Sysoeva Daria: I made lifelong friends in China |
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Sysoeva Daria: I made lifelong friends in China

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By Sysoeva Daria | | Updated: Jun 13, 2024

Sysoeva Daria [Russia]

Yunnan University

[Photo provided to]

I am Sysoeva Daria and I am an international student from Russia. I would like to share my story in China with you. It is China that became the place where my dream started.

All things in the world are brought together by fate. My encounter with China seems to be the prelude to the beginning of a story. I have been curious about China since I was a child, but at that time I knew very little about China.

A Russian writer once depicted China with his delicate strokes, and I completely fell in love with this dear, lovely and honourable country due to his introduction. In his works, Chinese nation is resilient, diligent and courageous which coincides with the character of the Russians. Despite the vastly different cultural backgrounds and traditions of the two countries, we all harbour the desire for a better life and strive for it with our own hands. As this writer said, "Love knows no boundaries. It crosses borders and cultural divides to bind us together."

Since then, I have developed a strong yearning for experiencing its unique charms. So, I firmly chose International Relations as my major at university, for it would open the door to China and give me the opportunity to further study the friendship between Russia and China.

In Sept 2023, I was honored to apply for the Chinese Government Scholarship due to my outstanding academic performance. Therefore, I was able to systematically explore the mysteries of Chinese language in Yunnan University. As Lao Tzu said, "A-thousand-mile journey begins with a single step." I steadfastly believe that everyone has his or her own path and starting point.

It was my first time to China and also my first step to learn Chinese language and culture at Yunnan University. At first, I confronted a lot of difficulties. For example, pronouncing and writing Chinese was a challenge I had never experienced before. Fortunately, I encountered many enthusiastic teachers and friendly students who not only patiently guided me to learn Chinese, but also helped me experience the richness of Chinese culture. They are the role models during my study times in China, and I am very grateful for their warm help and unwavering support.

I was looking forward to overcoming difficulties and gaining a deeper understanding of the Chinese language and culture at Yunnan University.

However, in my first month in China, I had to undergo an operation because of leg pain. During the process of medical treatment and surgery, I faced language communication barriers, self-care difficulties and psychological stress.

Fortunately, my teachers and friends from Yunnan University accompanied me to the hospital and helped me communicate with the doctor. The Chinese medical insurance company arranged a carer for me to take care of my post-operative life. My teachers and friends gave me meticulous care and help, which enabled me to complete the surgery and recover, as well as pacifying me with the loneliness and anxiety of being in a foreign country.

These experiences made me feel that I am not alone and that there are many people who are willing to help me, especially the teachers of Yunnan University and my Chinese friends. It is my first time coming to China, but I have already deeply felt the warmth and kindness of Chinese. The sense of happiness became so concrete and real at this moment.

Meanwhile, it demonstrates that we should care not only about ourselves, but also about everyone who needs help.

In the study room of Yunnan University, I fortunately made several Chinese friends: Jin Yu, Qi Qi and Ruo Na. Jin Yu and Ruona majored in literature, while Qiqi was devoted to the art of dance. As senior students, they industriously prepared for the upcoming Graduate School Entrance Exams every day.

First, I was deeply touched by their diligence and perseverance. They studied tirelessly from morning to night, immersing themselves in learning knowledge. The four of us were often the earliest to enter the study room and the latest to leave. For me, they not only demonstrated how to strive for excellence through hard works, but also taught me how to achieve my goals and dreams step by step with patience and adherence.

In the first term, we tasted the joy of growth together, supporting each other when tiding over difficulties. My Chinese friends encouraged me to keep learning Chinese idioms, which were as difficult for me to understand as a gobbledegook. But one day, Ruo Na said to me with smile, "Daria, do you know the Chinese idiom 爱屋及乌? I hope that you can learn it because it exactly expresses our love and acceptance for you." So, I was fascinated by these Chinese idioms full of wisdom.

What still remains fresh in my memory is that Qi Qi considerately invited me to spend the Spring Festival in her hometown, for she worried that I would be lonely staying at school during the winter vacation. It was my first time in the Chinese countryside, and the customs there were totally different from those in Russia. I realized that vast majority of Chinese people have profound affection for their hometowns, where they enjoy the happy time with their family.

Compared to the cities, the countryside serves as the warmest and most affectionate home, though it does not equip with various entertainment venues. There are four generations of Qi Qi's family, and all her family members treat others with generosity and hospitality. Her parents, in particular, took care of me as if I were their own child. Therefore, I can confidently say that I also have a warm home in China.

There are many countries in the world, but why do so many students choose to come to China for further study? It precisely manifests the charm of Chinese profound and unique traditional culture. The cultural treasures, such as Chinese films, books and paintings, have attracted the attention of countless young people. China, a peace-loving country, has constantly contributed to the prosperity and development of the world. It has led to mutual exchanges and solid friendship between the people of China and Russia. From my perspective, it is a vivid embodiment of the concept of ‘a community with a shared future for mankind’ advocated by China.

In the future, I am eager to keep learning Chinese, carry forward the spirit of helpfulness and contribute to the promotion of friendly relations between China and Russia. The precious memories of Yunnan University and my Chinese friends will be permanently engraved in my mind. Every moment I stayed in China should be cherished because it constitutes my joyful teenage years.

Yunnan University is the harbour where my dream sails. I will uphold the spirit of Yunnan University, "Wisdom From Many, and Justice For All". No matter where I go, I am always an indispensable part of Yunnan University!

The above content is provided by Yunnan University and only represents the author's views, not the stance of China Daily website.