Another proverb I’ve run across lately as I’ve been poring over applications for the Muskie program is the Central Asian saying: “Studying is like digging a well with the needle.” I’m not sure what it really means except that education is highly prized and that it takes work. I need to find out more from language experts.
Here are a few more proverbs I came across in the applications from Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan.
“A foreign language is a weapon in the struggle of life.”
“He who doesn’t know a foreign language doesn’t know his own language.”
So much else I’ve gleaned from reading the project statements of these hard working individuals who want a chance to study in the U.S. in a M.A. degree program. Only a few will be chosen, many applicants have succeeded against all odds to get where they are today as English teachers, lawyers, policy makers, journalists or librarians. I’ve been looking at these five disciplines and I wish many of them could get this opportunity to study at our American universities. Turkmenistan has been especially behind the 8 ball, but I’ll write more on that later.
Much to know about Central Asia, it does seem like “digging a well with a needle.” Learning is never ending.