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Italian Family Feuds
Get to the root of what causes the majority of fights among Italian families
As I write this I'm watching the latest season of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. While I realize many Italians and Italian Americans are offended by our portrayal in these various reality shows – the Italians in Italy are still reeling from the sojourn of the cast of Jersey Shore in Firenze – but this season's RHNJ series is focusing on the family feud between the Gorga and Giudice families, two immigrant families from Italy. This kind of family feud – replete with a brawl at a baptism, foul name calling, and the blame game – is typical of the Italians I know both in Italy and the United States. We can all pretend we're above that, and most of the time we are. But every once in a while – let's face it – we are one of those people. Don't even bother pretending you don't know these families (or aren't part of one). You know. You know.
Discovering the root of what causes these fights is one way to either seek solutions or at least understand the heart of the fire that is flaming your feud. Here are the major reasons most Italian families feud-
Italian Property Problems
Most likely, the property will sit in Italy, while relatives near and far to it bicker among themselves, followed by giving each other the cold shoulder, followed by more hollering, followed by death. In the meantime, someone in Italy will set up camp in the property – usually one of the loons of the neighborhood – and try to charge you to get him off it. You and your family can't reach an agreement, so he'll get to stay there, and you'll get nothing out of the deal. The other option is that the property will be completely abandoned while you're all arguing about who gets what. And then the stray dogs will just move in.
In-Laws, In-Laws, In-Laws
Sometimes, the people coming into the family are not quite as gracious as they should be either. They get their digs in, too. "Suocera (mother-in-law), don't you think your rear end looks a little like a sausage stuffed into the dress you chose for my wedding?" or "Mia famiglia is always number one, and yours will always be number two."
That Family Business
The moral of this story is that Italian families fight as passionately and hard as they love. So, run into the hugs and run away from the gunfire, and learn the difference between the two. I know. It's harder than it sounds.
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