Friendship across borders and time

Publish: 1:18 PM, February 3, 2022

Sino Bangla Online Desk: I came from the Republic of Tuva, Russia. At present, I am studying at Northeast Normal University. I am a first-year post-graduate student majoring in Chinese international education.

What I would like to share is the story of a deep friendship building with a Chinese girl. This was my first beautiful encounter with China. That girl is my good friend, whose name is Lü Zhuoling.

We met in the autumn of 2013 when I had just come to Northeast Normal University as an exchange student. One night, a Russian student and I were chatting in the pavilion next to the dormitory. Two Chinese girls passed by and were very surprised to hear us talk in Russian. They asked us in blunt Russian “Are you from Russia?” We gave them a confirmative answer and thus we got to know each other.

After a conversation, I learned that they had studied Russian in the Foreign Language Department for two years. Other Russian students are shy and unsociable, so I am the only one who communicates with them often. We agreed to help each other with language learning. I taught them Russian and they taught us Chinese.

The exchanges of us were becoming more and more frequent. By and by, the teamwork led to friendship. Lü showed me a different China described in books and showed me many interesting places in the city, such as parks, big shopping malls, and small markets. I got into all these very much. I do like China and Changchun with their true looks. Later I met her mother, and she was quite glad that her daughter has a Russian friend, though I am not a tall guy with blonde hair and blue eyes.

The school had held many attractive activities. Many Russian students including me were very excited and wanted to participate. However, we occasionally had no idea where to sign up because our Chinese wasn’t good enough. Zhouling not only helped us to understand what was going on but also accompanied me to be on the sites as an audience or participant. Once, I even helped the students of the Russian Department to run an open class of Russian.

In the second year, I started to study on another campus but we kept in contact. In the golden autumn, the school conducted a big event, which the international students from Russia were encouraged to take part in. This event was named “Hope”. With the assistance of Zhuoling, I became one of the four hosts. Among us, two are from Russia and the other two from China.

This is an unforgettable experience and a valuable memory, which I will always remember in my deep heart. When I returned to Northeast Normal University a few years later, we met again and recalled, as if we had been around each other all the time. After I was back to Russia, we stay in touch on line to share fascinating things, photos and so on. Until now we still help and support each other. She has completed her master’s degree and works at a college.

Zhuoling revealed to me the sincerity of Chinese people, the rich and dynamic life in China, and the self-restraint in Chinese culture. She is a very kind girl and always ready to help others. I’m grateful to meet a friend like Zhuoling. I sincerely hope that our friendship would last forever. I would like to keep introducing her to the customs of Russia, just as she introduced me to China.

Unfortunately, when I planned to show her around Russia, the COVID-19 pandemic broke out and she had to cancel the visit plan. I hope for showing her Moscow, St. Petersburg and of course the natural scenery of my hometown Tuva. I wish she could come to Russia after the pandemic comes to an end. I will fulfill my promise and show her everything.

I wish all the foreigners studying in China could meet friends like Zhuoling so as to embrace friendship that will last even if they leave China. This is what I want to share, the beautiful encounter with China and the sincere friendship across borders and time.

This article is written by Sergek Oorzha, a Russian student studying at Northeast Normal University to China Daily.