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Mark Rotella’s Opinion Essay Published in New York Times

Posted in: Coccia Institute, Homepage News and Events

graphic element: photo of Mark Rotella on left, New York Times logo and screenshot of guest essay title on right

Mark Rotella, Director of the Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America, wrote a guest essay for The New York Times on New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito’s touchdown celebration that brought new popularity to an age-old Italian hand gesture.

Read an excerpt below and the full essay, “The Hand Gesture Heard Round the World,” on nytimes.com.

“Yes, the gesture is old-school, imported from the old country and a remnant of the traditions of an immigrant generation. But in its evolution and popularity, I’m seeing how it connects us not only with the generations that came before us but with our new culture, too. Italian American culture is in constant conversation with its own traditions, and with the rest of American culture. You can see this with Italian food, such as the recent embrace of artisanal, Neapolitan-style pizza, which shows how our staples can be widely adopted even as they grow and evolve. So raise those pinched fingers. They’re proof that my culture is as robust and relevant as it’s ever been.”