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Identity and Being an Italian

Identity can be defined by many ways, such as the commonly used genotype and phenotype. The genotype deals a lot on the genetic information, all of these stuffs about DNA and how it makes up the body. In an easier way, it defines identity as something that is innate in human, something that is passed on from our parents and something that will be passed on to our future generations. For phenotype, it deals more on the physical attributes, those seen by the eye. These characteristics would define someone’s identity.

But for me, I would like to use the environment as another factor in explaining my identity. I believe that the surroundings can do a lot in changing and altering what and who I am. And one way of doing this is by my Italian heritage. Being Italian means living in an area different from other places. It makes me absorb and learn many various things that someone in a far away country would not learn. And most of these things slowly grew in me, and made me who I am right now.

Probably the most important element in this is my religion. My family in Italy helped me achieve strong bonds to Catholicism. This directly affected my well being, because religion has the innate ability to influence other aspects of life, such as language, ceremonies, rituals and many other cultural concepts. Now, some of my daily routines are strongly tied up to religion, such as praying before meals and going to church. Aside from this, the idea of family was another element strongly rubbed into me.

My inner Italian side made me appreciate and know the importance of having strong ties with parents, grandparents, uncles and aunties. As a child, I spent my Sunday afternoons visiting relatives and other extended family members. I learned the need of warmth and company, and that they can be found within my family. The home became a place of togetherness, where every member cares for each other, including those outside of the family. With this, food also became important in my everyday life.

It was during meals when everyone gets to talk to each one, telling stories and exchanging jokes and information. It was food that gave us the bonding we needed with others. Like they always say, “there is always a place in the table. ” My identity has been shaped greatly by being an Italian. It has made me a lot friendlier, caring and understanding to other’s needs. It made me closer to God, and eventually influenced my way of life. I am, and I will always be, an Italian in my identity.

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