15th ILICA Anniversary Celebration | Italics


♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪>>WELCOME TO “ITALICS,” TELEVISION FOR THE ITALIAN-AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. I’M YOUR HOST, ANTHONY TAMBURRI. THIS MONTH, WE JOIN ILICA, THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE INTER-CULTURAL ALLIANCE AND CELEBRATE THEIR 15TH ANNIVERSARY. LET’S JOIN THEM AT THEIR GALA AT THE TRIBECA ROOFTOP, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN OCTOBER, 2019. ♪>>YOU WANT TO START?>>WHAT IS YOUR NAME?>>VANESSA.>>MY NAME IS LAVINIA.>>AND WHO ARE YOU?>>THE FUTURE.>>THE FUTURE.>>TONIGHT WE WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE YOU WITH US ONE OF OUR BEST, BRAIN, MENTOR, FRIEND, ANYBODY WHO EVER KNEW THIS MAN IS GOING TO MISS HIM. I DON’T WANT YOU TO CRY OR BE SYMPATHETIC. WE DON’T WANT YOUR FLOWER, WE DON’T WANT YOUR ANYTHING. WE WANT YOU TO ACTUALLY PUT YOUR HANDS GATHER AND IF YOU WANT TO, WHISTLE TOO, YES, SO HIGH THAT HE CAN HEAR. HIS WIFE, NOTWITHSTANDING WHAT HAPPENED 48 HOURS AGO, IS HERE WITH HER DAUGHTER, OUR DONNA CHIRICO, OUR PRESIDENT — AND HER HUSBAND PASSED AWAY TWO TWO DAYS AGO. DONNA, EVERYBODY, PLEASE GREAT APPLAUSE, — WHEREVER YOU ARE, WE ARE WITH YOU. WE LOVE YOU. WE LOVE YOU, DONNA. THIS IS ITALIAN. THIS IS GREAT. [APPLAUSE]>>WE HAVE THESE GREAT, WONDERFUL PEOPLE THAT WILL BE HONORED. ALL OF US SHOULD BE HONORED. WE SHOULD NOT FORGET THAT WHATEVER LANGUAGE WE HAVE, VINCENZO MARRA IS THE OUTSTANDING MAN WHO IS TELLING US [SPEAKING ITALIAN]>>LET’S NOT FORGET THE FIRST DOCUMENT OF THE ITALIAN LANGUAGE IS IN MONTECASSINO, IN AN ABBEY. THIS IS THE FIRST DOCUMENT. 964.>>MAMA, ANTONIO, TAKE A REAL BIG APPLAUSE. [APPLAUSE] IT’S CONSIGNED TO MAMMA RUGIERO. [APPLAUSE]>>I’VE BEEN COMING FOR THE LAST 15 YEARS, SINCE IT STARTED. I HAVE BEEN PROUD TO BE A PART OF THE GREAT THING THAT HAPPENS HERE. THE CARRYING OF THE TRADITION AND THE UNDERSTANDING. YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THINGS CHANGE. THEY TALK ABOUT THE ITALIAN COMMUNITY THAT HAS BEEN HERE SO LONG, THEY ARE FORGETTING THEIR TRADITIONS, THEIR CULTURES, THINGS OF THIS NATURE. YOU SEE THE NEWER GENERATION COMING TO AMERICA, THEY DON’T EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH. YOU KNOW WHAT I SAY? IT ALL HAPPENS IN THE FAMILY. IT STARTS AT HOME. WE’RE BLESSED. WE HAVE A MOM LIKE MAMMA RITA. WHO CAME TO THIS COUNTRY AS A YOUNG GIRL. SHE TOOK OUT ON A MISSION, SHE LEFT THE HOMELAND LOOKING FOR A DREAM. SHE CAME TO AMERICA, SHE MET MY FATHER, STARTED A DREAM, BUILT AN EMPIRE. MY MOM, YOU ARE GOING TO THINK AT THE PODIUM THAT SHE IS A PERSON OF FEW WORDS. AT THE RESTAURANT, BOY, SHE WILL LET YOU HAVE IT. IF SOMETHING ISN’T GOING RIGHT, SHE WILL TELL YOU STRAIGHT. WHEN YOU LOOK BACK AT THE ITALIAN, SO MANY PEOPLE, LIKE THE PEOPLE IN THIS ROOM, OTHERS BEFORE HER AND AFTER HER, THEY DID GREAT THINGS FOR AMERICA, THIS GREAT, GREAT COUNTRY. THEY NEVER FORGOT WHERE THEY CAME FROM OR WHAT WAS MOST IMPORTANT. FAMILY.>>SHE CAME HERE IN SEARCH OF HER AMERICAN DREAM AND BEGAN WORKING AT THE ROMAN VILLAGE IN DEARBORN, WHERE SHE MET HER HUSBAND, OUR GRANDFATHER, ANTONIO AND SHORTLY AFTER THEY GOT MARRIED AND HAD FOUR SONS, NOW THEY HAVE ALL 13 OF US GRANDCHILDREN. WORKING IN THE BUSINESS TODAY, THEY HAVE BUILT AN EMPIRE OF FIVE AMAZING RESTAURANTS AND SHE IS STILL WORKING BESIDE HER SONS. SHE REMINDS US OF THE DAYS GROWING UP AND HOW SOMETIMES THINGS WERE DIFFICULT, BUT TO NEVER GIVE UP AND KEEP PUSHING FORWARD. AND AT THE END OF THE DAY IF WE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH, WE ALWAYS HAD FAMILY. THIS IS PROBABLY WHY WE ALL LIVE RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER. [LAUGHTER]>>SHE IS SUCH AN AMAZING ROLE MODEL TO US GRANDCHILDREN AND AS SUCH AMAZING STRENGTH IN HER FAITH AND HERSELF AND HAS WORKED HARD TO INSTILL THESE VALUES IN ALL OF US. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING SUCH AN AMAZING WOMAN IN MY LIFE. [APPLAUSE]>>WHAT A SURPRISE. THANK YOU, THANK YOU EVERYTHING. THANK YOU SO MUCH, VINCENZO. WHAT CAN I SAY? I’M SO HAPPY TO BE HERE. COME BACK TO NEW YORK FOR THIS. WHAT A SURPRISE. GOD BLESS YOU ALL, GOD BLESS AMERICA. [APPLAUSE] ♪>>NOW YOU ARE READY FOR THE MAGIC MOMENT. THE MAGIC OF ANOTHER INTERCULTURAL ELEMENT OF ILICA. MAESTRO — WILL SHOW YOU SOMETHING SPECIAL CREATED MAGICALLY FOR MAMMA RITA. PLEASE, CHECK THIS OUT. ♪ [APPLAUSE]>>FOR 15 YEARS WE HAVE DECIDED TO HONOR THIS MAN. WHEN I PRESENTED HIM WITH THE DECISION ON THE BOARD, HE SAID HE DIDN’T WANT TO DO WITH ANYTHING, SAID HE DIDN’T SPEAK ITALIAN OR ANY OTHER LANGUAGE. PLEASE, TO PRESENT THE AWARD, THE DEAN OF CALANDRA, THE NUMBER ONE ITALIAN AMERICAN STUDIES IN AMERICA, DEAN TAMBURRI.>>WITH GREAT PLEASURE — BETWEEN ITALY AND AMERICA. [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE]>>SO, I JUST SAID TO HIM IF YOU DIDN’T HEAR IT, IT — THAT — BETWEEN ITALY AND AMERICA. WE HAD A GREAT CONVERSATION YESTERDAY ABOUT BUSINESS, ITALY, AMERICA, EDUCATION, THINGS LIKE THAT. THAT IS THE ONE THING THAT ILICA IS ABOUT. BRINGING EDUCATION AND CULTURE TOGETHER. THOSE TWO THINGS HAVE TO BE TOGETHER IF THERE IS GOING TO BE ANY SUCCESS AT ALL BEYOND WHERE WE ARE RIGHT NOW.>>I WANT TO THANK VINCENZO AND SUSY ON THE BOARD OF ILICA FOR THIS HONOR. IT’S NOT SOMETHING I EVER EXPECTED. 15 YEARS AGO, WHEN SUSY AND VINCENZO CAME TO US WITH THE IDEA THAT THEY WOULD GATHER A GROUP OF ITALIAN BUSINESS PERSONS WITH THIS MISSION OF CULTURAL EXCHANGE, WE THOUGHT IT WAS A WONDERFUL IDEA. WE HAVE TRIED TO HELP IN OUR OWN WAY OVER THE YEARS, HOSTING EVENTS AND BEING SUPPORTIVE. WE REALLY DO BELIEVE IN THE MISSION. IF YOU THINK ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO, THE WORLD WAS EXPANDING. TECHNOLOGY WAS CONNECTING US TO OTHER CULTURES LIKE WE HAD NEVER SEEN IN THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. THE MISSION REALLY FIT WELL. FAST FORWARD TO TODAY, THAT IS A BIT OF A CHALLENGE, AS THINGS ARE CHANGING AROUND THE WORLD. I THINK IT MAKES IT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT FOR THE YOUNGER GENERATION — MEMBERS OF ILICA GOING FORWARD TO CONTINUE TO PUSH THE MISSION. I THINK THAT THINGS WILL BE MORE DIFFICULT FOR A WHILE GOING FORWARD. BECAUSE OF TECHNOLOGY, YOU WILL NOT STOP CULTURES CONNECTING. WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO SUPPORT ILICA AS LONG AS VINCENZO, SUSY, AND THE BOARD CONTINUE THE MISSION. I REALLY HAVE TO CONGRATULATE THEM. I KNOW, FIRSTHAND, HOW HARD IT IS TO START A NONPROFIT AND HAVE IT SUCCEED. SO MANY START THEM AND THEY DON’T LAST. TO LAST FOR 15 YEARS IS QUITE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, THE PEOPLE THAT STARTED IT ARE THE PEOPLE WE SHOULD BE HONORING. LET’S GIVE THEM, ALL THE ORIGINAL FOUNDERS SOME APPLAUSE. [APPLAUSE] ♪>>SOMETHING I WANT TO CALL YOUR ATTENTION ON. YOU SEE THESE BEAUTIFUL AWARDS? THE BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK? WE DON’T GIVE A PIECE OF PLASTIC OR A PLAQUE. WE GIVE ARTWORK. EVERY PIECE IS UNIQUE AND ACQUIRES VALUE WITH TIME. IT IS MADE IN ITALY BY THE MAGIC HANDS OF THE MAESTRO. QUIET AND VERY, VERY SHY. I WANT TO CALL HIM FOR ONCE HERE, ALESSANDRO MARRONE. THEY APPRECIATE VERY MUCH WHAT YOU HAVE DONE. WE HAVE ALL APPRECIATED IT FOR THE PAST 15 YEARS. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, ALEX MARRONE. [APPLAUSE] I WOULD LIKE TO CALL TO THE PODIUM AVVOCATO DANIELE GRASSO. AMONG OTHER THINGS, HE HAS ALSO BEEN NAMED BY THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE TOP LAWYER IN EUROPE — WE WANT TO RECOGNIZE HIM WITH THIS SIMPLE WORK BY ALESSANDRO MARRONE SAYING DEDICATED TO AN HONEST MAN. [SPEAKING ITALIAN] ♪ ♪>>THE MAGIC BEHIND ALL THIS IS HERE. YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED. ITALY WAS A COUNTRY OF EMIGRANTS, NOW IT IS A COUNTRY OF IMMIGRANTS. ONE OF THE BEST REPRESENTATIVES OF THIS ITALIANS IS IN THE NAME MVULA SUNGANI, THE MAESTRO. HE IS THE ONE, THE CREATOR OF THIS. [APPLAUSE]>>WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO THE NEXT 20 YEARS? I’M GOING TO BE DEAD, SO NO ONE IS INTERESTED. BUT EVERYONE IS INTERESTED IN THE NEXT PERSON THAT WE HAVE IDENTIFIED AS THE PROTOTYPE OF THE YOUNG ITALIAN TODAY. WHEN YOU SPEAK FIVE LANGUAGES, ARE AN INVENTOR, ARE DRAWN TO MULTIPLY AND IMPROVE THE FUNCTIONS OF THE LAND, WHEN YOU HAVE DONE ALL THIS AND, OF COURSE, YOU GO AND MARRY A BRAZILIAN GIRL, GISELLE AND YOU SPEAK — I MEAN, WHY IS THIS GUY SO EAGER TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES? THE DREAM IS STILL ON.>>LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THANK YOU FOR THIS OCCASION. IT’S REALLY SPECIAL FOR ME. I’M NOT VERY — MESSAGE AND IT WILL NEVER BE GLOBAL BUT I BELIEVE THAT AFTER 150 YEARS OF ITALIAN IMMIGRATION TO THE U.S., YOU MIGHT WONDER WHY WE, THE YOUNG ITALIANS ARE STILL NOT HAPPY WITH OUR COUNTRY. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH OUR WEATHER. ON THE CONTRARY, YOU SHOULD COME MORE OFTEN TO VISIT ITALY, BECAUSE OUR HOSPITABLE CLIMATE. NOT TO MENTION THE FOOD AND THE TRADITIONAL OR STEREOTYPE ITALIAN BEAUTIES. BUT I STRONGLY WISH TO GIVE MY FAMILY A BETTER FUTURE AND AFTER 150 YEARS, WE STILL DESIRE TO COME AND LIVE IN THE USA. LIKE ME, MOST OF THE YOUNGEST OF MY GENERATION WISH TO LIVE IN A SYSTEM WHERE MERITOCRACY SHOULD BE THE MEASURE FOR SUCCESS. I AM THEREFORE GRATEFUL TO ILICA AND TO ALL OF YOU FOR THE GREAT HONOR YOU BESTOWED UPON ME. IN ITALY I AM GENERALLY A SPECTATOR OF CEREMONIES WHERE MERITS ACQUIRED BY BIRTH, CELEBRATE YOUNGER PEOPLE WHO CAN BARELY SPEAK ITALIAN. THE WORLD IS BECOMING SMALLER THANKS TO TECHNOLOGY. GOING OUT TO SEARCH FOR BETTER OPPORTUNITIES IS ALMOST LIKE CHANGING YOUR BIRTHPLACE FOR A DIFFERENT PLACE. WE ALL KNOW ALL THE SAD STORY OF OUR IMMIGRANTS LIVING PLACES LIKE NAPLES, PALERMO, SORRENTO, ROME, VENICE, MILAN AND MANY OTHER FANTASTIC SMALLER TOWNS AND VILLAGES. TODAY WITH OUR SMARTPHONES, OUR COMPUTERS, WE CAN BE ANYWHERE. THE QUESTION REMAINS WHY ARE THE ITALIANS LEAVING ITALY IN LARGER AND LARGER NUMBERS? I DON’T HAVE AN ANSWER. HOWEVER, I WANTED TO TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO LET YOU KNOW THAT MY GENERATION IS STILL LOOKING TO NEW YORK AS A WAY OUT TO A BETTER WORKING PLACE. WHY SO MANY ITALIAN COMPANIES LEFT ITALY OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS. WE ARE NO LONGER IMMIGRANTS. WE ARE PROFESSIONALS, CAPABLE TO ENTER ANY SOCIAL STRUCTURE BY SPEAKING SEVERAL LANGUAGES. WE ARE NOT LOOKING FOR HANDOUT. WE ARE LOOKING FOR A SYSTEM. A NEW MODEL ABLE TO RECOGNIZE THAT WE ARE THE NEW ITALY. PROUD, EDUCATED, AND READY TO COMPETE ON THE MERIT. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO ME. GOD BLESS ITALY AND GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. ♪>>THANK YOU FOR WATCHING THIS EPISODE OF “ITALICS.” I’M ANTHONY TAMBURRI. [SPEAKING ITALIAN] ♪ [THEME MUSIC] ♪

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