Interview with Jenya Sanjeeva, Russia

la foto kopyaAs we all know, there are many varied cultures in the world but asian part is more different than the others. Thats why, to learn more about asian region, I made an interview with Jenya Sanjeeva. Jenya,34, is from asian part of russia, syberia, republic of buryatia. It is a small republic in russia where asian people live. She is a chinese proffesor. 10 years ago, she studied Chinese and Korean language. Actually she studied philology that includes language, history, culture, literature and everything about china and korea. She chose this major because china is one of the biggest countries in the world and also has a huge population. She chose not only language but also to know everything about china. She emphasize that Its very important to know their behaviors, mentality, culture to deal with the people living there. After she is graduated, she went to china to work as a chinese teacher in the public school.

Education is almost the most important thing in asian region. For many years, education has being affective on people lives and life styles. Asian people have strict point of view about instruction. That’s why I asked to Jenya how she would describe chinese and russian education policy. She said “I can compare china and Russian education system that is quite different from others. Russian educational system is considered the best in the world. Its not just because of the quality of education but also they evaluate it as an obligation. Also, Chinese teachers are too strict about their students. What Chinese teachers were doing in the ancient time, beating students when they make mistakes. They keep doing this right now too. When students don’t do their homework and come to school, they punish them. “ As she said, education is really hard in Asian region. It’s challenging for students and families who try to back them up. Most of the families don’t accept failure so they make extreme pressure on their children. She added  “Chinese are very hard working people and they study a lot. Besides, education is expensive in Asia so parents cannot spend too much money on their children’s education.  That’s why; children have to take it seriously, do their best and pass all the exams in time.  There is no other option.  Moreover, china has a huge population.  There is a big competition between people.  If you don’t study well and be prepared for your job then someone else will take your place easily.” Obviously, education put people in a formidable situation.  Most of the people leave from their region because they don’t want to continue their lives in difficult standarts.  Jenya came here 5 years ago. She thinks that coming to spain was kind of remedy for her.  Jenya said she came here to increase her knowledge about Spain and Spanish. She thinks that languages are very important but the more significant thing is being aware of the mentality, culture and behaviors about that country.  Also, she wanted to teach Chinese and Chinese culture to the European people.  Because it’s quite different from the rest of the world.  She added “If you want to deal with Chinese people you will need to know about the form of the culture.”

As she said before, she speaks many languages which are; Chinese, Russian, Korean, English and Spanish. Being able to know many languages helps us to communicate with people all around the world. It provides  us to understand other people’s point of view.  I asked Jenya’s opinion about that. She said “Obviously, it better to speak another language. That makes everything easier to communicate with people, to understand them.  When you speak somebody else’s language, the person’s attitudes towards you are pretty disparate.  That means that you know about his or her country and culture. People are more interested to talking to you. “

Well she is absolutely right, the more we know about the languages, the better communication facilities we have. Communication and media  are very important. But, in most of the countries, there is media censorship. Therefore, we talked about media in asian region.  Jenya said “ Of course there are some topics forbidden to write about. Chinese are very traditional people. Everything on the televisions or newspapers has connection about the traditions. If something against to their traditions, they don’t allow television channels to broadcast it. In Russia, alcohol is forbidden to publish on televisions or newspapers. Also, there is a corruption in politics in Russia so it is not allowed to broadcast too much information about politics. If people are protesting the government or trying to support the idea that they want, government doesn’t allow the newspapers or televisions to talk about that. Because government has the power and money, it directs the media as it happens all over the world.”

Finally we talked about cultural differences between Asian region and Europe. “Asian culture is really different. People respect their traditions and live according to them.  If you have business with Asian people, it’s better for you to know about the traditions, holidays, what is welcome or not welcome when you meet with them. Otherwise, they are not willing to make business with you.  For example, it’s not appropriate to ask to Chinese people how many kids they have because only one child is allowed in china. Also, if you want to have another kid you have to pay a lot of money. That’s why it’s not proper to talk about that. Besides, Chinese people believe in superstition. Number 4 doesn’t exist in china. Also, unlike Europe, you cannot give alcohol or liquids as a gift. Because it means that, you wish to have fast and bad life for other person. ”  she said.

In conclusion, as a professor, Jenya recommended that except learning languages, reading more about everything, travelling, being open minded  would help us to improve ourselves in our fields.

Emine Topcu


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