Festival – Italian

--Informant Info--
Nationality: American
Age: 19
Occupation: Student
Residence: Los Angeles, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: January 2007
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s): Italian

Carnevale

My informant first heard of this festival at the age of ten (circa 1997) from both of his parents.  He was doing a family history project and he happened to ask if his grandparents took part in any “cool Italian parties,” so they responded by telling him about an Italian festival called Carnevale.  Carnevale is supposed to begin on the 6th of January and last forty days until the first day of Lent.  Since Lent is a time where one is supposed to give up something for forty days, Carnevale is a huge party where one can splurge until Lent begins.

My informant’s first reaction upon hearing about this festival was that “it is a cool festival, but I am not really religious so it doesn’t affect me too much.  But, then again, who can turn down a party.”  Since he heard about the festival at a young age when he wasn’t much of a partier, this festival didn’t affect him; however, he plans on going to Italy in the near future to take part in these festivities.

The reason why this festival is important in my informant’s life is because he is Italian and it is his roots.  He values everything that his grandparents went through and this festival was one of them, so he enjoys hearing about his family’s past.  Secondly, it is important because it shows that he does value his culture.  He told me that he enjoys being Italian and “because of certain traditions like these” he is proud to be an Italian.

The reason why this festival is important to me is because of its culture.  The Italian culture is something that I cannot relate to, but I can relate to my Jewish culture.  Daniel’s desire to go overseas to Italy and take part in these festivities makes me want to go to Israel and celebrate Israel’s Independence Day or some other holiday with my fellow Jewish folk.  This is a great festival and I hope that one day I will be able to see it in person.