After immigrating to America, many families felt as though they were missing a part of their home. Though many of them lived in the same Omaha neighborhood, Little Italy, they needed something to hold onto in terms of their Italian roots. Groups and organizations began to arise within Little Italy to keep them all connected.
The Santa Lucia Hall, Order of the Sons of Italy, and American-Italian Heritage society became three main groups that brought people of Italian heritage together to celebrate food, family, and friends. Monthly spaghetti dinners, annual festivals and parades, and meetings go on throughout the calendar year to put together memories the families can cherish and pass down tradition. This preservation of culture keeps families feeling as though they are still one community. Although people have moved out of Little Italy and into other neighborhoods, they still come together to encourage and support what it means to be Italian.
Some of these Italian-Americans still stay in touch with their relatives in Italy as well. Letters and postcards are often sent back and forth between Omaha and different locations in Italy, specifically Carlentini where many families immigrated from. A language barrier still makes it difficult, but people who are proud of their heritage do their best to stay connected.
Text: Emily Fehringer