Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Posted by Picasa

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a showing of the documentary film 'Pane Amaro' (Bitter Bread) at the Italian American Heritage Foundation in San Jose. There I was honored to have met Gianfranco Norelli and Suma Kurien the co-producers of the film. They did an extra-ordinary job in making this historical documentary. I congratulate them in this endeavor and also on their continuing effort to bring the true story of the Italian immigration to this country, to the English speaking audience. ('Pane Amaro' was originally done in Italian, however, this version was done in English.)
As described in the IAHF Newsletter, "The film is hard hitting" and takes an intense and ultimately inspiring look at the Italian immigrant experience from about the 1880' through the post WWII years. Covered too (is) the era known in US history as the "great migration" of
millions of Eastern and Southern Europeans to America's shore. "
Although the experiences described in the film were not unique to the Italian migration (the Irish, Germans, Poles, etc., had to endure similar difficulties), it set my mind to thinking as to what the first Thanksgiving in a Foreign Land must have been for these immigrants. Away from family and friends, not knowing the language and with little money in their pockets, and facing deep seated prejudices against them, these brave souls set out to establish a new life for themselves and their families. I wonder if they even celebrated their first Thanksgiving. As the film depicts, these new 'Americanos' had to eat many slices of 'Bitter Bread' before they could be thankful for the 'better' life that they eventually realized.
For us, the first, second, third, etc., generations of these immigrants, we give thanks today for their courage, tenacity, inspiration and love. It is because of them that we do not have to eat "Pane Amaro" this Thanksgiving.
Ivano Franco Comelli
"Major funding for PANE AMARO was provided by the National Italian American Foundation and the Foreign Ministry of Italy"


FROM GINO said...



Ciao Ivano,

Thanks for the heads-up. Good to see that your blog is still drawing viewers and their comments.

All is well here (in Oregon), thanks. We have had 3 gorgeous Summer-like days this week. It seems most unusual for November. Yesterday we had 70 degrees F.! Today it is only 60, as we had fog allmorning. (memories of Santa Cruz)

Though I have had friends at the Church invite me to their homes for Thanksgiving dinner, I plan
to stay at home, as I usually do. I plan to fix a small but traditional dinner for myself, sharing the odd bit with my faithful cat.

I trust all is well with you and all your family. Best wishes to all of you, not just for the holidays,
but also for the future.

It would be so good if you could someday take a trip up here. You might like to see this area,
including our dear old "Mayberry", as some people call Monmouth. It's a nice small town with
nothing for entertainment, except for the occasional musical production at the university here.

Thanks again for all you do. As Baffi would say, "Seguita!". (carry on) When he said that to
me he really meant the opposite. Then I knew I better quit what I was doing. Ah, the memories!

regards, Gino

IVANO said...

Thanks Gino. And 'twenty-two' to you too. Eppi Tanchisghivi!

For a special treat this Thanksgiving, visit or re-visit Gino's Itanglish Dictionary on this blog. Simply type "Itanglish Dictionary" in the search space provide at the top left hand corner of the "blagga". For those of us who are 'first' generation Italian-Americans, just pronouncing the words in the dictionary will bring back countless memories.

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody. ivno

Canadian Furlan said...

Hey This is the Canadian Furlan here wishing all my Amico's in the USA a Very Happy Thanksgiving. Don't forget for us Canadians we celebrated Thanksgiving on October 12th which was your Columbus Day. Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October and not in November like our friendly neighbours in the USA?? Because by late November our Turkey's would be frozen solid..ha ha except for this year we are also experiencing balmy weather .. no snow yet and nothing in the forcast. Our highschool will be entering a float in the Niagara Falls Santa Clause Parade, over 200 entries, and it is the first year in a long time when the weather is actually nothing close to cold and Christmas like. I will be organizing the students to assemble the float and the walk throught Niagara Falls Canada. We usually receive many US visitors because of our proximity to the border. Gino have a special Thanksgiving... I hope all is well with everyone else. Ivano Sempre Avanti make sure to include a nice pot of polenta with the Turkey!!

Ciao Doriano

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out the search box on this site. Should eliminate trying to remember when a story or comment was posted.

IVANO said...

Yes, the 'search block' is a handy item. For example, if you wish to know if your family name appears on the 'blagga' type it in the search block. Any articles containing said name should come up.


Ivano, I was very touch when I read 'PaneAmaro' I remember that my sister had to put $500 down before I could immigrate to the US, to assure this Country that I wasn't going to be supported by them? Things are certainly different today. Anon