Nijiati Abudusalamu is a student from Xinjiang province, China who is currently pursuing his Masters Degree at the RUDN University. He is also the President of students from China at the university. Abudusalamu’s plans upon graduation is to continue his postgraduate studies and to teach at the Russian Language at the Central Universities for Nationalities in Beijing. In addition, Abudusalamu’s first Russian encounter was his experience as an exchange student in Voronezh.
In this interview, Abudusalamu will be sharing tips about the establishment of Russian-Chinese relations and reasons why it is difficult for Chinese to master the Russian language.
Why did you decide to study Russian?
My interest for the culture of other nationalities begin to grow when I was a technical student at school. True interest of a culture is the best way to learn a language and I realised that linguistics and the diversity of global culture is under my skin. Therefore, in 2012, I made the decision to pursue a degree in Russian and Central Asian languages at the Central University for Nationalities in Beijing. During my third year of study at the university, I got the chance to visit Russia and be a student of Voronezh University for a semester. From that day on, I devoted myself to the establishment of relations between China and Russia, and eventually applied to RUDN University to pursue a Masters Degree in 2016.
Now in my second year of study, my aim is to find means of improving the methods of teaching Russian language to my fellow Chinese back at home. At present, I am working on a research that looks into the creation of special computer apps and other technical gadgets. In Russia, you can often meet a Chinese who does not speak Russian. While they may understand the language in written text, it is hard for them to speak the language. Speaking is the hardest part in Russian language. Therefore, I hope to help them in overcoming this challenge.
You are the President of the Community of Chinese Students at RUDN. Is is considered to be one of the best student unions of the University. How did you succeed?
At present, there is a total of 534 people from China at the university, of which 20 to 30 are taking an active social stand. They are trying their best to be the best versions of themselves – portraying their culture, business capacity and prospects. Just like me, majority of the students either spend their free time on campus, work or pursue their interests like sports or dances. However, they are most welcome to join the team as well. I remembered how friendly everyone was at the student union and my predecessor believed in me – and hence, here I am, the President of the Community of Chinese students. My dream to help my compatriots came true.
What have you already managed to do as the President?
The greatest pride during my presidential term is the Russian-Chinese student competition. The idea was to unite Russians, Chinese and students of other nationalities. Our community have requested for the Embassy of China and RUDN University educators to help in the crafting of quizzes about Languages, Literature, History and Art; and this competition attracted high levels of interest.
The Great Finale of challenge saw a total of eight students vying for the title. They were divided into four groups with each consisting of a Chinese student; where they have to demonstrate special cross-cultural skills on stage.
Imagine a tall Russian guy singing a children song popular in China. That was something! This competition was a platform for dozens of students to become real friends. One of the winners of the contest – Ilya – is now renting an apartment with his Chinese friend. Examples like this are common here. And this is a true victory. A victory shown not in words, but in deeds.
What do you like most here in Russia?
Ecology and food are great! In China, the air is often polluted, and the food contain a lot of chemicals. I don’t even want to think how much I will miss Russian milk and juices in Beijing.
My other discovery about Russia is its multinational facets. Perhaps this is also the reason why RUDN University can unite citizens of 155 countries. Here, I realised that I am at the right place and can try my best chances. The university is the best place to be practicing my language skills.
I speak a total of eight languages and almost every day I improve them in practice – talking to classmates, neighbors, friends and passers-by.
What advice could you give to those who are going to come to Russia?
Just humble the idea that your family is far away. Start living your own way. The wondrous world awaits for you so let it become part of your new family.