Again, Thai politics never fail to amuse me. Here’s a report from The Nation:
‘Keep your nose out of our sign language’
A welfare group has called for hands off over how deaf people should describe politicians – in particular the prime minister – in sign language.
Published on January 31, 2008
The Council of Disabled People of Thailand claimed yesterday any interference in the way deaf people communicate with their hands “would not be appropriate”.
Council chairman Wiriya Namsiriphongphan was responding to queries from PPP members on the way deaf people referred to party leader and Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej in sign language.
During a recent televised parliamentary session, translators touched their noses when Samak’s name was mentioned. The prime minister’s nose is widely acknowledged as the most prominent feature on his face.
Many PPP members were reportedly upset when they saw the sign.
And here’s for a little visual aid. This is The Nose.
However Wiriya insisted yesterday: “This is not to mock or to humiliate him. It’s just the sign that deaf people can understand.”
At the mention of Demo-crat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva’s name, translators moved their hands around their faces and gave a thumbs up. This sign referred to his initials and also indicated they thought he was good looking.
And here’s the Golden Boy, the future PM in my book.
Wiriya said if the PPP wanted to change the way deaf people referred to Samak, it would need to pay for a seminar to determine how best to refer to the prime minister with another sign.
“Is it worth holding such a big seminar for just one person?” he said.
Wiriya said sign language for the deaf was constructed naturally and any attempt to interfere would mean a fabricated language.