Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ABC Wednesday: Y for Yakutia

Letter Y for Yakutia, a place I didn't know until I had this student in my ESOL school. She tells me she is from Russia, near to Siberia.



Elena was in our beginners class in the ESOL school where I volunteer on Wednesdays at Mt Albert Church. I didn't teach her as I taught the elementary class. I use non verbal communications during morning tea when I sip my cup of tea with her. Last year before school broke up, I offered to be her friend and not as a teacher as I can't understand Russian, and she was a very new student of English.

One day, her daughter asked if my offer still stands and I said yes. I arranged to meet with her after work today. I brought with me a little gift which my Chinese tradition called, " JIAN MIEN LI" a little gift for seeing you for the first time. It is indeed a little gift. When I gave it to her, she took it and told me that it is their custom to have a "Jian MIEN LI" as well.

So I took this photo to remember this simple exchange of friendship. I gave her a cheap pottery which I placed a few pieces of chocolate. She gave me a miniature Choroon, A kind of cup when on festivals are used to hold kymys of fermented horse milk.

With the translation of her daughter we got to tell each other our country and our families. Then I told her about my Andrew who had died.

The daughter said, in fact mum has 3 kids, the first one was a still born. We didn't have to talk, I touched my heart and then hers. We are both bereaved mums, our hearts are connected. I asked if she had a funeral for him, and she said no. She said, it's 34 years, but the heart still aches.

She served me Bliny, a Russian pan cake with stuffing of beef and mushroom. It was very delicious.

In the short time we were together, I got to know a lot about Yakutia, and we have similar fates of bereaved mums.

By 2012 Yakutia will be the native land of all Russian horses
Friday, 25 April 2008

ImageBy 2012 livestock of horses in Yakutia is going to be 80% of entire horses population in Russia - stated Roman Dmitriev, the head of Minselkhoz (the Ministry of Agriculture), on Monday at the conference with the President of the republic Vyacheslav Shtyrov.

According to him, since 2006, herd horse breeding, as the leading traditional branch of stock raising in the republic, is included in priority national project “Development of APK” and as a separate subsection - into the state development program of agriculture of Russian Federation during the years 2008-2012.
Last Updated ( Saturday, 27 February 2010 )

Elena showd me this horse whip which is used for ceremonial purposes.
The horse hair whip in Yakut (Sakha) called "deybiir" (pronounced as 'day-bee-r'). She also tells me that they rear a special breed of horse for their meat.


MadSnapper said...

ha ha on the lizard tail in the ear, but don't worry i will NOT be letting one get close to my ear.

EG CameraGirl said...

Sounds like you have made a very nice friend. :)

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Beautiful and touching story, Ann... Elena will always be a special friend to you... Your hearts touched one another! God Bless....

Kim, USA said...

Very touching post Ann. Thanks for sharing!

How‘s your Independence day celebration?

rainfield61 said...

I get to know Yakutia too.

And some other things.

Jama said...

You're such a good friend! It's interesting having friends from different corner of the world, with totally different cultures.

Francisca said...

That's a nice warm story, Ann. It's always heartwarming to share experiences and know for certain that we are all so much more alike than different. And I'd never heard of Yakutia or its horses, so I learned something this Y day.

[Re your comments on my posts: no, I am not at all a morning person, so I set the alarm to wake up for the sunrise. ;-) I'm not clear why you would want to wait for the fast train to go to China. (1) I prefer the slow train so I can see the countryside... part of the journey, as the cliche goes, and (2) wherever the fast train goes will likely not be so interesting to visit, big urban centers (except Lhasa, where I hope to go one day soon).]

Roger Owen Green said...

you had a wonderful experience.

my wife teached ESL!

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Meryl said...

What a heartwarming post. What a very special friendship from a simple gesture of welcome! A wonderful lesson for us all.

Carver said...

What a great post. I'd never heard of Yakutia.

Chubskulit Rose said...

Such interesting subject, all new to me!

My ABC, please come and see.

Wanda said...

Ann, what a beautiful and touching story. Friendship is anywhere you take time to get involved.

You must be so dearly loved by all your students.

Gigi Ann said...

Friendships are so great, and so nice to know you made a wonderful friend.

Unknown said...

Ann, thank you for such an informative blog on Yakutia and for telling us the tender story of how you and Elena touched each other's lives through similar sorrows.
Plus photos of the gifts and the bliny are wonderful.
Helen Mac

Rajesh said...

Wonderful beginning for a new friendship.

Kay L. Davies said...

A lovely story, Ann, and how wonderful for you to have a new friend. The exchange of gifts is a beautiful tradition.
— K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel