Christina Shea

Modern Language Specialist

In My Words:

I was raised in a bilingual household, where both English and Italian were spoken daily. Growing up I was told stories and shown pictures of the festivals in the small village of Salle, Italy, where my mother was born. When I eventually visited, I was able to attend the annual Palmentieri celebration, where families from the village dress in traditional costumes and parade through the streets. They bring offerings for the saints and the church, and participate in a celebratory feast. It was such a treat to personally experience the festivities—stories about which I’ve heard since early childhood.

A little-known cultural insight I learned in my travels is how common it is for Italians to raise their own livestock and grow their own produce. The idea of “homegrown” has become very popular recently, but my uncles in Italy have been raising chickens, growing their own produce, and making their own wine long before it was “trendy.”

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