Written by: Cassandra Cecchini
Table of Contents
Throughout Canadian history, it is evident that the indigenous people are the original inhabitants of Canada, while various other ethnic groups have immigrated to the country over the centuries. Unfortunately, many of these immigration stories remain overlooked in mainstream education and documentation. The primary goal of this project is to delve into the personal experiences of individuals who have Italian roots and have immigrated to Canada. For this project, I have selected Adriana Diamanti as the subject of my research. I collected the necessary data through semi-structured interviews conducted via Zoom on October 13th. Additionally, I transcribed the information obtained during the interview, the purpose of this assignment is “to engage in community outreach with Italian Canadian immigrants and to document their stories and experiences of immigration from Italy to Canada which will serve as the basis for creating a WordPress site and an academic poster”. The information created here on this WordPress Page, Obstacles and Barriers’ Among Immigrants and the academic poster will serve as educational tools, designed to shed light on the unique and valuable experiences of immigration within the Italian community in Canada.
The interview was recorded but held as a personal record, instead I tell Adriana’s story through a summary of our interview.
Obstacles and Barriers after immigrating to Canada Academic Poster
After transcribing the interview, several connections with the readings became apparent. The most significant connection I found was the hardships individuals faced upon arriving in Canada and the discrimination they encountered. Another noteworthy connection arose when Adriana shared her story. During World War 2, the “American dream” was heavily promoted, and Adriana’s narrative illustrates that the reality of moving to Canada was not always as ideal as portrayed. Adriana’s has limited recollection of the event due to her young age at the time of her parent’s immigration to Canada. Uniquely her parents moved from Italy to Uruguay and Adriana was born in Uruguay but after the age of 4 she was raised in Canada.
I thoroughly enjoyed the interview component of the project. It was a genuinely pleasant experience. Since I had never conducted an interview project before, I was really nervous especially since I didn’t have a personal connection with the interviewee. However, as I carried out a semi-structured interview, I was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the conversation flowed. It was also remarkable how the questions naturally evolved from what I had initially planned to ask my interviewee. During the interview, I contemplated the racism that Adriana’s family had to endure, even though they were considered “a white family” according to societal standards. It prompted me to reflect on my own position in society, and I realized how fortunate I am to have been born in these times. As a racialized minority myself, I recognize that I do not face as much stigma or racism as Adriana’s family did during the time they moved as I am adopted from China and look nothing like many of the people I grew up around. Yet I was widely accepted into the community I grew up in where Adriana’s family struggled to gain that support and acceptance from the community they settled down.
As I approached this project, I must admit I wasn’t particularly excited, primarily because I didn’t have a personal connection for an interview since my own grandfather did not want to participate, which left me feeling somewhat disappointed. Additionally, I was apprehensive about interviewing a stranger, fearing that the conversation might not flow smoothly. However, after completing the interview, I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of joy and honor I felt in hearing Adriana’s story. It left me wanting to delve even deeper into her experiences. Throughout the interview, I was genuinely taken aback by the harsh obstacles that Adriana’s family had to overcome. At one point, the interview took an emotional turn, and Adriana began to share her feelings. As an interviewer, I felt it was crucial to provide her with the time and space she needed to express her emotions and story comfortably. I reassured her that she could share only what she felt comfortable with, and I did not want to put her in any distress while she recounted her experiences.
In conclusion, I find this project to be immensely significant, a sentiment which I had expressed during Adriana’s interview. I believe it’s essential to document and listen to these stories, as they provide valuable perspective for our generation about the hardships individuals had to endure to secure the lives we often take for granted in modern society. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Adriana’s story, and I believe it is vital for students to comprehend that immigration is not an easy process, requiring a tremendous effort and determination to achieve success.
Diamanti, Adriana. “Personal Interview of Adriana Diamanti: Obstacles and Barriers”. 13 October 2023.
Diamanti, Adriana. “Obstacles and Barriers After Immigrating to Canada”. In Italian Communities in Canada: Heritage, Cultural and Ethnographic Studies, suprv. Teresa Russo. University of Guelph: 26 October 2021, Guelph (academic poster, www.italianheritage.ca)