By Amanda Wang and Lim Zhee Yen
“I lub you.”
Most people would understand this refers to ‘I love you’ in a slightly babyish slang, and perhaps even heard it once or twice from the sickeningly sweet teenage couple beside you at the bus stop.
If you don’t, however, you’re in the same league as the puzzled members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Federation Singapore (DHHFS) when they were first introduced to this phrase.
To many of them, the concept of sound is understood differently, and this slang taught them a new, fun side of the spoken language that we usually take for granted. So amused by this slang they were, that ‘I lub you’ was printed into greeting cards ($2 each; $5 for 3) to sell at their booth in PaTH (Pop and Talent Hub).
Folded and printed with images of hands in various poses, these cards teach sign language by making use of the flipping motion of paper when unfolding it. The creative execution of this card shows the motion made with your hands when signing the given word, and demonstrates a hearing impaired person’s interesting perception of sound.
PaTH is a social enterprise that provides the marginalised artistic talents a platform to showcase and sell their arts. Commission collected is 20% of the artists’ earnings – if you don’t manage to sell anything, you don’t need to pay anything. Going a step further, workshops are also organised to coach these artists the way of businesses, and give them advice for business sustainability; truly aiming to help these artists gain self-reliance.
Bookmarks made from Chinese paintings ($9.90) are also available at the DHHFS pushcart, as well as hand-painted clay crafts ($4.50) which you can request for a name to be painted on for free.
Sign language for ‘I love you’ also appears as the design for these magnets ($6), one of the more popular items at their stand.
Another vendor at PaTH is Sereen Cheng, 44, who sells pretty little beaded accessories and decorations handmade by her mother and her.
A burst blood vessel led to the paralysm of the left side of Sereen’s body when she was just a fresh ‘O’ Level graduate. Now 44, the vivacious woman has worked in stapler factories, given tuition, clerical jobs, and currently has a stall in PaTH, fuelled by her felt responsibility as the only child, and the need for an income to support her widowed mother.
Having a passion for the arts since young, Sereen has tried to sell her paintings in other places, but she was unable to afford the high rental prices. The launch of PaTH presented her a new opportunity to sell her works.
This season, decorate your coffee table with these unique beaded Christmas trees!
Popular items at her stall are beaded bracelets and crocheted handphone pouches. These are handmade by both her mother and herself.
Some other booth vendors in PaTH include the Friends of the Disabled Society and Gift and Take.
Friends of the Disabled Society is a non-profit organisation that coordinates social interaction programmes for the disabled, and as they are heavily dependent on donations by well-wishers, PaTH is an affordable venue where they can sell the crafts made by the disabled.
Beaded bookmarks are the most popular items at their stall; one customer even ordered 100 of these for Christmas last year!
A business with an aim to aid the less fortunate in Singapore and around the world, Gift and Take sells, well, gifts made by landmine victims in Cambodia, disadvantaged mothers in Singapore, and disabled in Vietnam, just to name a few.
From cute soft toys to practical handbags, you’re sure to find something to your liking!
With over 20 vendors in the market at any time, you definitely don’t have to worry about not being able to find a suitable Christmas gift. Dig around, and you may even uncover a real gem!
1 Harbourfront Walk
VivoCity, Level 3, outside Food Republic (every 1st and last weekend of the month)
2 Bukit Merah Central
SPRING Building, lobby (every 3rd Friday of the month).
11am – 10pm
Specially for this Christmas season, PaTH will be in VivoCity on 12-13 Dec and 19-24 Dec.