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Italian Immigration to Scotland

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Presentation on theme: "Italian Immigration to Scotland"— Presentation transcript:

1 Italian Immigration to Scotland

2 Today we are learning: Why Italians decided to immigrate to Scotland
The experience of Italian immigrants Reaction of Scots to the Italian immigrants Contribution of Italian immigrants to Scottish society, economy and culture Issues of identity Issues of assimilation

3 Why did Italians decide to immigrate to Scotland
Some Italians saw Scotland as a stop gap on route to America but more Italians came once American immigration policy changed. The main reasons Italians sought a new life was as a direct result of poor economic conditions in Italy. Poverty was rife and living conditions were harsh, with famine and droughts. Italy had a mainly agricultural economy that was experiencing severe hardships. Many Italian men left to earn a living and sent money back home to their relatives.

4 Experience of Italian immigrants
Many Italian immigrants found Scotland a confusing place at first They had to cope with a new language Some Scots made fun of the newly-arrived Italians Italian immigrants helped each other They sent for family members to join them The Italians settled in parts of Glasgow

5 Contribution of Italians to Scottish society, economy and culture
Initially many Italians sold plaster statues but that wasn’t very profitable. Although many Italians were farmers very few became farmers here mainly because of the poor state of Scottish farming. Many Italians then moved into the catering trade. They worked as ‘hokey pokey’ men, selling ice cream from barrows and then in cafes.

6 Contribution of Italians to Scottish society, economy and culture
Italian immigrants, combined ice cream making with selling fish and chips. Restaurants and takeaways were established and left a lasting legacy on Scottish taste buds By the early 1900s Italian immigrants were becoming affluent and their businesses were established. This led to family members joining their relatives in Scotland to help grow the family business.

7 There are many famous Italian businesses in Scottish society
There are many famous Italian businesses in Scottish society. Nardini’s in Largs had a beautiful Art Deco tearoom that became an attraction for many Scots and has recently been refurbished. Valvona & Crolla is a famous delicatessen based in Edinburgh. These examples are just some of the businesses which formed a key part of the Scottish economy in terms of catering.

8 Contribution of Italians to Scottish society, economy and culture
In addition to catering, Italians found themselves in hairdressing. Through their role as barbers and hairdressers they established the College of Italian Hairdressers in Glasgow in 1928.

9 Contribution of Italians to Scottish society, economy and culture
Italians initially established themselves in areas of Glasgow (for example Partick and Garnethill in the West End of Glasgow). It is estimated that by 1905 there were 5000 Italian immigrants in Glasgow. Year Number of Italian cafes/takeaways in Glasgow Additionally, Italian communities were found in the Grassmarket in Edinburgh. There are many examples of Italian cafes in the Highlands and Islands (Millport) as well as the west coast. By 1939 most areas of Scotland had seen the beginnings of Italian café culture.

10 Issues of identity Many Italians retained a distinct Italian identity. Italian was mainly spoken in the home but many immigrant children would have learned English at their local Catholic primary school. Italians were expected to marry other Italians and this idea prevailed until the 1950s. Italians supported other Italian businesses.

11 Issues of Identity – Casa D’Italia
The Casa D’Italia was located in Park Circus in Glasgow and opened in The Casa was the centre for the Italian community. It also offered business loans. The main aims and objectives of the Casa were: To provide a social club for the Italian Community. To conduct Italian language classes to children. To encourage societies for the creation and maintenance of an interest in Italian Culture. To run orchestral and dramatic societies. To pursue objects of a national or cultural nature.

12 Issues of assimilation
Italian cafes had a huge impact on Scottish culture but the Italian community was still quite isolated. The freedom offered by the cafes was very appealing especially to younger people. The Temperance Movement approved of the cafes since they didn’t sell alcohol. Assimilation was hampered by the very nature of the catering business. The owners and employees often worked 14-hour days, seven days a week. Family was at the heart of the business so the employees were usually family members. In addition, the children of the immigrants were expected to marry into other Italian families. This led to the community being isolated.

13 Issues of assimilation
Initially, there was a religious division as Italians were Roman Catholicism. This was not accepted by the Presbyterian elements of Scottish society. This division was to become deeper as many of the Presbyterian leaders were unhappy that the cafés opened on the Sabbath (Sunday) as well as the fact that opening times extended beyond those of the pubs. The cafés were often the scene of unruly behaviour. This led to cries that the Italian cafés were morally corrupt. Articles appeared in newspapers reporting the ‘ice cream hell’ (Glasgow Herald).

14 Think of the impact of Italian immigrants on Scotland
Write a paragraph in your jotter explaining their impact.

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