Thursday, February 25, 2010

New friends

We have a student from Yakutia, Russia in our beginners class in the ESOL school where I volunteer on Wednesdays at Mt Albert Church. I use non verbal communications during morning tea when I sip my cup of tea with her. Last year before school broke up, I offered to be her friend and not as a teacher as I can't understand Russian, and she was a very new student of English.

This Wednesday, her daughter asked if my offer still stands and I said yes. I arranged to meet with her after work today. I brought with me a little gift which my Chinese tradition called, " JIAN MIEN LI" a little gift for seeing you for the first time. It is indeed a little gift. When I gave it to her, she took it and told me that it is their custom to have a "Jian MIEN LI" as well.

So I took this photo to remember this simple exchange of friendship. I gave her a cheap pottery which I placed a few pieces of chocolate. She gave me a miniature Choroon, A kind of cup when on festivals are used to hold kymys of fermented horse milk.

With the translation of her daughter we got to tell each other our country and our families. Then I told her about my Andrew who had died.

The daughter said, in fact mum has 3 kids, the first one was a still born. We didn't have to talk, I touched my heart and then hers. We are both bereaved mums, our hearts are connected. I asked if she had a funeral for him, and she said no. She said, it's 34 years, but the heart still aches.

She served me Bliny, a Russian pan cake with stuffing of beef and mushroom. It was very delicious.

In the short time we were together, I got to know a lot about Yakutia, and we have similar fates of bereaved mums.


Dave said...

It was a nice thing that you did Ann. Perhaps your friendship will last, perhaps not, but you have shared emotional moments. That is worthwhile. - Dave

Ensurai said...

Hi it is always good to have Jian Mian Li....a little token is good is the thought that counts....Foochows do it too.