Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

Sicilians and Italian Americans – What’s in a Name?

In the United States, there are many different Italians that populate the country. Some of them are in southern Italy, with similar cultures and languages. Other Italian Americans come from northern Italy with a completely different culture and language. One other group of Italians is made up by Sicilians from Sicily, which is one of the most populated areas in Italy on the easternmost part of the Mediterranean Sea. Sicilians are a very passionate people who, like the Italians that come from other parts of the country, immigrated to America in search of a new life. Sicilians came to America, many starting their new lives in New Orleans, which was a major port for many European immigrants. Sicilians came because they wanted what everyone wants when going to a new place; opportunity and freedom. They wanted freedom from the harsh poverty that had claimed their families for generations. Sicilians knew that opportunities in America were limitless, and that there would be great rewards for a hard work ethic. They also knew that there was a high chance of being drafted into World War I.

never go against a sicilian when death is on the line
never go against a sicilian when death is on the line

What Makes a Sicilian Different from Other Italians?

The Italian community was very close-knit when the Sicilians first arrived. They often lived in the same areas, so other Italians were their closest friends and relatives. Sicilians are also a very family-oriented people; this is why they often live with their entire families, like other Italians. However, Sicilians have a slightly different sense of family than other people. Sicilians tend to believe that a family is made up of blood relatives, not necessarily those that live in the same household. This means they can be very accepting of adoption and even marriage between those who are not necessarily related by blood. There are many Sicilian roles that others do not have in Italy, such as matrigna (grandmother). Many Sicilian children were raised by their grandmothers and lived with them until they found their own families as adults (this was especially true when the Italian emigration happened). Sicilians are also known for harboring grudges and vendettas, a way of life that originated in the old country. This is considered to be the opposite of forgiveness and charity, which are hallmarks of Catholicism.

never go against a sicilian when death is on the line
never go against a sicilian when death is on the line

How to Be Prepared for the Worst Case Scenario

Sicilians are also very accepting of death. Sicilians never fear death because they believe that once they pass away, they will continue their lives in the afterlife. This is similar to the Christian belief of Heaven and Hell, but with much less emphasis on sin and redemption. Because of this Sicilian way of looking at death, they will not fear the worst case scenario. Because of this, Sicilians are often very comfortable with being disadvantaged or poor.

never go against a sicilian when death is on the line
never go against a sicilian when death is on the line