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As a third-generation immigrant, how can I identify as either Italian or British? | Ask Philippa

Learning Italian may help you feel less anchorless, suggests Philippa Perry

The question I am writing on behalf of myself and my sister. We are third-generation immigrants, both our grandparents being Italian and settling in London. We have been raised in a British-Italian household sharing values from both, but never feeling as if we fit into either identity.

Being removed by two generations from our grandparents, and not speaking Italian, makes us feel as if we are not Italian, and that we are removed from this community. On the other hand, we don’t feel English, resulting in a lack of national and cultural identity. Thus, we feel a loneliness which is only furthered by us being removed from other family members who perhaps experience the same problem.

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