The Joy of Hearing/Listening to the Russian Language

Today, I would love to share with you a unique story of one meeting in Cowichan Bay three years ago. It’s a story of how the sound of Russian language brought me together with a newfound friend and soulmate, Dr. P. Also, it’s beautiful story of human connection transcending cultural and linguistic barriers.

“In the Spring of 2021, I was walking on the track past Hecate Park to find a bench and have my packed lunch. There, under a tree was a stunningly beautiful young woman with a stroller. She was talking on a mobile phone. I walked back and forth to retrieve an item from my car. I did not engage with the young woman. Then I heard a beautiful sound, a language, which I recognized after listening for a few seconds. I knew then that I could approach this seemingly formidable, gorgeous creature and engage. 
This language had transported me thousands of miles away to a foreign land. There, I did not speak the language. The traditions, cultural practices, food and climate were dramatically different to what/where I was coming from. I was going to be for several months and was not nervous… until I arrived and realized the enormity of the differences in the political, social and cultural systems.
Very soon, I was rescued by the kindest, warmest, most generous humans I had encountered in all my travels. By this time, I had visited twenty – eight countries (not as an accidental tourist) and lived in four different economic/educational and cultural systems.
Here in this very foreign land, working class women who were custodians in a hotel, or staff in a University shared their food with me. These were not lavish meals. Half a boiled egg, a piece of pickled fish, half a tomato, some sweet biscuits, tea etc. They brought produce from their own storage and cooked fish caught fresh by their male people.
We engaged in that wonderful language for five months without using a translation app. The warmth of friendship forged in hardship. The kindness of humans in a seemingly hostile land. We spoke with our bodies. Hands. Heads. Neck. Eyes. Lips. Smiles. Gestures. Gesticulations. Simple forms of the human language of need and response. A brown woman in an all – white land rescued by angels. 
Russian women and University students speaking the beautiful Russian Language, in a former USSR country, changed my views of humanity forever. Seven years later, we now use a translation app to stay in touch. Sisters bonded in a foreign language in Kazakhstan.  
On that chilly Spring Day in 2021 when I heard Dr. Galina Sanaeva speaking softly in Russian, I didn’t even know how much I had longed to hear that language. I was no longer intimidated by her beauty  and youth. She was a Russian woman speaking the Russian Language. Despite her beauty and impressive academic pedigree: a warm hearted, kind and generous human as those Russian working class women far, far away. And a very formidable intellectual.”

Dr. P: North Cowichan

2 thoughts on “The Joy of Hearing/Listening to the Russian Language”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart