While we might live in Canada, that in no way means you automatically grow up "Canadian". Anyone with European parents will back me up in saying you're definitely raised with some part of your native culture at play, whether it's the food that you eat, the traditions you celebrate, or the way your family generally behaves.
Italians have a distinct way of life that's almost impossible to mistake for any other nationality. You've seen it in movies, TV shows, but if you've truly lived it - or been around it in some capacity - you'll recognize at least some of these signs. Let's get into it, shall we?
1. Not fully understanding the concept of 'full'
Realistically we eat when we're hungry and are forced to when we're not. Full is an illusion, a concept.
2. Wondering if any of your relatives understand what calories are
Really, truly, I don't think there's an Italian translation.
3. Understanding the importance of fresh, Italian buns
Because they were ever present in your lunches and you can fking tell a first-day bun from a second-day bun.
4. You've been ordering cold-cuts since you could basically speak
"Can I get 200 grams of the mild Genoa salami please?"
5. You used to, or still, play some variation of soccer
For-za, for-za, FOR-ZA
6. On that note, you also own a ton of Italy World-Cup merch
Jerseys, t-shirts, team flags. They just appear at this point.
7. You slip Italian phrases into your day-to-day speech
Mee-thoan-a will you luhkadis guy?
8. You make a pilgrimage to St. Clair with your nonna/mom/zias at. least once a year
Bc they need to buy terroni at a decent price.
9. You own 1 gold chain, minimum
Whether you wear it or not, it definitely exists.
10. You probably haven't met all of your Italian cousins
Because Gianfranco is in the north and Paulina and Giuseppe are way out east - basically, they're scattered all over the damn boot.
11. And the cousins you have met are anywhere from your 1st, to 2nd and 3rd
Maybe even 4th??? Still love'em all the same though.
12. You've always called your mom 'Ma'
Or your dad Papa.
13. You know a mangia cake when you see one
Just cause you get paninis at San Remo doesn't mean you're Italian, Chelsea.
14. There was/is a map of Italy on a dishtowel somewhere in your home/your Nonna's home
Incase they forgot what it looked like.
15. You were most likely raised Catholic
In nome del padre, figlio, e spirito santo, ah-men.
16. You attended Buongiorno school as a kid
Every Saturday morning - did you know farfalle means butterfly??
17. You take pride in your exact Italian region and get gassed up when you meet someone who's also from there
You're Calabrese?! No I'm Calabrese!
18. You know pastina is an essential part of a child's diet
Somewhere between milk and Cheerios.
19. No charcuterie board can compare to your families' spreads
Idk why I even bother ordering at a restaurant. Even Libretto can't compete.
20. You have a strong affinity for mob movies
There's something weirdly comforting about Goodfellas. Is that scary??
21. And Jersey Shore's peak was both a great and terrible time for you
Because yes, Pauly D is incredible but no we don't all get tangerine-tans like Snooki.
22. If you're single, your relatives are always asking when you're going to meet a "nice Italian boy/girl."
23. If you're with with someone, your relatives always asking when you're going to meet a "nice Italian boy/girl."
24. Introducing your s/o to your family is never, ever chill
"This is Tommy and Zio Paulo, my Zia Theresa, my cousins Alfi and Julian and Carlo, Zio Bernie, Zia Mirella..."
25. You have a stocked backyard garden
Or at least your Nonno. Equipped with tomatoes, zucchini, green beens, rapinini, etc etc.
26. Canadian coffee is just not a thing
"You want espress?"
27. Sunday dinners are real af
And will basically keep you full until Tuesday.
28. 'Sugo day' is basically a holiday
Where you stomp tomatoes in a barrel all day and chill with your grandparents.
29. You know the true power of homemade wine
This is not your average red, ppl. Proceed with caution.
30. There is some small crucifix or statue of the Virgin Mary chilling in your home
Did Nonna bring that or did it just appear?
31. You hop on College the minute Italy starts playing in the World Cup
Whether they win or lose, you and your paesanos are hitting the patios.
32. Whatever you need done in the house, someone has a 'guy' for
You need new tiles? Don't worry, I know a guy.
33. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino hold special places in your heart
They're basically your TV dads.
34. Beefing with your Italian friends over pronunciations in different dialects
It's all the same language and yet so different??
35. Expecting Panettone at Christmas and insanely large chocolate eggs at Easter.
Don't ask, just eat.
36. You and Nonno have totally mastered the cash-slip-handshake
A little too well now that you think about it...
37. Coming home from Nonno and Nonna's with enough groceries to last you for a week
Thank u, this really beats No Frills.
38. You aren't aware of your own volume
Whispering is not my forte and I'm not sorry.
39. You can't control your hands when you talk
They just do their own thing. It's like air-punctuation.
40. You legitimately can't imagine going carb-free
What else would you eat?? Vegetables and fruit?? ScuseFo????
41. You have a million cousin Joes, Franks and Marias
"So I was talking to Cousin Joe. No, no, other Joe. Not Little Joe, Big Joe.
42. You have insanely high standards for Italian food anywhere
You call this spaghetti? My Nonna could make better meatballs in her sleep.
43. Lizzie McGuire going to Rome was huge
You/your sisters have been trying to re-create that Trevi-fountain pic ever since the 2000s.
44. Forever being mistaken as Greek/Spanish/Portuguese
I'm Italian. Capiche?