Singapore — and possibly the world’s first — silent tea bar empowers the deaf and individuals with mental health issues to seek gainful employment, while bridging the gap between the hearing and non-hearing world.

The so-called Tearistas, a team of 30 deaf facilitators, perform tea rituals using sign language, gestures and flash cards, and teach participants the art of mindfulness and communication without the need to use words. Phones and speaking are strictly prohibited during the sessions.

Hush TeaBar offers busy urbanites a reprieve from the time-pressured, high-stress modern lifestyle, while creating an inclusive work and social environment for the disabled and the marginalized. The tea rituals are often run as part of corporate team-building — Hush @ Workplace offers companies, large and small, a new model to integrate employee wellness with community engagement.

Participants first learn four key phrases in sign language (Thank you | Sorry | Please forgive me |I love you), read a card of inspiration ("Hush-it-on") authored by a previous "Husher," and select a type of tea ('Teamood") which mirrors the emotion — be it gratitude, courage or freedom — they would like to focus on during the tea reflection ritual. The silent ritual is followed by a sharing session and each participant then writes their own words of inspiration. Each "Husher" is also encouraged to create art using tea as a form of ink (!) and a medium to express what they have experienced during the reflection session.

Read the full article about the "silent tea bar" in Singapore by Trang Chu Minh at Causeartist.