By Anthony Ramirez, Karen Martinez, Laura Herrera
Throughout history millions of people have decided to migrate to the United States in order to obtain opportunities they did not possess in their country. The many immigrants that leave their home countries end up bringing their culture with them, these cultures soon combine with others, resulting in new traditions and cultural celebrations.
David Marchese comes from a family of Cuban immigrants who first immigrated to the United States in 1973, his parents were escaping the communist dictator Fidel Castro, who imprisoned many people for voicing their opinions, “They were political refugees…they were fleeing from a Communist dictatorship in Cuba..1973,” stated Marchese.
Marchese tells us, “My own father and uncle served time in political prison for voicing their opinions.” Actions such as the deprival of freedom of speech led to the emigration of unhappy citizens, such Marchese’s family.
Marchese is from an Italian family, he states, “My ancestors can be traced..4 or 5 generation back to Italy, that’s how I have that Italian name..Marchese is an Italian name,” his relatives remained outside of America with the exception for his parents, who came to the US due to the dictatorship of Fidel Castro.
Marchese was born in Queens, New York and has not been elsewhere as he states, “Yes, I was born here and haven’t been anywhere else”. He lived in the same place for a significant amount of time, “we lived in a part of Queens, New York where there were not many Latin American families.” Marchese believes that one reason his culture may be perished was due to the fact that he was not surrounded by others who shared the same culture he followed, “ I think that ethnic communities help you to preserve your culture and it may have been harder to do without that type of support.” Although he was not very fond of his traditions, his parents still followed some traditions, for example instead of celebrating Christmas on December 25th he celebrated it on the 24th with his family and ate traditional Cuban food such as pork with rice and black beans.
Marchese has a difficult time accepting the concept of being Americanized as he does not have a clear idea as to what it means to be Americanized,he states,“ America is a melting pot of the various cultures of all the people that live here. I think to be Americanized is to have adopted American popular culture such as popular music and food.” He also is unsure of whether or not he would like to pass on his traditions and culture to his children, he claims, “I’m not a big fan of tradition. My wife and I have different cultural backgrounds. She is of eastern European descent. We are probably creating a whole new set of traditions without even knowing.” Although he does not know for sure he feels that he may be creating new traditions with his wife due to the fact that she has a very different culture than he does.