中英对照版 2014年第2期 赖晗祺 2016-06-07
Chinese-English No.2 2014 Lai Hanqi2016-06-07
“To the south of the border and west of the sun”, the Menam River flows down from the northern highlands into the Gulf of Siam, and the wind blows eastward from the Andaman Sea, sending the tricolour national flag dancing among the many gold-topped temples in the Buddhist kingdom of Siam. I believe my connection with Thailand is fate. When I was a third-year university student, I spent three months with a group of Thai students. And now I’m in Thailand as a Hanban volunteer Chinese language teacher. To me this trip is more like “going back to Thailand”.
“Kanjingtou (‘look at the camera’),” said the airport immigration official in Chinese after checking my passport. This really surprised me. I never imgainedthat the Immigration Bureau staff working with entry procedures for nationals all over the world here would soon be my students at the Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University.
The Confucius Institute at Chulalongkorn University(CICU), proposed by Her Royal Highness Princess MahaChakriSirindhorn, was established jointly by two of the best universities in China and Thailand, namely Peking University and Chulalongkorn University, on March 26, 2007. The CICU has been awarded, on two occasions, the honorable title of Confucius Institute of the Year. After I arrived here, I found with honour that I was the second male volunteer Chinese language teacher since the establishment of the CICU.
The CICU has opened long-term Chinese classes in cooperation with some important departments of the Thai government, such as the Secretary Office of the Thai Royal Court, Immigration Bureau of Thailand, Law Office, etc., and this has become a trademark of the CICU. Soon after arriving I was given my first training class, as representatives from the Bangkok Post came to ask the CICU for Chinese classes, being familiar with the institute’s good reputation.
The Bangkok Post is the largest English newspaper in Thailand, and my students are editors and reporters there. Although it’s an English newspaper, the Bangkok Post has established a Chinese language training programme, due to millions of Chinese tourists coming to Thailand every year. JiYuhuan, a Thai reporter of Chinese descent attended almost every class and handed in every piece of homework during the two sessions of training. Even though she started from scratch, she now can speak about China in simple Chinese sentences. In her eyes, the meaning of learning Chinese is extraordinary; it is like a bridge linking not only the past, in which her ancestors sailed from Chaozhou to Thailand, but also the future,where the bond between China and Thailand becomes stronger.
One month after the opening of the Bangkok Post Chinese Class, I had lots of new students! I came again to the airport, and I brought with two big bags of Chinese textbooks instead of luggage this time.
There are 32 immigration officials from the Suvarnabhumi International Airport waiting for me. This class is one of the seven cooperated by theCICU and the Immigration Bureau of Thailand. Learning Chinese is very important for these officials, because every day they receive a large number of Chinese tourists. To help them communicate better in Chinese with Chinese tourists, before the class I selected some Chinese sentences which would be most likely used in their work, and let them practice dialogues that would occur in common situationsin class.
Now, whenever my Chinese friends come to the Suvarnabhumi International Airport, they tell me that when the Thai immigration officials check their passports, they put their hands together in a Buddhist greeting and bow, and instead of SawatdeeKrup they say “Ninhao, huanyingninlaiTaiguo”.