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Everyone In This Balinese Village Can Speak Sign Language

Photo: Great Big Story

Culture

Everyone In This Balinese Village Can Speak Sign Language

Bengkala, a small village tucked away in the jungles of Bali, is a demographic anomaly.

Of a total 3,000 people, 44 are Deaf. Their condition is linked to a recessive gene that’s been passed down through seven generations. Rather than ostracize Deaf community members, the people of Bengkala created Kata Kolok, a distinctly local sign language that’s spoken by 80 percent of the population.


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