Angela Sew Hoy: A Deaf Chinese New Zealander

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‘Asia Dynamic’ catches up with Angela Sew Hoy, to find out what life is like as a Deaf Chinese New Zealander, navigating three different cultures in everyday life.
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‘Asia Dynamic’, a television series focusing on Asians in New Zealand, which was later renamed to ‘Asia Downunder’, catches up with Angela Sew Hoy, who is currently studying for an MBA at the University of Auckland, to find out more about her life growing up as a Deaf Chinese New Zealander.

At home, Angela was immersed into the Chinese culture, but once she started attending school, she was then exposed to Pākehā culture. Once she grew up and started attending Deaf events, she then was immersed into Deaf culture. Angela says she is comfortable moving in between the three worlds, but says she prefers the Deaf World because it is where she can combine all of her cultural identities.

Angela shares that she knew from a young age that she was Deaf, and thought it to be normal, as she was treated so by her family. It was not until she was 13 years old and started being teased by her hearing peers, that she realised she was different.

We see a typical scene in a Deaf flat, with Angela and her flatmate Brent making breakfast and conversing. There are glimpses of technology at the time, a flashing light unit to alert them to the doorbell, a TTY machine, and a fax machine.

The episode ends with Angela mentioning the focus of this year’s Deaf Awareness Week is NZSL. They are hoping to push towards NZSL becoming an officially recognised language by the New Zealand Government.

Original format:
Reference number:
SignDNA – Deaf National Archive New Zealand, TVNZ32-01-TV96