Tuesday, 19 August 2008

A different take...

Day two of session B: Family/Relationships and Personalities day. I had the whole class draw out their family trees so they could get up and present what their family is like. One by one, each student went up to the front and described how many uncles, aunts, cousins, brothers and sisters they have, but things switched up and took a little turn when Sabrina stood up and started to tell us about her family. When telling us about her Grandfather that passed away a few years back, she nonchalantly mentioned that this Grandfather still lives with her and her family. I usually pass up little moments like this, assuming that something is getting lost in the translation and that she just used the wrong word and it had different connotations. But the other students were also confused by this statement. "What do you mean? He lives with you?" they asked. Without skipping a beat, Sabrina cheerfully smiled and told us, "yeah, he lives with us. He's a ghost. And when I see him, he's usually moving around like this," she says, rocking her hips in a circular motion and waving her arms around gently. My eyes, without a moment of hesitation, widened as far as they go. But I looked around and found no response from everyone else. They just gently nodded as if it was the social norm to have the ghost of their grandfather dancing around their house. In fact, one of my most hilarious students, Vivian, chimed in, in her adorable, loud but sweet voice, "Oh yeah, me too! My Grandmother's ghost visits us too! She's crazy!" Sabrina and Vivian just went back and forth, back and forth discussing their ghost-family-members, talking about how they both were vegetarians because of their religion but how God himself told Vivian's grandmother that it really was OK if she ate meat. But the others could not because God had not spoken to them. This little conversation between these girls just made me realize, that the cultural divide is so great, and it escapes no bounds...ghosts and all.
By the way, the picture is of my hilarious Sabrina...one of my personal favorite pictures of her!

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