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PassaTempo is a well-known Brazilian cookie that's been around for decades. The rectangular biscuits usually feature drawings of monkeys and other animals. Now, the Nestlé-owned brand is using those edible canvases to portray visual information of a different kind: Libras, which is short for Língua Brasileira de Sinais, or Brazilian Sign Language. Each cookie displays a letter and an outline of a hand signing that letter.
Kids can line up cookies to spell words or names and learn how to sign them. Not every pack of cookies will include all letters. So an accompanying website — targeted at parents and educators — offers additional signing instructions and the option to download a png of anyone's name in spelled in cookies. PassaTempo Libras will be stocked in supermarkets starting next month and will be sold for a year. The product and campaign were developed by Publicis Brasil.
Hearing loss affects more than 10 million people in Brazil, and in 2002, Brazilian Sign Language was officially recognized as the country's official second language.
Adding the signing alphabet to a familiar snack is a fun and easy way to get more people to play with that second language and maybe try their hand at connecting with people who use it as their first. For people in the deaf community, meanwhile, having their language pop up on popular cookies is a sweet way to feel seen.
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