Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where in This World Does This Post Find You?

My father had a passion for cultures and origins. Invariably, when he met someone (whether he or she be the newspaper boy, or nurse, or cab driver, etc.), he would always ask them their name. Last names fascinated him and so when a person would give him his or her last name, he would ponder for a while and say, "You must be English" or "That is a very German name!" or "Your ancestors must have been Italian." From there, he would go on about the virtues of that culture. He never passed judgment or brought up politics when he inquired about your ancestry.

This went on all of my childhood and adult years. Even during his last 2 weeks in the hospital until he passed away, my father asked everyone their last name and then proceed to tell them about their origins.

My mother, Dora Hada Zazzetta, as a young child (second from the left, front row) was the youngest child of Italian immigrants, Atilio and Aida Zazzetta. They moved to Argentina during Mussolini's reign.

My father's passion was passed onto me in a way in that I love to find out where people come from. When I hear someone with an accent, I immediately ask them where they are from. In doing so, I have found that some people are very proud of where they are from and gladly share their origin or birthplace with me. But, sadly, other people hesitate even when they have a heavy accent that inescapably gives them away. I say sadly because for the most part, I have found that those people are from countries such as Mexico (who may fear being thought of as "illegal immigrants" just by virtue of being from there) or Russia or one of the Middle East countries. These people, I find, are scared or embarrassed to acknowledge their birthplace for fear that they may be associated with or thought of as embodying all the negative aspects of their countries.

Well I for one know what it is like to be an immigrant and all the hardships and personal sacrifices that go with that choice and for me, if you have moved to this country in search of a better life and are working an honest job and are a good person, then you should not carry the political baggage associated with where it is you happened to be born. Afterall, we do not choose our birthplace. I always tell my kids, if you happen to be born in a country that is free and rich in resources and opportunities such as the U.S. or one of the European countries, then you have already won the lottery in life.

But I digress (as I'm always fond of doing!).

All of this monologue on my fascination and respect for cultures and ethnicity is just a background for what I'm about to ask....

I have recently discovered by way of Google analytics that although I'm not one of those super popular blogs that have thousands of followers (I'm so envious!!!), I do have a widespread and diverse following. And that fascinates me!!!!

Today, I saw the following countries represented in my readership:

United States
United Kingdom

Wow!!!! Romania! Germany! Poland! Russia! I cannot tell you how excited this is for me!

So I want to hear from all of you, please. I want whoever happens to read this post and is from a place outside of New Orleans (yes, I want to know how many people in Iowa are reading my blog) to leave me a comment or email me as to where you are from. It would certainly make my day and I know, it would have made my father's.

Come on, I want to know where this post finds you!!

I'll start:

"Hi, my name is Karina, and I was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and am writing from my home in New Orleans, Louisiana."

Now, it's your turn.....


  1. Hi Karina,
    I am Ewa (the Old Maid;)) and I read your blog althought I don't comment very often. I was born, raised and live in Poland, in a very pretty city Gdynia - it is to the north of my country and at the seaside.:)
    Do you know that in my country your name is written just the same way you write it? Karina is Karina in Polish too:)

  2. Dear Ewa, what a delight and surprise to receive your comment. I was wondering who it was in Poland who was following my blog. I'm so pleased to meet you and now, I will have to follow your blog. I so adore your miniature things!

    Yes, my name with a "K" is Russian. My mother meant to name me Carina (as it goes with our Italian lineage), but as she was waking up from the anesthesia after having me, a nurse told her that with a "K" it was more fashionable. So I became Russian! I'm not surprised that it is also spelled that way in Poland. Your seaside town sounds so dreamy! I must see photos.

    Thanks for writing!

  3. Hi Karina, we just talked ... My name is Melanie Aussandon I was born in Marseilles and raised in Aubagne , a little city in the suburbs of Marseilles .
    But as I like to say I am a mix of different cultures and that is what it makes my wealth . My family comes from different cities of south of France , from Spain , Italy ,Turkey , french Algeria ... Well I'm a mediterranean girl

  4. Melanie, wow! You are a mix of beautiful cultures and places. I can only imagine how gorgeous your city must be.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. What a great inspiring Post! Hi, my name is Dawn... I come to you from the Arizona Desert just outside of Phoenix. My Dad was Native American {Apache & Blackfoot Tribes} and he met my Mom while stationed in the Military in her Country of North Wales, where I was born. My Maternal Grandfather was raised by a Chinese Family after one of his Parents was killed in World War I and left his Mother a Widow with 11 children to try to raise. I too am always fascinated by different Cultures & Family Histories... our Family is a very diverse rich blend of Cultures, Traditions and Races, which I see as a distinct Blessing we can draw upon & be very proud of. Every Family has a Story, my Hope is that each person not be ashamed or afraid to tell it... ever!

    Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

  6. Dear Dawn, your family story is amazing! I have visited the Arizona Desert and there is truly nothing like it in the U.S. I have been wanting to take my kids there to experience it. I cannot believe that your Dad, a native American, married a Welsh girl. What a blend of cultures that must have been! The conversation at the dinner table and the food must have been so very different than anything else. And with a Chinese influence on top of that, well, you must be a very well rounded person. Thanks so much for sharing your story and for being so proud of it!

  7. HI Karina,

    My name is Carollynn, and I read your blog in Washington, DC. Like many other Americans, I'm a mix of cultures - Irish from my father's side, Polish from my mother's side. Born in Buffalo, NY, my parents and I moved to Central Florida before I was age 10. While I was born in the north, I was raised in the south and identify with that culture the most. Living in the nation's capital I see a number of cultures that represent who we are as a nation, and its endlessly facinating.

  8. Hi, Carollynn, your background is fascinating and I just went to visit your blog, and your recipe for the Shrimp Corn Chowder sounds divine. I welcome everyone to go see it. Thanks for sharing your story with me.



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