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Student, Teacher At Fremont School Play Role In Sign Language Version Of ‘Happy’ Going Viral

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FREMONT (KPIX 5) — A group of deaf film students have a hit music video on their hands, as their version of Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” has generated hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

The video is bilingual: English and American Sign Language (ASL). Teenagers from all over the country produced the project last month at a Deaf Film Camp in upstate New York. When the joy on their faces combined with the infectious melody of Williams’ hit, it wasn’t long before the video went viral.

“My friends really, really like it. They watched it over and over again,” said 13-year-old Zahra Chauhan, one of the film’s producers. She also has a couple of very brief appearances in the video.

Zahra is a student at California School for the Deaf in Fremont. One of the teachers at the school, performance artist Rosa Lee Timms, also plays a prominent role.

“To see their eyes open to what they are capable of and what they can do, it gives me goose bumps. I’m so excited for them,” Timms told KPIX 5.

Timms, who has two deaf children of her own, said while the video was inspiring to the students, it’s also educational for those who don’t understand what being deaf is all about.

“A lot of times, I think people in the general population think about it in terms of a medical condition and not about you know, all the really normal, exciting and fun parts of life,” Timms said.

“People realize that the deaf community can do something like that, they can make a movie, they can make a video, they can sing,” Zahra said.

And they can make a lot of people feel just a little happier, as well.

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