There is a student in PetrSU who bears two names. One of them means ‘you are talented’, the other stands for ‘healthy, strong’. Why did this girl come to our city? What surprised her in the Russian students’ life? Chu Jingru, with her second Russian name Valentina, who pursues a Master’s Degree in philology, answers these questions.
- Jingru, please, tell us, where did you come from and why?
- I was born in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, where I spent my childhood. After leaving school I entered the Sichuan International Studies University, where I started learning the Russian language. One of the compulsory conditions for our specialty is studying abroad in a country where the studied language is spoken. That’s why three years ago I came to Petrozavodsk, Karelia, for the first time.
I studied for a year at the Faculty of Philology, then went back home to graduate from the university there. After that I took a Master’s level graduate course and with the help of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science educational program came back to PetrSU to complete my studies in Journalism. Within one year and a half I will obtain two Master Degrees, both Russian and Chinese.
- All these years ago, why did you choose the Russian language? Your university also allows its students to study English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Italian, and Indonesian?”
- I speak English; and my parents helped me to choose the second language. They said: “Now the relationship between our counties is strong, so studying Russian should be beneficial and promising.” I followed their advice.
- What problems did you face while studying the Russian language?
- At first it was very hard, but when I saw senior students making progress, I wanted to stand the pace. It seemed that if they can succeed, I can do that, too. That was a great motivation for me.
At the start, it was not clear to me why you say “Я вас люблю”, but “Вы меня любите”. It turned out that it depends on grammatical cases, which change the endings of the words. Besides, I still encounter difficulties with pronouncing Russian ‘r’. When there are multiple “r’s” in a word, as, for example, in a word “корректировка”, I cannot pronounce it right away, it turns into something funny…
- Do Russian students differ from the Chinese ones?
- Yes, they do. We live in different pace and time-schedule. It is quite common that students in China wake up at 6 a.m. and go to the library or to the lecture halls, as they are open 24/7. Till 11:30 students have lectures. After that they go to a dining-hall, then – to the dormitories to nap for 1.5-2 hours, from 14:30 there are lectures again, afterwards they go to the library again and come back home at 10 p.m.. As a rule, students go to bed before midnight. In comparison to Russian students our student life is boring: studies – library – meals – bed. When you have some free time, you can go for a walk.
- Has anything surprised you in our county?
- In China, a campus involves university buildings, as well as dormitories, a dining-hall, a library, a stadium. Everything is located in one place. It is like a little town. Here, everything is different. Moreover, in a Chinese student campus there is no kitchen and we are not allowed to cook, since all the meals are taken in the dining-halls.
It was also curious that you eat soup first, and then all the other food. In China we eat soup at the end of the meal. By the way, Chinese soups, unlike Russian, are not that rich and are more like broth. That is why we don’t eat soup, we drink it!
- As you have already mentioned, here the situation with student meals is different, so students have to cook for themselves. Do you like doing it? Or, probably, you have learnt to cook any of the Russian dishes?
- I am kind of slow at doing things, and cooking process can stretch for hours. That is why I try not to cook. Now I have breakfast just like the Russian students – corn flakes with milk or porridge, then I go for lunch to the dining-hall, and as for supper, I usually have something which doesn’t need to be cooked, like vegetables or fruits.
During my first time here, I learnt how to make Russian pancakes. Chinese pancakes are thick; they add onion in them, so it looks more like a pie. Russian pancakes are thin and petite, and also very tasty! The girls who were my roommates at that time taught and showed me how to cook them. I feel very grateful to them not only because of this, but also for taking care of me, looking after me and being patient with me explaining words I didn’t know, although they were not bound to do that. It was when that I realized that the Russian people are very kind and understanding.
- And why did you choose the Russian name Valentina for yourself?
- I like its meaning. I believe that health is the most important thing, since when you are healthy, you can achieve anything.
- What are your plans for the future?
- I’d like to either get civil service job or become a lecturer. To achieve that I need to pass exams, that is why I brought a textbook with me to study.
Let’s wish Jingru much success in her studies and may all her plans succeed!