Eventos Académicos, 39 ISCHE. Educación y emancipación

Tamaño de fuente: 
Memories and Celebrations of Italianness. Italian migration to the Rio Grande do Sul: between school and the public use of history (1925-1938)
Alberto Barausse, Terciane Angela Luchese

Última modificación: 2017-07-17


The mass migrations that came about in the XIX and XX Centuries, were characterized by processes of progressive building of tradition and identity. Through a wide range of forms and initiatives organized by Italian colonial groups and the Brazilian political class they attempted to form a new identity and help it to take root. They stimulated a real process as cultural mediators. From 1875 onwards, the settlement of Italian colonial groups in the Rio Grande do Sul was accompanied by the birth of small municipalities or communities which had names taken from the place of origin of these immigrants such as, New Rome, New Vicenza, New Padua etc.; or recalling the “hero of Two Worlds”, Giuseppe Garibaldi. A similar thing happened with the road networks whose names harked back to Italian ethnic origins. But the growth of settlements was also typified by the development of celebrations reinforcing ethnic identity such as the inauguration of sculptural works, squares, associations and schools. Similarly, the introduction of certificates of public merit were meant to reinforce this sense of recalling one’s Italian identity with pride. These forms became the places and spaces of a memory aimed at enforcing ethnic identity by the re-invention of tradition, negotiation of behavior and ways of life, which were meant to be “Italian”. The ways by which these Italian immigrant communities celebrated their native identity also went through an evolution.

This paper is intended to analyze the pedagogical value of some school practices of nationalization, between ‘Italianness’ and ‘Brazilianness’, adopted in the colonial area of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, as the creators of memories and ethnic identity processes. The study is based on unpublished printed sources and archive collections such as consular reports, daily newspapers and private letters, interviews and photographs. Particular attention will be placed on the Fiftieth Anniversary Celebrations of Italian immigration which took place in 1925 and which involved many Italian communities in the southern Brazilian State. Furthermore, the paper will focus on ceremonies promoted by Italian ethnic schools in the nineteen thirties which were integrated into teaching activities. The study will focus on the ways Italian students participated in the civic and patriotic celebrations promoted by the Brazilian authorities to strengthen Brazilian national identity such as Semana da Patria or 20 September, - celebrations with an educational aim and which stood out in the process of nationalization as a means of negotiating  ‘Italian’ and ‘Brazilian’ identity.  This paper will also analyze why the introduction of fascist practices into Italian or Brazilian school ceremonies put Italian consular authorities and the ruling gauchos political class on a collision course.