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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

My Chinese friend Ziyi/Moj prijatelj Kinez Ziyi

I started writing my blog sometime in the early spring of 2020 during the general lockdown in the UK, and the world in general, caused by Covid. My earliest articles were letters and poems to a man who won my heart even though he was and remains unavailable to me. That's why I decided to write to him the only way I could, through the Internet, and I shared my writing with my friends. One of those friends was my Chinese colleague Ziyi. Although Ziyi and I did not have a close relationship at the time, I sent him the link to my blog, and, to my surprise, he started regularly not only reading but also commenting on my articles. I was very moved by his understanding and empathy on a human level, which created a base for friendship. Unfortunately, in the summer of 2020, Ziyi's time in Cambridge came to an end, and he returned to China, more precisely to the city of Nanjing. There, Ziyi was waiting for a position as a professor at one of the universities. Ziyi did not leave for good, and his position at the University of Cambridge remained open at that time and remains so to this day.


When he was going to China two and a half years ago, moving not only himself but also his family, his wife, and two small children, he told me on his way out that unfortunately, he would no longer be able to follow my blog. Namely, there is no Google and no WhatsApp in China. But he added that he will return to Cambridge in a few months because his collaboration with the University of Cambridge will not end. However, the world entered the stages of lockdowns caused by the pandemic, and that is why Ziyi's return to Cambridge was postponed, once, twice, many times.


And finally, after two and a half years, Ziyi is here again for a short visit. As soon as we met in the cafe at the Department of Chemistry, where we are employed, I invited him to come to my house for dinner. I also invited my Croatian friend Mara to join us last night. Our dinner conversations touched on many topics, we talked a lot about cultural differences between countries, and about politics and history. Some information from the history of China that Ziyi explained helped us better understand the current situation in the world. For example, after the Second World War, China entered into a civil war between the nationalists and the communist party. The communist party, supported by the Soviet Union, won, and the nationalists, supported by America, fled to Taiwan. Today, both China and Taiwan believe that they must be one country, but Taiwan wants China to belong to them, and China believes that Taiwan should belong to China. This knowledge of China’s history helped me to better understand the current position of China in relation to Taiwan, but also in relation to Russia. The world is very complex, and this is not always obvious from the news we are exposed to in the countries where we live.

Our evening lasted until midnight. I enjoyed this time with Ziyi and Mara and I believe that we will meet again, somewhere.


Kristina

Sunday, January 29th, 2023




Moj prijatelj Kinez Ziyi


Počela sam pisati svoj blog negdje u rano proljeće 2020. u vrijeme opće blokade u UK, a i svijetu općenito, uzrokovane Covidom. Moji najraniji članci bili su pisma i pjesme pisane muškarcu koji je osvojio moje srce, iako mi je bio i ostao nedostupan. Zato sam odlučila da mu pišem na jedini način na koji sam mogla, putem interneta, a svoje sam pisanje podijelila i sa svojim prijateljima. Jedan od tih prijatelja bio je I moj kineski kolega Ziyi. Iako Ziyi i ja nismo tada imali blizak odnos poslala sam mu link svog bloga i on je, na moje iznenađenje, počeo redovito čitati i komentirati moje članke. Jako su me dirnuli njegovo razumijevanje i suosjećanje na jednom ljudskom nivou koji je stvorio bazu za prijateljstvo. Nažalost, u ljeto 2020 Ziyievo vrijeme u Cambridgu je isteklo i on se vratio u Kinu, točnije u grad Nanjing. Tamo je Ziya čekala pozicija profesora na jednom od Sveučilišta. Ziyi nije otišao konačno i njegova pozicija na Sveučilistu u Cambridgeu je tada ostala otvorena, a tako je do danas.

Kad je pred dvije i pol godine odlazio u Kinu, seleći ne samo sebe nego i svoju obitelj, suprugu i dvoje male djece, rekao mi je na odlasku da nažalost neće više moći pratiti moj blog. Naime, u Kini nema Googla i nema WhatsAppa. No, dodao je da će se za nekoliko mjerseci vratiti u Cambrtige jer njegova suradnja sa Sveučilištem u Cambridgeu neće prestati. Svijet je usao u česte faze blokada uzrokvanre pandemijom i zato se Ziyev povratak u Cambridge odgađao, jednom, dvaput, višestruko.

I konačno, nakon dvije i pol godine Ziyi je ponovo tu u kratkoj posjeti. Čim smo se sreli u kafiću na Odsjeku za kemiju na kojem smo zaposleni pozvala sam ga da dođe kod mene kući na večeru. Na večeri sinoć je bila i moja prijateljica Hrvatica Mara. U razgovoru uz večeru dotakli smo mnoge teme, pričali puno o kulturološkim razlikama među zemljama, o politici i povijesti. Neki podaci iz povijesti Kine koje nam je Ziyi objasnio pomogli su nam da bolje razumijemo trenutnu situaciju u Svijetu. Na primjer, nakon drugog svjetskog rata Kina je usla u građanski rat izmedju nacionalista i komunističke partije. Pobijedila je komunistička partija, potpomognuta Sovjetskim Savezom, a nacionalisti, potpomagani Amerkiom su izbjegli u Taiwan. Danas i Kina i Taiwan smataraju da moraju biti jedna zemlja, ali Taiwan želi da Kina pripadne pod njih, a Kina smatra da Taiwan treba pripasti njima. To saznanje o događanjima iz povijesti Kine su mi pomogle da bolje razumijem i trenutnu poziciju Kine u odnosu na Taiwan, ali i o odnosu prema Rusiji. Svijet je vrlo kompleksan, a to nije uvijek očito iz vijesti kojima smo izloženi u zemljama u kojima živimo.

Uživala sam u večeri sa Ziyem i Marom koja je završila oko ponoći, a vjerujem da ćemo se ponovo naći, negdje.


Kristina

Nedelja, 29. siječnja 2023.

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