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Wondrous Xinjiang: Russian teacher finds second home in Xinjiang

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-06-09 22:17
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Gulnara Tolmacheva from Russia teaches Russian at the China University of Petroleum-Beijing at Karamay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, April 28, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

URUMQI -- Gulnara Tolmacheva from Russia has settled down and realized her dream in Karamay, a Chinese city about 1,000 km away from her home in Novosibirsk.

Tolmacheva now teaches Russian at the China University of Petroleum-Beijing at Karamay, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Though having had an interest in the Chinese language and culture since she was young, the 46-year-old did not pay her first visit to China until 2009.

"In Urumqi, I saw different ethnic groups, bustling night markets, and restaurants serving various kinds of food," she said. Marveled by the vibrant and culturally diverse city, she chose to study Chinese in Urumqi in 2013.

Tolmacheva and her family moved to Karamay in 2019 after getting a job offer from the China University of Petroleum-Beijing at Karamay. Little did she know about the city except for its rich petrol resources at that time, but now she finds Karamay her second home.

During the epidemic, the companionship of her students and colleagues and the care from management personnel pacified her and made her feel at home.

"Every morning we would write a list of food we need, which would be delivered by evening," she recalled. "I told my parents that we have food, my work is going well, and my son is in good health."

Impressed by how things were going on in an orderly manner even in the trying time, Tolmacheva worked even harder to inspire her students. "Language environment is very important. So I tried my best to teach them Russian songs and organize short plays even during online courses," she said.

Tolmacheva also marveled at the way people of different ethnic groups are getting along in Xinjiang.

"Last year, I gave lectures to people in the petroleum industry," she said. "They're from different ethnic groups. All of them have good relationships, and all of them are working hard."

Having realized her dream of learning Chinese in Xinjiang, Tolmacheva is now ambitious about finishing her doctoral degree and is planning to compile some Russian textbooks. "I've realized my dream of studying Chinese, and I love my job."

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