By: Basil M. Russo, ISDA President
ISDA is most pleased to announce that it has established a partnership with the Italian American Podcast to create a brand new web series entitled, “Greetings from Italian America.” This new program features videos on the ISDA Facebook page and website that explore every interesting aspect of the Italian American lifestyle.
John Viola, the ISDA District V.P. from New York City, is the script writer, narrator and co-host of this unique and exciting program. John’s co-host is Rossella Rago, best-selling author of the Cooking with Nonna Italian recipe books. Together John and Rossella exude a really entertaining chemistry that allows them to walk, talk, eat and laugh their way through each episode, while giving viewers a real education about our Italian culture, history and traditions.
During this past month of December, three of the videos have aired on ISDA’s Facebook page. The first episode is entitled, “San Gennaro – The Feast of All Feasts.” In the episode, John and Rossella walk down Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s Little Italy during the 11-day feast that attracts more than one million people each year. In addition to sampling all the wonderful and traditional foods sold at the feast, they visit and explore an Italian American novelty store, examine the history of San Gennaro and explain how his feast has been celebrated in Little Italy for the past 93 years with a beautiful mass and procession.
The second episode is titled, “Columbus Day.” This episode traces the history of Columbus Day in the United States, beginning with the first celebration of Columbus in our country in 1792, to the next celebration 100 years later in 1892, which was a response to the tragic New Orleans lynchings of 11 Italian immigrants in 1891. This well written and well narrated episode explains the strong emotional connection that has evolved over time between Columbus and the celebration of our Italian American heritage. John and Rossella give us all a front row seat to watch New York City’s grand Columbus Day parade.
The third episode titled, “Christmas on Arthur Avenue,” takes us through the old Italian market where vendors discuss the traditional Italian foods served on Christmas Eve. The primary mission of ISDA is to preserve and pass along to younger generations our Italian American history, customs and traditions. We endeavor to do so in a number of ways. ISDA serves as a co-sponsor of the Italian American Film Forum, which allows filmmakers to create movies that will preserve important aspects of our heritage. ISDA has also created an Italian American library at our home office to preserve books that explore and explain every aspect of who we are.
This new podcast program continues to allow us to fulfill our mission in an entertaining and educational way.
I encourage all our members to regularly watch the Greetings from Italian American videos on our Facebook page, and to listen and subscribe to the Italian American podcast at: ItalianAmericanPodcast.com.