Name of the chosen cultural group: Ladin
Geographical Location (include maps):
Northern Italy in the four valleys of Val Badia, Gardena, Avisio, and Livinallongo , as well as Cortina d’Ampezzo
over 440,000 people throughout regions
Language(s): Ladin-speaking community
Used in everyday speech by:
Val Badia = 98% Gardena = 60% Avisio = 70% Livinallongo = 95% Ampezzo = 30%
List of representative people
Jan Batista “Tita” Alton (poet, historian, and philosopher), Angelo Trebo (poet and lyricist), Franz Moroder (promoter of the Ladin language in Val Gardena), and Hugo de Rossi (researcher and lexicographer)
List of literary and artistic works about your cultural group
Literature in Ladin includes schoolbooks, children’s books and poetry. Ladin has established their music of pop and rock with the performers Alexander and Acajo. Each province has their own independent cultural establishments for music
Brief history of the cultural group
The origins of the Ladin language date back to 15 BC when the Romans spread their empire to the north. The isolated valley location played a crucial role in consolidating this new language and also meant that the language remained largely unaffected by foreign influences during the Migration Period in the Early Middle Ages. The period from the late Middle Ages to the 19th century was characterized by political unrest, the separation of areas and numerous changes in political power, until 1813 when all Ladin valleys came under the power of the Habsburg Empire, which heralded a long period of peace and tranquility for their population. The events in the 20th century such as World War I, the subsequent integration of South Tirol in Italy, and the event of fascism which split the Ladins into three provinces marked the life and culture of the Ladin people.
Communicational attitudes, behaviors, and practices
The Ladin people in Northern Italy are very traditional like most Italian cultures are. They stress on family values as it provides a stabilizing influence for its members especially in these hardworking valleys across the Ladin regions. They believe in these values and are very religious as most are Roman Catholic. Their meetings are very formal and traditional as their clothing is still very similar to what the Ladin people have worn in the past. They kiss on both cheeks when introduced to someone as it shows a development in a relationship because impressions are very important to what they stand for. They share a lot of the same types of dining etiquette such as finishing food in a guests house and remaining seating until everyone is finished with their meals. The Ladin people carry on many of the same traditions as most other regions in Italy as they have been accustomed to these practices for hundreds of years now.
I used my ethnography assignment in a little bit of a different way as I went to three different Italian restaurants in the Harrisonburg/Bridgewater area. I did this because I wanted to see different reactions and behaviors between these Italian groups to see if I could find any differences or similarities between the people. I went to Francesco’s, Prosecco, and Sergio’s to try to see if I could pick up their typical conversations and just how they carried themselves in the restaurant business. My research showed that these Italians are actually very similar in the way they handle themselves and interact with one another especially those from their native land. I had a short conversation with Rafael about his Italian background, but he wasn’t from Northern Italy where my project was on, but he still was able to give me a better understanding of what kinds of traditional things he has carried on for his restaurant here in Bridgewater. I observed the way Rafael talked to customers and employees and he was extremely nice, patient, and outgoing with everyone he talked to. I saw the same types of things when I was at Prosecco and Sergio’s and it really was cool to see how much these guys loved what they did and worked extremely hard to make the customers happy. It shows that Italians really care about their food and want to spread the joy in America because they bring fantastic traditional Italian cuisines to American people every day.
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