Being deaf – no reason not to have fun

Having only a slightly reduced hearing, I sometimes have a hard time to understand what my deaf friends are going through. I don’t have a problem sitting a bar in town, enjoying the music, even though I ofte thing it’s being played at to low a volume. But many of my friends, don’t really like that, even through they can’t hear the music, the powerful bass is quite annoying and many of them feel a bit out of place in those places, which of course is quite understandable. It’s also embarrassing for many to be asked to dance and having to refuse it, just because you really can’t hear the music. But just because you are deaf, doesn’t mean that you cant have fun.

For instance, next month here in Aalborg is a thing called Fastelavn, where people dress up in fastelavnskostumer or other types of kostumer, and goes out and parties with others. It’s one of the few parties where music isn’t in the center and it’s more about being with your family and friends, and having a good time, rather than just getting drunk and having a blast of a party. Because of this, most of my friends actually love fastelavn quite a bit, they get to dress up in a costume, which also tends to protect them a little, since putting on a costume, is ofte like choosing a new personality, and for some it’s a good way of hiding any hearing aids. The fastelavnsfest I will be attending next month is in a skurvogn, which is a special designed container, or rather a bunch of container units from DC Supply, put together so that they form a big hall, with lights and more than enough room to play hit the barrel, or beat the cat out of the barrel as it’s also called. In the old days, they actually put a live cat in a ball and then took turns hitting the barrel with a bat. Today the ball is fulled with candy instead, much like the Mexican tradition PiƱatas. The main difference is that here, both the kids and the adults are dressed out in a special costume called fastelavnskostume, which can be obtained from most shops selling billige kostumer or similar costumes. This tradition is several hundred years old, and something that people still love to take part in.

There are many other ways of having fun, without going to a party or getting drunk with your friends.. Personally I prefer activities that involves putting on a costume and becomming someone else. But many of my friends enjoy sports, of course not all sports are equally easy to play when you are unable to hear anything, especially many team sports can be quite challenging. This doesn’t mean that it’s not possible, as my good friend Philip have proved. He is actually one of the best soccer players I know, and the best scorring player on his team. Of course his hearing problem is often giving him problems, and will probably be the one thing that will prevent him from going pro, but he is still having a great time when playing, and being able to show people, that even while you can’t hear a thing, you can still beat the other guys in sport. He is an inspiration to many.

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