My experience in Italy this semester has allowed me to realize a lot about the process of integration of the immigrants in Italy. For me, the process of immigration in this country is very reflective of both the Italian people’s attitudes towards immigration as well as the current state of their governmental affairs. What I have realized is that while the Italian people are generally opposed to the influx of foreign people and cultures, the disorganized state of their national government is not capable of keeping these immigrants out and from permeating their culture. Italy’s position on the southern tip of Europe and their proximity to Eastern Europe has made them a very popular destination for immigrants from Northern Africa and Eastern European countries, and even if the Italian government is opposed to this influx of immigrants they simply lack the means to keep them out.
Despite the amount of foreign residents currently in Italy, however, it does not seem as if they have found a niche in this country to really celebrate their differing cultural backgrounds and traditions. Italy is a country rich in history and tradition and the Italian people are very protective when it comes to maintaining their traditions and the image they have created for themselves. This, to me, is why all ethnic signs of foreign cultures in Parma are found on the outskirts of the city. Other than a few kebab shops, I did not really notice any other signs of immigrant influence in the heart of Parma. As a result, I get the feeling that most immigrants to this country are under a lot of pressure to adapt to the Italian culture and way of doing things. On our last walk we saw the Asia and Africa market that I thought provided a good example of the limited availability of goods that cater to different ethnic backgrounds in this country. Based on what I’ve seen, therefore, I would say that there really isn’t an “Italian way...