Thursday, October 23, 2008
A Turkish Culture Lesson
I just went over to my Turkish friends’ apartment to get a pie plate we had lent them. I didn’t want to just ask for the plate and leave, so I sat down and chatted with them for a little, half an hour and two cups of tea later, my friend mentioned the borrowed plate, but she said that in Turkey, the custom is to fill the plate with food before returning it, and she asked if she could return the plate later. How fun. I didn’t even mind that I didn’t complete my original intention of the visit. After chatting with my friends, I felt lighter; they helped relieve a lot of pressure that I had been placing on myself to learn Chinese well. I was telling them I was feeling overwhelmed with classes and sleeping very little. They said not to worry. If I didn’t learn it now, I will learn it in a month. They also said that learning the language will come with time. I felt encouraged. What a healthy way to view language learning. Not knowing all the Chinese characters in class is not really a just cause for self-criticism.