A Great Experience for kids, kindergarten classes, teachers and the whole family!
Excuse me? To be different is normal?
There are about 82 million people in Germany, who are different. How could that be if altogether only 82 million people live in Germany?
It is very simple: Everyone is unique, therefore everyone is different differently! Look at your friends: All of them certainly have something special that you like and that you can really appreciate about them.
There are also some people who behave in ways that we do not like, and it may be hard to understand this behavior. Sometimes there are certain things that bother us about other people. Oftentimes, we are intolerant and think that there’s only one way to do things: Our way. It‘s certainly easier that way.
To be tolerant means: to look at people through another perspective. Maybe it would help you to imagine that you may also seem strange to other people.
To be intolerant means that we as people do not want to understand and accept other people because these people are not like us and do not think like us. It often has to do with the appearance or the opinion of the other person, their age, their religion or their language.
Don't be afraid to be different. Sometimes that can be difficult. Think, act and be the way you feel is right, and not the way others expect you to do so. Prove your strength, and you can be proud of yourself because of this. It is very important to respect other girls and boys, men and women the way that they are, as long as they do not harm you or your peers. You would also want to be respected.
Don't be afraid to get to know other people who may seem strange at first. Maybe you will experience interesting, funny or beautiful things that you never heard before. You can hear exciting stories and adventures that can enrich your life with new ways of thinking – or even new friendships could develop.
To be blind and to “see” with other senses.
There are about 155,000 blind people living in Germany. Their life is much different than the life of a person who can see – and can actually be completely normal.
People who are blind and people who have a strong seeing disability cannot rely on their eyes. These people use other senses more intensively instead. For example, they can feel, hear, smell or taste much better. That is because blind people or people with a seeing disability learn how to use their other senses more efficiently.
How often do you try to sense something without using your eyes, but only by smelling, feeling, hearing or tasting? Certainly, that does not happen very often. If you would do everything for a while with your eyes closed, then you would certainly be able to use your other senses more efficiently.
Many blind people live a life that is almost average, but the difference is that they have different ways of getting help than people who can see. For example, they don’t look at the clock or the kitchen scale, but they listen to what the clock or the kitchen scale says. There are also speaking key chains or thermometers and many other helpful objects.
Blind children also play “Sorry!” just like children who can see. How do they do it? They recognize their piece by shape instead of color: i.e. yellow pieces have a dent at the top, the blue ones have a small knob at the top, the red ones are flat and the green ones are round at the top. They can feel the dots on the dice. Every player has their own die and rolls the die in their own area.
To be deaf and still having a language?
There are about 80,000 deaf people in Germany. They have their own language – sign language. Sign language has been recognized as an independent language in Germany since 2002.
Sign language has many signs and its own grammar too. You can do the signs with your arms, hands and fingers. Your facial expressions are also important. There is also a finger alphabet, which includes a sign for every letter from A to Z.
You have to pay close attention to understand what the signs mean. This is very difficult for people who can hear because those who hear can understand spoken language, and have never learned to communicate with signs.
Also, when those who can hear have practiced using sign language, it is still difficult for many of them to follow a conversation between two people who are deaf. Deaf people can communicate very quickly in their language and can – just like those who can hear – talk about everything: tell jokes, recite poetry, curse and carry on daily conversations.
Sign language is not the same everywhere in the world. It is just like every other language: It’s different in every country. You could learn sign language from different countries just like any other foreign language.
Try communicating with your friend – but only with signs and facial expressions! I bet you can communicate quickly without words.
How old is young – how young is old?
People can live up to 120 years, but almost no one gets that old. When a boy is born in Germany today, he has an average life expectancy of 75 years, and a girl can expect to live 81 years.
What does it mean to be old? It is often difficult to guess how old someone is. People look differently, they dress differently, and they do different things in their free time. Older people can listen to similar music as younger people, have just as much fun dancing or going on vacation. Many older people feel very young on the inside.
Above all, it is easiest to know how old someone is by looking at their skin: People dry out a little bit throughout their lifetime – and shrink. A newborn baby consists almost completely out of water and has firm skin. A grown up consists of about two thirds water, and their skin is not so firm. A very old person is about half water, so their skin becomes loose and wrinkled. You can tell if someone is happy or sad by the marks on their face. If you have a lot of stress or troubles in your life, then you will get “worry marks” on your forehead, but if you are happy throughout your life, then you will get “smile marks.”