I am in awe of anyone who can speak more than one language. I’ve struggled with French for as long as I can remember. One of my biggest regrets is that I’ve been unable to become a bilingual Canadian. Once, I sent an email in French to someone in Acadian Affairs, to thank them for something they did. They were so impressed with my writing abilities, they started to speak in French to me in the lunchroom. At that point, unable to reply, I had to sheepishly admit that I had asked someone from their own office to edit my words before I sent it. I was only trying to be respective and polite!
Que c’est embarrassant!
As far as I know, you speak English, Cantonese and Mandarin. You probably speak French, too. We’ve also chatted about your “other work” – the after-hours you’ve spent supporting the newcomers in your community, evenings and weekends, year after year. What had started as volunteer work to support Chinese international students during your degree at St. Mary’s has now become a major focal point in your life.
Upon my retirement, I bequeath to you, Jinbo, my one-of-a-kind hand-thrown vase. I purchased it at a NSCAD ceramic sale many years ago, and it has been in my office ever since. I love how it features a mix of cultural references, different voices, different patterns, diversity at its very best as seen by a young artist, whose background and future I can only imagine.