Role as a mediator
1. How do you feel becoming a member of the Mediation Committee?
- It was something unbelievable, yet wonderful when I first heard this news. It’s really an honor to serve the foreigners and the people of Hangzhou and bridge a gap between them. I have always wanted to serve the people, and finally the government of Hangzhou gave me this lovely opportunity and I embrace it will full love and cooperation.
2. Why do you want to join the Committee?
- Well, I have two main reasons. To start with the first one - As you all know that Hangzhou is becoming more and more international and people from all over the world are pouring in, either on a tour or for business or even to work and settle here. The biggest obstacle any non-Chinese would face is the language, and then the culture barrier. Such hurdles might lead to dissatisfactions and even trigger conflicts. So, I believe I could be some sort of helping ray to mediate such uneasy and awkward situations that may arise. Well, I am not saying that I am a fluent speaker of Mandarin, but at least I have that capability to have a sort of communication to understand the seriousness of the situation and may make people be at ease and comfortable and hopefully to resolve the matter peacefully. And my second reason is – China has given a lot to me, in terms of building and shaping my career and my life to an extent making it really worthwhile, and so it’s also my responsibility to give something back to this supportive country in some way or the other. So, finally I got this chance to do something for this lovely country, hence joined this committee.
3. What do you think is the difference between a mediator's job and a teacher？
- This new task that I have undertaken is actually quite similar to teaching. The imperative role of any teacher would be to teach a subject so that the student finally gets a grasp of its complexities and inculcate a proper attitude towards life. The same lies for a mediator. Here the students are the foreigners and native people living together in a mixed society and the subject is the culture and communication. The idea is that mediator must show patience to make people of both sides understand the intricacies of culture and the situation well and therefore behave in a certain manner that befits the life and people living here in China.
4. What is the biggest impact on you as a teacher?
- It left an incredible footprint in my life. Not only this job gave me a direction in life, but it also developed my mindset in a more matured and responsible way. Patience and persistence are the two virtues that made me grow stronger psychologically. So I believe a mediator also needs to have these two merits to make the city a vibrant site free of language and cultural hurdles. After all a mediator is also a teacher, teaching the people what is right and what is wrong.