“I’m from China of course. I came here in 2001 so I’ve been here about 18 years – almost 19.
I speak Mandarin, Russian, English… before coming to New Zealand I spent three years in Russia. After graduating from high school I went there for three years. When I was there I knew nothing and no one can speak Mandarin so I did a foundation course in Russian. I got just thrown into the environment. 100 % Russian. You just had to listen, and sometimes have to guess and listen to it; dictionary; and you know just learn from there. It was a really great experience I have to say.
So I came over here…and … basically started again from zero with English. Went into the language centre at Canterbury Uni, finished my foundation studies and did my degree in Psychology.
I like to know people; that’s why I did Psychology. How people behave, how people interact, how people think; that’s my interest.
When I first came to New Zealand I lived in homestays so made lots of friends very similar to me; they came here to study; friends from Thailand and different countries. The main thing in NZ is you make friends with all people, from all different cultural backgrounds.
I worked in Library Māori Services team as an information librarian cultural diversity for 1-2 years before coming to Tūranga as a floor
leader. That was my passion actually, to work in the community, to help people find out what they need and support them. I liked the challenges of meeting new people, making connections, finding the ways of how people connect to each other. Something like that keeps me going and learning; getting work done, make a difference – yeah that’s just my personality I guess.
Tūranga is like that for me too – the variety; things are happening all the time – this is the place!
I’m learning a bit of Te Reo; yeah a little bit, ka pai. To me, learning the language is an important part of connecting with the culture as a whole, it’s my philosophical approach.
Personally I enjoy making friends and connections. I’m not actual extravert but it’s self-fulfilling; you fill your inner requirements for connection and then get fed back to this energy yeah. That’s real.”