For those who don’t know me and for those who know me, one of my hobbies is foreign languages. I love foreign languages because I feel it’s beneficial for community living. If you have a friend who doesn’t know English or is learning English, its always an asset to know a second language. For example, f you have neighbours that speak Spanish and know very little English, it would be helpful for you to know Spanish in order to communicate with them.
When I was six years old, I moved to Wilson and Bathurst and I found my passion for foreign languages, specifically Russian language. I remember driving by a pawn shop that was called RCA Pyramid (Дом Быта Пирамида). It was a privately operated pawn shop/tailor by an old couple that immigrated from Russia. I remember asking my mom, “What is that language”? She answered, “It is Russian”. I asked her, “Why are there so many Russian signs”? She answered, “A lot of Russians moved here to Canada”. That was the first memory that I still treasure in addition to many others from my childhood. I see many Russian signs and I ask my dad what the Russian alphabet is called. He tells me it is called Cyrillic. I once asked him why Russian has a different alphabet than the typical European language. He told me that some Slovak languages have a different alphabet. I have been seeing so many Russian signs until I finally take part in learning the Russian language and alphabet. It was like decoding a secret message at first, and then it developed into a typical language that anyone can learn. I started going to Russian deli’s and gift shops and reading the signs. I delved into the Russian language once I enrolled in middle school. I started talking to Russian schoolmates and I gradually made some progress with some mistakes. A few kids did not understand me. Some kids did not want to speak Russian with me because they wanted to embrace the English language. I would go to some Russian stores and the employees weren’t as welcoming with me. But that was the whole part of the journey. Many people were amazed and willing to help me reach my goal. I was starting to read articles, watch films and read books and it was part of the process. I also had a tutor and she was also experienced with teaching kids with disabilities which was a bonus.
As I got older and entered high school, I lost pretty much all of my Russian and I kept practising on my own time out of school and in my neighbourhood. I practised with a couple Russian staff members and one of my teachers spoke Macedonian so she was also amazed and could relate. I never stopped learning Russian and being passionate about the Russian culture just because I went to high school with no Russian students. It stayed with me and I started noticing tremendous progress with grammar and reading during my senior years of high school. Facebook and social media also helped as I was following my Russian friends on social media. Russian will always stay with me until I die. I lived in a Russian community and I will always treasure it. I live in Richmond Hill now, so it’s even better. I can practise on a regular basis. If people aren’t so welcoming, that’s okay. I have other people and that’s great.
My message to you is, follow your passions that you are going to treasure for the rest of your life. You will always encounter people who don’t agree with your interests and don’t always support your hobby choices. Find other people who have similar passions as you and connect with them. Be positive. Don’t let your challenges and differences stop you from following your dreams. I wish you a good week.
Spread the love and happiness!