Young people play a significant role in the development of minority religious communities. Many belong to the “second generation of immigrants”: they were born in Italy from immigrant parents, they feel Italian and see their future in this country. At the same time, they feel Muslim, Jewish or Christian and participate in the same community as their parents, with rituals, values and languages coming from their cultures and countries of origin. This paper analyses lifestyles and values of second generation immigrants living in Milan, an emblematic case-study for intergenerational dynamics and plural backgrounds. Based on an intercultural educational approach and on in-depth interviews with young people, this article describes how this key-group integrates with both their "new" and traditional cultures, by the development of intercultural competences. Finally, the paper states that second generation’s strategies represent an opportunity to rethink what it means to belong to a community in a democratic context. A specific lesson, not only for minority communities but also for Italian society as a whole.
Keywords: Second generation immigrant youth; religious minorities; intercultural competences; critical thinking.