Topic: Gina Lisignoli

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Hamilton City Libraries Oral History Programme, Interview with: Gina Lisignoli, Accession no: OH102, Date: 13 September 1990. Interviewed by Maria Brennan as part of the Taking root in a new land Oral history project 1990.

Aspects of Culture Maintained
Food and cooking, not as much as parents - family get-togethers - big Italian meals - father makes wine - some religious aspects - strict religious upbringing, e.g. catholic - language maintained. Strong family ties - close family - gatherings for birthdays and Christmas - meeting together - Italian weddings - making wine.

Influenced by a New Zealand culture.
Mother born in New Zealand - father born in Italy - mother's parents Italian - mother influenced children - closeness to mother - at school mixed with other New Zealand children.
All spoke English - father spoke English with an Italian accent - friends found father hard to understand - some things different - blended in quite well.

Friends Reactions
First name unusual - surname and Christian name problems with spelling and punctuation - not treated different - weren't obvious in difference to everybody else.

Return to Italy
Nervous about meeting relatives - language barrier - not very good Italian - welcomed by family - felt a strong tie - visited fathers home where he grew up.
Language communication a problem to begin with - family interested in New Zealand - not a true Italian dialect spoken - understood better than real Italian.

Interview with Auntie
Learnt about Aunt's feelings about being taken from Italy to New Zealand - Aunt still has a strong link to Italy - had tremendous feeling for homeland - felt sometimes by Gina.

The Future
Once parents pass away, will the links die or will the children here in New Zealand maintain them - up to children to try and maintain that heritage and pass it on to their children, Will the link break? Gina hopes that a link will always be there.

Gina Lisignoli - Oral history

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Complete recording available on Level 3 of the Garden Place Library.

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Gina Lisignoli

First Names:Gina
Last Name:Lisignoli