Christmas Culture at DDP

Deaf people miss out on a lot of things that other people know because they hear them, and likewise deaf people don’t have many experiences others have because of communication difficulties. As Christmas approached we had a day of educational and fun activities to help the deaf students at DDP better appreciate what they see going on around them as Cambodia imitates the western celebration of Christmas.

In the morning we had four or five different activities that small groups of students rotated through and when each group finished the activities they met with Maryknoll Lay Missioner Julie Lawler who showed them videos of Christmas customs and activities in six different countries.

One activity was a Christmas bingo–for students who never heard of either bingo or Christmas! Their bingo cards matched up with Christmas images the teacher showed them.
Another activity was a team-building game where the students had to work together to build a pyramid of paper cups.
Then the groups moved to the next station where they made and sampled pancakes, probably for the first time. Deaf students love engaging in activities where they learn something new. They feel then that they know what others know and are like the hearing people.
Another more quiet activity was making some Christmas decorations.
In between activities the young people had a chance just to be with each other and talk and share their experiences.
The final session for each group was with Julie Lawler who showed them videos with sign language about Christmas customs in six different countries. Our students didn’t understand all the different sign languages but were able to get the general idea of what was being presented.