Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fr. Jojo Ancheril shares his experience in Macau and Hong Kong

A Macau Challenge…

Hundreds of thousands flock to the casinos but only very few go to the charitable institutions in Macau. If we are to experience the beauty of Macau we also need to visit our less fortunate brothers and sisters here, who are psychologically and physically challenged. What is my attitude to them and do I have time to be with them? Or am I too busy with the world around me? These are some of the questions I asked myself when Fr. Peter and I visited some charitable institutions in Macau.

and the Cantonese Challenge

When the Superior General appointed me to Macau he wrote to me, “The first and most important thing is to respect and love the people to whom you have been sent: appreciate their culture, learn their language, and share their joys and struggles.” With this in mind I began to learn Cantonese at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The language study in the Chinese University is something unique. We are 20 students from 13 countries and with different cultural backgrounds. It gives us ample opportunity to learn not only this different language, but also the culture and way of life of the Cantonese Chinese. It is really an enriching experience even as it helps us to be open to other culture and people.

Cantonese is quite difficult to learn, but also very interesting. We had a practical learning experience near a market this first week of October. We were divided into five groups and were asked to buy fruits worth US$3.00. Some of us spoke in Cantonese well and bought some fruits. Some were not precise with their pronunciation and tones, and were chased away from the shops. This experience taught us how important the pronunciation and tones in Cantonese are, which vary the meanings of the words.

Fr. Jojo started celebrating Mass in Cantonese on Claretian Mission Sunday, October 28, 2007. Congratulations, Jojo!

Meanwhile our veteran Fr. Peter Chao is attending a Chinese parish in Macau and celebrating the Mass in Mandarin… like a mustard seed we do our small part in building the Kingdom. And we can say that our community now covers Macau, Zhuhai (China) and Hong Kong.

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