Every October the United States celebrates Italian heritage month (il mese del retaggio italiano), not just to honor the 26 million Americans of Italian descent (di origine italiana) who make up the fifth largest ethnic group (il quinto più grande gruppo etnico) in the United States, but also to recognize Italians' many contributions. [Click to read]
The gift I cherish most, of course, is la bella lingua. Centuries before there was an Italy, there was Italian. (Secoli prima che ci fosse un’ Italia, esisteva l’italiano.) Its roots (le sue radici) date back nearly 2,800 years when a band of itinerant shepherds and farmers settled on the hills above the Tiber. Their utterances evolved into the volgare (from the Latin sermo vulgaris, for the people’s common speech), the rough-and-ready spoken vernacular. Scrappy street Latin gave rise to all the Romance languages (le lingue romanze), including Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian.
The first miracle (il primo miracolo) of Italian is its survival. Brutally divided, invaded, and conquered, the Mediterranean peninsula (la penisola del Mediterraneo) remained a patchwork of dialects (dialetti), often as different from each other as French from Spanish...
NEW YORK - Fifth Avenue was lined with Italian flags Monday for the Columbus Day Parade in Manhattan. The annual event, hosted by the Columbus Citizens Foundation, boasted 1 million viewers and participants from more than 100 groups—some from overseas—making it the world’s biggest Italian-American celebration.
More than 35,000 participants marched from 44th Street to 72nd Street with music—ranging from high school marching bands, to NYPD bagpipes, to Italian Giglio bands—floats, and plenty of statues of Columbus.
Americans were not only thankful for Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, but also for what he brought with him.
Participants and viewers came from around the tri-state area and as far away as Italy for the celebratory events.
Italians use body language and hand gestures to punctuate an expression and give it a shading that the word or phrase itself lacks. The Italian hand gestures illustrated here are some of the more common gestures that are recognized in the country.
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