Italian kids have a fascination with all things American. They watch the Disney channel and Cartoon Network and see all of the wonder of American pop culture. They are particularly fascinated by the concepts of American high schools and the teen scene. One of the traditions my Italian nieces, Francesca and Giulia Buono and Laura Porraro, noticed most of all was the pajama party concept. After they asked a million questions about pajama parties and heard that my sister and I had hosted one for our cousin Nina in the United States, they wanted me to host one for them, too. I happily obliged.
We ate popcorn and played Trivial Pursuit Disney (in Italian, of course) and Sorry Express. I filmed them as they pretended to rescue their stuffed animals and played vets in our kitchen. And then I let them put on lip gloss and do their hair while I gave them manicures and pedicures replete with hand and foot soaking, a moisturizing treatment (note the gloves in the photo), and white nail polish. They fell asleep around midnight while watching Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore in English. The next morning, I made them pancakes and scrambled eggs, and we drank orange juice as if we were in the United States. It’s a great way for girls in any country to celebrate — and I’m sure they’ll remember the pajama party for years to come. You can read all about our cultural exchanges in the bi-weekly “Our Paesani” column on ItaliansRus.com.