I Colori dell'Amore (Colors of Love): a commentary on mixed unions in Italy from the point-of-view of the non-Italian half
Yesterday night, I watched a new Italian program on Realtime called I Colori dell'Amore. The concept is to profile 'mixed couples' (consisting of one Italian and one non-Italian) living in Italy. I was initially really excited about it as obviously we can identify with these couples tremendously. It's amazing that this idea can even be marketed as a television show because where I come from, mixed couples are almost the norm these days. Canada is a melting pot, Italy's pot is just getting warmed up. That's not to say that all is smooth-sailing for mixed unions in Canada (check out this article), but my home country is known to be 'leading the pack' when it comes to 'setting the global standard for multicultural acceptance and integration' (read this editorial in Macleans). I'm happy to see progress in this area here in Italy as slowly the first-generation children of immigrants grow up as 'Italians', however we are in for a long and tedious battle, against mindsets and attitudes that refuse to grow up with the times. I think Russell Peters once said something about how sooner or later, everyone in the world is going to be a mix of some kind of Asian (India and China having the two largest populations) and therefore the entire world will be beige-colored. But it's a joke that will have some older, more 'traditional' Italians grumbling instead of laughing...The most disheartening part of the show was when the parents of each couple were interviewed and many couldn't hide their dissatisfaction with the partner their child had chosen, solely based on racial background. One mother even breathed a sigh of relief, exclaiming 'è bianca' (she is white) after seeing her daughter's daughter for the first time (the father being Mauritian). It's a shame and it will take a few more generations before people like this will learn to appreciate the richness that comes from combining two cultures. The children of the future will have two mother tongues, a palate open to flavours from around the world, and most importantly, they will grow up as open-minded individuals who will perhaps not even need to self-identify as 'Italian' or 'Chinese', but as citizens of the world.
Jasmine is a (former) pharmacist turned freelance writer, foodie, and fashionista from Alberta, Canada living "the sweet life" in Bergamo, Italy.