Saturday, October 18, 2008
Sons of Lombardy
We believe that the time is long overdue for the establishment of a "Sons of Lombardy" type of group in America. "Sons of Lombardy" is just a reference point, as the name should refer to all of our people, and not just adult males. We can only guess at the regional demographics, but Missouri and Northern California, and possibly Oregon, should be the focal points. We estimate that perhaps 100,000 immigrants, from Lombardia and Ticino, have migrated to America since it's founding. That would equal many more descendants by this time. The only heartbeat for "Lombardian America" right now are the small remnants of Milanese in Missouri (St. Louis), the Ticinese groups in California, and us here. Ticinese, or Italian Swiss, are of our people. They have their own indentiy, but it's like a provincial one, like Brescia or Bergamo. They speak the same dialect: "Lombard."
Lombardi nel Mondo's North American Regional Council has made little or no effort to reach out to Americans of Lombardian descent. Their website is in Italian only and is very difficult to navigate. Not to mention their unusual URL, which is slow, erratic, and seems to be offline very often. I was just about to place their link here now, but it's offline yet again! Their board of directors is made up of Italian male nationals ONLY. I have no idea of what they hope to accomplish? They do work on the Milan-Chicago Sister City Committee, but that's economics only. What about us Lombardians!? They do write about our history on this continent, but they basically ignore US! There is amazing technology available, like Facebook, YouTube, Blog Talk Radio, etc. They don't even have a simple blog or message board! I state these facts and complaints advisably, as I hope to inspire all of us to make some changes.
As you may already know, we here are heavily involved with the Padanian-American League, and are unable, and unwilling, to take on this endeavor all by ourselves. We can, however, be a voice for our community and culture here. Even though we are "Bresciani nel Mondo" in name, we are also "Camuni nel Mondo" and "Lombardi nel Mondo" in this region. As I see it, there are two choices. 1) Try to push for changes within the North American Regional Council; or 2) Begin to develop our own institution. Since the council exists, and presumably has funding from the regional government of Lombardia, I think we should try to reform their policy first.
One workable example of what we're talking about is the Tuscan American Association. They do receive funding from the regional government in Toscana, Italy. They at least have a website in English (and Italian). Even then, they have none of the interactive web infrastructure that we mentioned, which is a negative. However, their council has both Italians AND Americans on it! I mean, it would be silly for a heritage association to exist in America, via and by an overseas country, in which there are no Americans! What would be the point?? Not to mention actually ignoring the Americans, and still write the history of our ancestors here. Makes zero sense.
An exact google search (with quotes) of "Lombard Americans" shows only three results, which is now four as of the publishing of this entry. It's a start. We would prefer "Lombardian American" (with no hyphenation in this case). As stated earlier, "Lombard" is of the ancient tribe. For example, one wouldn't call modern day Tuscans... "Etruscans." If people of "Sicilia" are "Sicilians" (in English), then people of Lombardia are Lombardians. They're not called "Sicani" (an ancient tribe on the island), and we're not specifically "Lombards" of ancient times.