By Pietro Arrigoni
The “Festa Della Repubblica” is a very important day in Italy because it is remembered as the start of a new chapter for the whole country. In fact, after WW2 ended, a referendum was held on June 2nd and 3rd, where the Italians were asked whether they wanted a monarchy or a republic. As you can probably guess, it was the republic who got the most votes, and so the king Umberto II exiled himself to Portugal to avoid any tragic conflicts between republicans and fascists, who were still loyal to the monarchy. For someone young like me, who hasn’t had to witness much of history happening, it is very hard to understand the real meaning and significance that events like that hold historically. However, it has a meaning for me, which might be different then my grandpa’s or my dad’s, so let me explain. Since I grew up in Italy, I’ve been really attached to the culture and the people ever since I moved to Canada. Both countries are fantastic in their own way, but Italy just had that special place in my heart. That said, I’ve never been afraid to talk about my culture and traditions, or to keep practicing some Italian cultural aspects even in Canada.
For me then, the “Festa della Repubblica” represents the moment that my country was born, and since I now live in a different country but still practice the culture, the meaning is even stronger and deeper. For someone older than me, it could represent the moment when they won for what they were fighting for, a country no longer under fascists regime. That’s why I believe this celebration is very important, as its meaning can change from person to person. For me, the importance of the fight against fascism is that it led to the creation of Italy as I know it and as I love it. The fact that I continue to represent Italian culture even when I’m far from the country makes it significant for me that on this day, 74 years ago, the birth of the Italian republic took place. Analyzing my thoughts about the “Festa della Repubblica” has made me learn a lot about myself and about the role my heritage plays in my everyday life. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have to live in Canada, but I’m even more grateful to have learnt the culture of the most beautiful country in the world. It is in these troubled times that the Italian people need to come together and show why the republic won that referendum in 1946. Since this year people will probably still be in their homes during the “Festa della Repubblica”, because of coronavirus, everyone should take a moment and really think past the parades and the holiday, and find out what it means for them to be a part of the Italian heritage around the globe.