Nuramira does song covers in both Malaysian Sign Language and American Sign Language.
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Rocking out and lip-synching to your favourite song is one of the best feelings ever for most people. But what if you’re one of the 40,000 deaf persons in Malaysia, or the thousands more with hearing disabilities that makes this simple act a seemingly impossible task?
This is why 20 year old Nuramira Binti Mohd Amin is making sign language covers of local songs for the Malaysian deaf community to enjoy.
Though she doesn’t have any hearing disabilities, the Johorean lass told TRP that she began learning sign language two years ago in 2018 when a friend who was learning sign language taught her how to sign as well.
I honestly enjoy being around differently-abled persons and to understand the world through their perspective. Because they are different, and indeed very special.Nuramira to TRP.
From these lessons, the ardent music lover began to wonder; “How do deaf people enjoy songs?”
I was quite sad at first that they can’t hear these songs, feel the emotions behind the singing or listen to the amazing lyrics. I felt like I wanted them to enjoy music like I do – like all of us do- and thought; “I have to do something!”.Nuramira to TRP.
That’s when Nuramira decided to cover songs in sign language!
The final year diploma in fine art student set up a YouTube channel especially for this project in August, with Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza’s “Aku Bidadari Syurgamu” as her first sign language cover.
Nuramira tells TRP that she does the covers in Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia for local songs and American Sign Language (ASL) for international songs.
FYI, Bahasa Isyarat Malaysia is the main language of Malaysia’s deaf community and the official sign language recognised by the government used in broadcasts and announcements.
Meanwhile, ASL is predominantly used in the United States of America.
If the world was ending //— 🎨نور (@nrrmra) September 8, 2020
Another sign language cover!! Its in ASL (American sign language). This is the hardest, not the best but gotta shoot my shot! 🤟🏻🤟🏻❤️ Enjoy! pic.twitter.com/Zwm2EryBAo
While Nuramira’s signing may seem effortless, she reveals that doing sign language song covers is no easy feat.
“It’s actually very draining,” she admits, “I have to put all my heart and soul into my signing.”
You see, sign language isn’t just about the hands. Despite what many may think, it’s a very expressive language whereby facial expressions and the speed of signing convey the “speaker’s” feelings.
I have to show it with my face, with my body, with expressions and emotion. And there might be some words that I can’t interpret so I have to ask my deaf friends. There are also times when I have to truly understand the lyrics and listen to the whole song everyday just to be able to find the right emotions to express.Nuramira to TRP.
Even with the struggles, Nuramira finds it all worth it in the end when her deaf friends tell her that they can actually “feel” the song through her interpretation.
It’s a bliss when I get feedback for my videos, everyone loves it – both the deaf and the hearing. My deaf friends tell me that they can really feel the song, understand it and are touched by the song.Nuramira to TRP.
Org pekak mcm saya pasti akan rasa dihargai dan terharu bila tgk video ni. Im so glad and proud of you!!! 😭😭💖💖💪💪— Izzatul Husna (@izzatulhusna98) August 28, 2020
And she hopes to keep spreading joy through her sign language music covers.
Nuramira’s videos have already begun gaining traction on Twitter, which has helped spark interest in the little understood language.
I really hope that whoever watches my signing videos realize how beautiful sign language is and know that it is not only for the deaf – everyone should learn and make sign language.Nuramira to TRP.
More importantly, she wants Malaysians to understand the communication barrier is not a reason to remain oblivious to the deaf community.
“They are a part of us, too,” exclaims Nuramira, “I want the deaf community to know that we appreciate them.”
She puts the pun in Punjabi. With a background in healthcare, lifestyle writing and memes, this lady's articles walk a fine line between pun-dai and pun-ishing.