Sunday, 3 June 2012

Friends visiting

In 2010 I had the honour of hosting two students from the university at which I taught.  They came to Australia on their own and with the support of International TESOL College, and while they stayed with host families, I had them during the day from Monday to Friday.

It was fun and tiring.  There were so many adventures, and one which rather shocked me.  When teaching in China, we are given instructions not to discuss politics, and religion with the students.  Though there was one student who wore a t-shirt with a photo of the tank about to run over the student, whom I warned to take care.  Actually he disappeared.  Whether he was taken from the school, or his father (who knew his son's obsession with that dark time in China's history) took him from the school.  I don't know.

Still, when Rita and Mandy came to Australia I did not set out to tell them anything about Chinese history that we know.  However, one of the host mothers 'saw it as her duty to tell them about it', and showed the video of the massacre on the Internet.

One morning, not long after I picked them up, Rita asked me if I knew what happened at Tienanmen Square.  I stopped the car - somewhat in shock.  We spoke for a short while about it.  The girls were rather traumatised to learn about it, and shocked that in their own country the information would be hidden from them.  I think they started to learn, how information is censored in China.  Rita phoned her father in China, and asked him, and reluctantly he told her that he had heard it happened, but they just didn't talk about the past.

Later this one one of my other students will visit Australia.  I look forward to that experience.


1 comment:

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

It was a different type of lesson you gave that day.