A world of silence

12 03 2006

When? 11th March 2006, What? Talk on “The World of Silence” by Mr Tan Yap, Where? Upper Deck, Holiday Villa Jalan Ampang

On top of the agenda was the induction of our first newbie of the term, Ms Shreen Sugeeta Nobel!

It’s hard enough to be in a foreign country and not able to speak the language, but imagine going through your whole life, unable to express your feelings, sit down and have a nice chat or communicate to someone. Imagine walking in the midst of a busy city and not able to hear any sound at all – not the cars honking, the birds chirping, or just maybe the shout of a person warning you of the danger ahead. Imagine being put down just because the other person doesn’t understand what you are saying and imagine the frustration at not being able to communicate a message or reach out to other people. This is probably just the tip of trying to put yourself in the shoes of a person who is hearing and speech impaired.

Our speaker for the day, 90 year old Mr Tan Yap is a wise man of great experience. He has been teaching the deaf & mute as well as teaching normal people such as ourselves in how to communicate with them through basic sign language for more than 41 years. Wow! none of us were even born back then…

From understanding the hardships these brave people go through to some funny anecdotes, Uncle Tan had us all captivated. We even learnt some basic sign language like how to say “I love you” (which looks something like the sign rockers like to flash), “Hello”, “Thank You” to the alternative of clapping (wave your hands enthusiastically in the air, fingers spread open) as a way to show appreciation.

After the talk, we continued on to the fellowship of the day – to makan-makan in Imbi Square, a birthday celebration and desert at the Mango Loh shop on Jalan Imbi (sorry la, forgot the name)…

More photos, can be found at the World Of Silence photo album – http://photos.yahoo.com/rotaract_kl

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