父母在, 不远游, 游必有方. Do not travel far, without good reason.

Tuesday May 22nd, 2012 by No Comments

Nina studying at Western Bank Library

This afternoon I got an email from Nina, which I think is important to share (thanks Nina for agreeing!):

‘I suddenly think about one saying in Chinese today in the middle of writing my essay, “父母在,不远游,游必有方。” It is an old and traditional Chinese saying, from Confucius, means while your parents are alive, one should not travel to distant places. If the travel is necessary, there should be a definite direction. Reminds me of the days when i’m a teenager, I insist to go far away when i grow up, i thought it is proud and independent to leave one’s hometown. But after ten month stay in UK, i kind of get the idea of this saying… and this passage is wrote by one of my friend on the website (douban: http://www.douban.com/note/215818011/), I commented as follows:  年少时总觉得要离家远远的才好。而如今,我深深地为自己当年任性喊出的就是为了离开他们也要自己努力出国而深深自责。父母在,不远游,游必有方。….just thought this sometimes can represent some Chinese student’s feelings…’

 

This is a really important time for students at the University, both domestic and international; as the semester is coming to an end, essays are being written and exams crammed for. I think especially for international students, thoughts of home are becoming more pronounced as the pressure grows and the University year is coming to an end. The students we’ve been working with have all been studying long hours in the library, some taking full advantage of the 24-hour access at the Information Commons, where I will spend some of tomorrow night/early morning.

In the meantime Dave and I have been taking this downtime to assess where we’re at, in addition to broadening our horizons on the project: last Friday I attended the insightful and inspiring symposium ‘Socially Engaged Practices Today’ led by the North East Photography Network, tonight we’ve watched ‘Waves’, a documentary film focusing on Chinese students in New Zealand, and we are arranging an interview with Darcy Holdorf, a young American photographer who has produced work on a similar subject. Our reflections on this recent research will be shared here over the next few days.

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