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Belgian university posts hooked-nose gesture for ‘Jew’ in sign language

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River

An organisation representing Jewish communities in Europe are demanding the removal of a “racist and humiliating” depiction of Jews as having large hooked noses from an online dictionary of Flemish sign language.

The portrayal is one of more than 10,000 signs on a visual online guide recognised by the Flemish government as a “knowledge and coordination centre” for sign language in the Flanders region of Belgium.

According to the dictionary, there are three ways to sign the word “Jew”. The term can be represented by stroking over the chin – an action used in British sign language – or by displaying pipe curls with the fingers or gesturing with the finger over the nose.

The dictionary has been recently updated to indicate that the latter two signs have negative connotations but the University of Ghent, which hosts the Flemish sign language centre on its website, is facing calls for the signs’ removal.

isa Rombouts, from the Flemish Sign Language Centre, said a new edition of the dictionary would be published that would “clarify these matters”.

She told De Morgen newspaper: “The gesture in question is probably the oldest variant of that gesture in the dictionary. The video has been on our site for 15 years. We don’t want to delete that, because a dictionary describes the current situation.

“Unfortunately, it has not been possible to completely renew the dictionary in recent years because we only received subsidies for that last year.”

Along with the hook-nose gesture for the word Jew, one of the words for representing Chinese people involves tugging at the corner of the eye. Gay is represented by a hand-flop and Samoan by pressing down on your nose.

Edited by River
I'm not serious 99% of the times ;)
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Miel
17 minutes ago, River said:

and Samoan by pressing down on your nose.

oh my GOD

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River
6 minutes ago, Miel said:

oh my GOD

yeah it's totally racism and backward, I can't believe that a university is published it, I'm trying to find the full video.

 

Edited by River
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River
11 minutes ago, ReginaGeorge said:

isn't this how it's supposed to be?

article-2214467-1567D35E000005DC-575_634

I think it might be different in different countries no?

I'm not serious 99% of the times ;)
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AlexanderMagno

So, I guess I'm going to be controversial here :emma:

 

Why is it bad?

Are we going to pretend there are no specific features for people? From now on, to point a black person as black, a blonde person as blonde, or a person with a big nose as a person with a big nose, is offensive? Why are we so offended with common characteristics?

Not every Jew has a big nose, of course, but it's part of their ethnic identity. It's not an insult, it's just a feature associated with Jews, just like the curly hair and the beard, and sign language can use these tips sometimes to better point out someone. It's not from a bad point of view, ethnic difference still exists.

 

13 minutes ago, ReginaGeorge said:

isn't this how it's supposed to be?

article-2214467-1567D35E000005DC-575_634

It doesn't exist one "sign language", actually there are as many sign languages as spoken languages. There are "english sign language", "dutch sign language", "spanish sign language", and so on.

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River
13 minutes ago, AlexanderMagno said:

Why is it bad?

Are we going to pretend there are no specific features for people? From now on, to point a black person as black, a blonde person as blonde, or a person with a big nose as a person with a big nose, is offensive? Why are we so offended with common characteristics?

Not every Jew has a big nose, of course, but it's part of their ethnic identity. It's not an insult, it's just a feature associated with Jews, just like the curly hair and the beard, and sign language can use these tips sometimes to better point out someone. It's not from a bad point of view, ethnic difference still exists.

It's a racist stereotype that has been used in Europe as a hostile caricature to badly describe a jew and of course the Nazis used it as a caricature and also to actually measure the noses to see if the person is a Jew or not

0A979771-7464-4CCC-BD206716F713DBEC_sour

11122014-116050353.jpg?$p=af33b35

 

 

I'm not serious 99% of the times ;)
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Miel
37 minutes ago, River said:

yeah it's totally racism and backward, I can't believe that a university is published it, I'm trying to find the full video.

 

Like, I get that it's historical, but it should be viewed only as such. As in, acknowledge it existed and was most definitely racist, and move on and change it.

edit: for clarification

Edited by Miel
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kyanewest
3 minutes ago, Miel said:

Like, I get that it's historical, but it should be viewed as such.

Jewish people has been through so much the least we can do is not insult them again. It might be nothing for you but it's just another level of disrespect in my opinion. If jewish people 'dont all have big noses' then don't make it a sign, find something else. 

The crowds are gone. And it's time to wash out the blonde.
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Miel
Just now, kyanewest said:

Jewish people has been through so much the least we can do is not insult them again. It might be nothing for you but it's just another level of disrespect in my opinion. If jewish people 'dont all have big noses' then don't make it a sign, find something else. 

Oh no, I definitely agree.

I meant like, we can acknowledge that past usages of sign language to refer different races were racist, and that they exited at one point in time, but not continue to use it and change the signage of such.

In no way is that nothing to me. Sorry for the confusion.

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