country of opportunity.

We are all very fortunate to have--or soon to have--both U.S. and Italian citizenship. Best of luck in your quest.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby johnnyonthespot » 31 Aug 2010, 18:11

mler wrote:Carmine, I've been avoiding posting there except in only the most innocuous threads. I think your analysis is spot on. That's why I love this forum; the posters are civil and respectful of each other...


Phew! I was afraid someone would chastise me for being brutally honest.

The sad thing is, there are some extremely knowledgeable people over there.
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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby kontessa » 31 Aug 2010, 19:00

MST995 wrote:This is a bit off the topic of citizenship, but does anyone have issues reconciling their American Patriotism with obtaining dual citizenship?


For me, absolutely not. I consider myself American, with Italian citizenship. I never say that I am Italian.

MST995 wrote: I was recently at another website where they have forums for US "expats" in Italy, and it was basically a big America-bashing EU love orgy


You must be referring to the thread about the poor quality of food, and over-sized portions offered in the US on expatsinitaly.com? I welcome people to visit the website and read the thread to see if they agree with it being 'a big America-bashing EU love orgy'. Also search for other threads where people vent about life in Italy, boy some of those got nasty. Members seem to vent every now and again about everything...human nature, IMO.

All in all, I guess that I would have to disagree with you that the thread you mention was an 'EU love orgy', agree that bad food in the US was discussed, and greatly disagree with the implication that it was meant to 'bash' the US. Discussing things that people dislike about America does NOT make one un-American or unpatriotic. I think there are also threads about aspects of the US that people really miss and enjoy, including a vast selection of it's more popular junk food. Also, I recall reading some threads started around the 4th of July that contain pro-American commentary, too. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby kontessa » 31 Aug 2010, 19:08

johnnyonthespot wrote:Ha! I stopped posting in that forum a couple of years ago because, frankly, I think the regulars there have been inbreeding for too long.


Granted, some people on that forum may not be as nice as others, but I think it's a bit unkind to make a statement like 'the regulars there have been inbreeding for too long'. I've been a member since 2006...

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby mler » 31 Aug 2010, 19:19

I've been a member since 2005, and I don't take it personally. As Carmine notes, there are very knowledgeable people there who are often very helpful. I hope I am among them.

But it has also been the home to some very nasty posts and personal attacks; and at one point--quite recently--things got so bad that the owner seriously considered closing down the site. Since that time, the tone has improved substantially.

I will say, however, that I never noted the kind of animosity here that I sometimes saw there. That's why this is such a nice place to be.

I did find that particular thread annoying, but maybe I'm too sensitive.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby kontessa » 31 Aug 2010, 19:19

mler wrote:
It's interesting to note, though, how easily they ignore the different but very real problems in Italy.


Just for clarification sake, and doing so with the utmost respect to posters here, how does one thread which is discussing some real problems with our food in the US make people participating in the discussion appear to ignore other problems in Italy?

I love my country, but I don't see how discussing the real problems with the quality of the food that we eat is wrong or that it makes me unpatriotic, or it implies that I'm ignoring any issues or problems that occur in Italy. It was just a thread about the poor quality of the food in the US. Why is it wrong for people to vent sometimes about an issue that concerns them? And do so without it being made into something bigger than it is?

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby mler » 31 Aug 2010, 19:37

I understand your position, kontessa, and the thread did evolve into something more innocuous.

Supersize portions are definitely a problem in this country, but I also find that more and more people are very careful about the foods they consume. Yes, we have an Olive Garden about 15 miles from where we live, but in that radius, there are many many more fine Italian restaurants--also Japanese, Thai, Chinese, French, steakhouses, etc. The variety of food in this country reflects our multiculturalism, and this is a good thing.

I don't think the complaint was about the topic, but rather about the tone, which the OP sensed--and I did too. You did not get the same negative feel, and that's ok. But I think the main point the OP was trying to make is that it's ok to love Italy and also love the U.S. I think we can all agree on that.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby kontessa » 31 Aug 2010, 20:02

Again, I say all of this with the utmost respect. I am VERY passionate about nutrition, quality of food and its effect on our health. (I am Lisann, btw, for those posters not aware, and I like to think that I am NOT one of the nasty posters that some here have referred to.) I believe very strongly about what I said and continue to say about the poor quality of food in the US, how better quality food costs more money, and that how we eat in the US is killing us. I would say the exact same things if I were living in the US.

Sometimes when you live outside of the US for an extended period of time, you are shocked by what you see when you return. After living in Germany for several years, I was amazed to see stretch limos and hummers at the Newark airport. I probably commented on this after returning to Germany. After just 3 years in Italy, I noticed how much more food I received the next time I sat down and ordered food in a US restaurant. I feel commenting on noticeable changes is normal for expats.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse here, but I just don't understand why it is so upsetting to read commentary by expats that are upset by what they see in their home country. I just can't make a connection from this to an EU love fest or that you hate your homeland. Guess it's time for me to go and find some quality ingredients to cook myself a nutritious dinner. Peace and love. :wink:

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby mler » 31 Aug 2010, 20:48

No problem. I never found any of your posts to be even close to nasty. Sometimes only a few people can ruin the atmosphere of a forum--and you are certainly not among them.

Perhaps the "reverse culture shock" thread would have been more palatable had posters also noted some of the more positive things they noted--buffalo wings among them. (Actually, I believe you did. :D .) Anyone who returns to a place after a long time away is certain to notice changes. Nothing stays the same for long.

DC is a big city, so you probably did not have much opportunity to note the many areas where fresh produce abounds (at reasonable prices particularly in the summer). But surely they have good bakeries there. I know they do in NY and its suburbs--ryes, multigrains, semolina--you name it; they have it--and they are delicious. (Love the bread in Italy too.) Speaking of my favorite city, NYC now requires restaurants to post calorie information on their menus; several cities "grade" their restaurants; and indoor (sometimes outdoor) smoking is prohibited just about everywhere. These are all, I think, good things.

I agree that the pharmaceutical ads are ubiquitous, but don't assume that they are indicative of an over-medicated population. They simply represent an alternate approach to product placement in a country in which competition in terms of health care products is still the norm. That's how they make their money.

Anyway, it's really nice to be able to disagree and still be nice to each other. This really is a nice forum.

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby kontessa » 31 Aug 2010, 21:18

To continue :D ...
Yes, I do actually know about the fresh markets in DC. My husband was working there for 2 years (without me :cry: ) and when I was in town, I would frequent them. Food was more costly than the average supermarket for some things, and definitely more expensive than anywhere here in Italy.

I also have a friend who owns 9 great restaurants in NYC and a couple in DC so I know about the posting of calories and agree that it is better for the consumer. Don't get me going on the medicine thing, though.... :lol:
I promise not to post about this topic again. :wink:

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Re: Conflicted...............

Postby mler » 31 Aug 2010, 21:49

I know what you mean. It's hard to end a topic when you really get into it. I think you're right about the cost of good food being higher here than in Italy, but outside of the cities, good produce is fresh and inexpensive. Also, salaries in the US are considerably higher than they are in Italy so it's all relative.

I hate those pharmaceutical ads too--so annoying. I love it when they say "Ask your doctor if *^^% is right for you." Since it's not always clear what they're talking about, it's quite possible for a woman to visit her doctor to ask if this new prostate medication is right for her. :lol: American doctors have become quite adept at diverting their patients to more appropriate treatments.

(As a sidenote: Eataly opened today in the Flatiron section of NY. Yummy!)


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