Growing up, I never really liked my name, Giuseppina. “It’s such an old lady Italian name!” I would think. Even though no one ever called me by my full name (it was always shortened to Pina), I didn’t think that was much better. When you’re young, you just want to fit in, and with my name, I definitely did not fit in.
So let’s backtrack a bit. How did I get my name anyway? Well, my mom named me in memory of my dad, Giuseppe, who sadly passed away before I was born. Looking back, and with the benefit of maturity, I now realize my name carries so much significance and meaning for this reason alone.
In Italy, feast days have a lot of meaning. They are days named in honour of saints, and if you happen to share a name with a saint, you have a feast day! So my feast day is March 19 – the feast of San Giuseppe. This also happens to be Father’s Day in Italy. The fact that I was named after my dad, and that our feast day falls on Father’s Day, is also very significant to me.
Every year to celebrate, my mom usually buys me pastries (think cannoli, fruit tarts, eclairs….). This year, I still wanted to celebrate and make the day special (it’s my name day after all!), but I decided to make my own bigné di San Giuseppe, which are essentially Italian cream puffs. You’ll usually only find them in Italy on the feast of San Giuseppe.
By the way, I wanted to add that I’ve come a long way since those days of not liking my name. I’ve actually learned to not only accept my name, but to like my name. When you’re young, you just want to fit in, but as you grow up, you realize that it’s okay (and actually kind of cool) to be just a bit unique 🙂