How Italian Hand Gestures Were Passed Down Through Generations

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  • Ever notice that Italians seem to be particularly expressive with their hands? It’s not a coincidence; not only do they use this form of nonverbal communication more often than other cultures, but they also have an expansive hand gesture vocabulary that was passed down through generations.

    “In crowded cities like those in southern Italy,” says psychology professor Isabella Poggi in this New York Times video, “there was a need for competition to call attention to oneself.”

    In some cases, hand gestures have outlived parts of verbal language.

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