Myanmar teacher's one-year romance with Kunming

Daw Khin Moe Moe [Photo/ Tracy]

[InKunming--Interview & Polls]  Summer vacation has begun in universities of China, including Yunnan University of Nationalities. As most of the students went back home, schoolyard of Yunnan University of Nationalities is extraordinarily quiet and peaceful. Daw Khin Moe Moe, a Myanmarese teacher of Yunnan University of Nationalities, also packs up her luggage, waiting for going back to Myanmar.

Daw Khin Moe Moe, tall and amiable, 52-year-old, has had 30 years' teaching experience. She came to Yunnan University of Nationalities in July 2014, to teach Myanmar language in one year's expiration.

Beijing and Kunming are the most attractive cities in China to Daw Khin Moe Moe. When hearing the news that Myanmarese government was selecting exchange teachers to teach Myanmarese language in Kunming, Daw Khin Moe Moe submitted application at once, and finally got designation after going through qualification requirement and examination.

It is the first time Daw Khin Moe Moe came to China. Kunming is also the first foreign city she went to. Before coming to Kunming, Daw Khin Moe Moe learned some basic Mandarin expressions from teachers of Rangoon University of Foreign Languages, and once felt proud of it. However, after her arrival at Kunming, she found herself cannot understand any word.

With great confusion, Daw Khin Moe Moe specially went to a supermarket to listen to local people's spoken words, and found herself really understand no word at all. A long time later, a friend of hers explained that many local people do not speak Mandarin but dialects in daily life. By now, she can only express “Thank You” and “Hello” in Mandarin.

Even though having language barrier, Daw Khin Moe Moe said she quite adapted to life here. One day in last winter, it snowed lightly in Kunming. It was the first time for Daw Khin Moe Moe to see a snow. Feeling cold yet excited, she took a lot of photos with her students, and uploaded those photos on her Wechat account.

Daw Khin Moe Moe is an out-and-out indoorswoman. She enjoys reading and writing during free time. Yunnan University of Nationalities has a library that collects most of Myanmarese books in China, which made Daw Khin Moe Moe feel great satisfaction. She was used to borrowing seven or eight books every time and reading them in a month.

Besides reading and teaching, Daw Khin Moe Moe accompanied by her students also visited many places in the city, such as Kunming Zoo, Cuihu Park, Nanping Street, etc.

Last month, Daw Khin Moe Moe and her friends went to climb the West Mountain, a famous scenic spot in Kunming. As she wore a pair of slippers and stairs were slippery, she fell down from stairs, fractured her left hand. Until now, her left hand is still tumid and has to be cured by medicinal ointment every day.

Because of injury, Daw Khin Moe Moe has to go back to Myanmar with a wounded left hand and a luggage of traditional Chinese medicine. “I would like to regard this experience as a special ‘gift' from Kunming.” Daw Khin Moe Moe told InKunming reporter with a smile.

In the past one year, Daw Khin Moe Moe mainly taught Myanmar language and culture to around 200 students in Yunnan University of Nationalities. In Daw Khin Moe Moe's heart, these 200 students are her friends. These friends make her feel reluctant to leave Kunming.

Daw Khin Moe Moe taught them knowledge, and they helped Daw Khin Moe Moe settle language barrier when she bought vegetables, went shopping and so on in return. Especially after her injury, these students even packed up luggage for her.

Because of these students who let Daw Khin Moe Moe feel like being in a big family and do not feel alone in Kunming, relationship between Daw Khin Moe Moe and her students are so deep and intimate that all of them feel depressed to face farewell.

Tun Tun, a sophomore student of Department of Myanmar Language in Yunnan University of Nationalities, is full of appreciation when talking about Daw Khin Moe Moe. “She is a teacher of great patience and kindness. I still remember the scene she taught me Myanmar language word by word, and I can still recall the words she encouraged me when I dared not speak Myanmar language.”

“Short but substantial, my life in Kunming is full of happiness,” Daw Khin Moe Moe said. She is about to leave Kunming and return to Myanmar a few days later. On her face, InKunming reporter found a feeling of being left out.

Good news is that many students of Daw Khin Moe Moe are going to study in Myanmar as exchange students next year or the year after next year. They might see each other again in Myanmar at that time.

“I hope I could visit Beijing if there is a chance. Certainly, I will come back to Kunming in the future. ” Daw Khin Moe Moe said in the end of InKunming reporter's interview.

Click here to view Chinese report.

(Editors: Tracy, Cathy Chen)

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