Fun Things to Know about Deaf Culture
Learning ASL is only one part of learning about Deaf people. You may have learned a bit about Deaf Culture and their norms. But let’s have a little fun and learn about “Deaf Bing” – their common “habits”.
Knocking Things Over
While seated around a table, especially in a restaurant, we can get excited and animated and knock things over. We need to remember to move our drinks a little further away.
Sometimes we don’t even need to be at a table. We’ll sign something like “really big” and accidently punch someone next to us. It can get bad for those Deaf people with glasses as some signs will knock our glasses off our faces.
We Have our own Time Zone
Called “Deaf Standard Time” – there are 3 parts to it.
- Tendency to be late to events – A social club’s meeting is at 7pm, some Deaf will show up at 7:15 – 7:30.
- Long time to leave – Takes a long time to leave an event. “Oh it’s 10, I gotta go”, start saying their byes, joins a conversation, remembers something else to say to a friend, by the time they get to the door it’s 11:15pm.
- Night Owls – Those that stay behind are night owls. After the meeting place has closed, they’ll head to a local 24-hr coffeeshop and chat til the wee hours of the morning.
We get Pretty Personal
A lot of topics that would be considered off-limits in the “hearing” world, are pretty much fair game among Deaf people.
Topics ranging from our personal finances and how much we spend on something, to personal health problems and even down to how their latest bowel movement was. Yeah, I know, seems awkward, but we feel the need to share as to give the whole picture while sharing or getting information.
We Can Get Pretty Blunt
Along the same lines, we get pretty descriptive of people as well as telling each other straight-forward our thoughts.
It’s not uncommon when trying to describe another person to a Deaf person, to get pretty descriptive. No political correctness is used in describing someone. For example, one Deaf lady enters the Deaf club that she hasn’t been to in a while, a long-time friend will greet her and go “Wow, gain weight you!”.
We’re Somehow All Connected
Because the Deaf world is small, we’re all somehow connected by knowing a school, a common friend, through social media, and so on.
When hearing people introduce their friends, it’s usually their name and whether it’s a co-worker or family friend – pretty basic introductions. “This is Jim, he works in the same department as me”.
When Deaf people introduce their friends, they identify what Deaf School they went to, who the Deaf person may know that knows this new person, and so on. “This John, he from Indiana School for the Deaf. You know Mark? They same football team there! His wife, Mary, parents Deaf. Remember Beth & George, THAT!”