The importance of gestures in Italy
This is an eye opening article that talks about the importance of knowing gestures if you visit Italy as well as the current politics of sign language there.
:) There's also a great New York Times video about Italian gestures. Check it out: http://www.nytimes.com/video/world/europe/100000002309793/the-italian-gesture-.html
and an article that goes with it:
Recently, I was at a bookstore and snapped this photo (caught my attention- wanted to remember to read and buy it later). This thread reminded me of it (thanks, Usagiboy7!)
Here's a review of 'Speak Italian' by Maria Popova: http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/12/13/bruno-munari-speak-italian-gestures/
And a pic from the actual book :)
Here's the full programme on iPlayer. If you're not in the UK, you can use Media Hint to circumvent the geo-blocking.
This one made the rounds a while back . . . hilarious!
In Italy there are about twenty language and more than one hundred dialects (In AltoAdige people speak Deutsch, in Valle D'Aosta people speak French, in Alghero Catalan, in Trentino-AltoAdige and Veneto Ladin and Cimbrian... And there are also many other languages: venetian, neapolitan, sicilian etc...). Before the union, Italy was fragmented into a lot of small nations, dominated Spain, France, Austria etc... One of the firsts work written in a language similar to Italian is La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri (XIV century), wich is written in Florentine vulgar. Only in nineteenth century we can see the first example of Italian Language, with "I Promessi Sposi" by Alessandro Manzoni. Before union of Italy, only a few people was able to speak Italian. An italian from Veneto didn't understand the language of an italian from Lombardia and Italian from Sicilia didn't understand the language of an Italian from Campania, so gesture became needful to understand people from others regions of Italy and it became associated with language.
I have seen some gestures of Italians on the link below but when I asked my Italian friends they said not everything was true, so you better check with it before using http://uni-italia.vn/van-hoa-italia/cu-chi-nguoi-y/
I saw the See Hear feature last night and it was fascinating. They discussed how hand gestures are entirely independent of Italian Sign Language used by deaf people, but the English signing deaf presenter was able to shop and communicated perfectly well with sellers in the markets using gesture, in spite of not speaking or signing Italian.