Access Asia

The Indonesian village where 80% of residents use sign language

Tucked away in northern Bali, in Indonesia, Bengkala is a village where nearly all the residents know sign language. Children there are 15 times likelier to be born with a hearing disorder. Elders had long feared they had angered a deity, but as residents adapted over the generations and even came up with their own sign language, they finally learned the mysterious cause. We tell you more.


Meanwhile, Japan recently marked the eight-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster. The earthquake, subsequent tsunamis and nuclear meltdown forced tens of thousands to evacuate. Only now are residents of the town of Namie being allowed to return, though challenges remain.

And there's no shortage of photographic sites in Hong Kong: the harbour, the peak, the Buddhist nunnery and more recently the "monster": a giant public housing estate. While Instagrammers love the building, some of the residents loathe the new attention.

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