On Friday March 4th the first meeting of a new student initiative named “The Greedy Tongues” took place. “The Greedy Tongues” is a language club, which was created in order to teach fellow Yenching Academy and Peking University classmates about the various languages of the world and display the diverse background of the YCA.
The idea of having such a club belongs to Ani Grigoryan, a Yenching scholar from Armenia, who with the support of the academy and a fellow scholar from Italy, Nicola Angeli, put together the program in a very short period of time. Thanks to the cooperation with the PKU Student Union, the Western Students Union and the School of Foreign Languages, the first session drew a great deal of attention from both Yenching students and fellow friends from other departments of the University.
During the first meeting the students were introduced to the language of ChiShona, one of the main languages spoken in Zimbabwe. The presentation was delivered by Wadeisor Rukato, a Yenching Scholar graduated from the University of Cape Town. She taught everyone about the rich history of ChiShona language, its usage and various dialects in Zimbabwe and how much it is influenced by English, which is the official language of the nation-state. ChiShona, on the other hand, is the most widely learnt second or third language.
After a very informative overview, the students had a chance to learn some basic greetings, favorite words of Wadeisor and contemporary sayings (slang). Everyone was also introduced to one of the most important traditions of Shona people'“ folktale telling. It was great to hear the natural rhythm of the language, as Wadeisor was telling the popular tale about a rabbit and a baboon, and learn a bit more about the culture.
The presentation was followed by a Q&A session. The full classroom of interested students with curious questions was an evidence of a definite success. The "Greedy Tongues" are going to meet every second Friday, introducing a new language/dialect and culture each time. Everyone and anyone from both the Academy and the University are welcome to join and learn about the languages and cultures of the world, being both educated and entertained.
The next session of the club will be held on March 18th. For further information, please scan the QR code or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org