Sun-Bo (Cyril)

Sun-Bo (Cyril)

"At first, I never thought that the Russian language would change my life.”


Sun-Bo (Kirilla), a graduate of the theological faculty of PSTGU, came fr om China. She studied at the Faculty of Biology in Hangzhou, wh ere she began to study Russian.

Where did you come fr om and why did you decide to go to Russia? 
I came from Shijiazhuang, a city near Beijing. I wanted to go to Russia precisely for the sake of theological education.

How did you find out about our university?

Back then I was still studying in Hangzhou, a city not far from Shanghai. Shanghai has an Orthodox community, a priest and regular services. I made friends with the choir director of this community and learned about PSTGU from her

Why did you choose the Faculty of Theology?

What faculty has even more theological education than this one?)))

Where and how did you manage to learn Russian?
At the University of Hangzhou. Back then I was studying at the Faculty of Biology, everyone had to choose 3 courses in a foreign language, two of which were necessarily in English, and the third course was optional. I was tired of learning English and wanted to choose some other language. I was a lover of opera and German Lieders, so I already knew a little bit of Italian and German. At that time, Russian was still a completely unknown area for me, but even then I knew that there were a bunch of great Russian musicians and Russian operas ... and therefore I chose a course in the Russian language. At first, I never thought that this language would change my life.

What did the years of study at our university give you?

If we talk about studying, then, of course, knowledge is both theological and religious studies. This knowledge shaped my understanding of Orthodoxy and all other religions; i.e. that all religions, including Orthodoxy are, first of all, social organizations that obey the rules of society.

Did the lectures at the university help to better understand Russian culture?

They helped. As religious scholars, we have studied a lot the theory of folklore and the state of different religions in Russia.

What is your favorite book about Russia and Russians (if any)?

If only about Russia and Russians in the narrow sense, then "The Historical Roots of a Fairy Tale" by V.Ya. Proppa.
If in a broader sense, i.e. about anything that was or is in Russia, the Typikon.

Did you feel comfortable among Orthodox youth?
The answer depends on what we are comparing it to. I am more comfortable with Orthodox youth than in a secular environment; but at the same time it is more convenient for me to be with the older generation.

This year you defended your thesis. Are you planning to stay in Russia?

Yes, I will continue to study in a master’s degree, or maybe in graduate school.

Are you planning to continue working in your specialty? Here or in China?

Religious studies are probably difficult. It is now even harder and harder in China to publish articles on religions. In Russia, as we were told, religious studies are also less and less important. So far, I think there’s going to be a job that’s not really a specialty, but somehow it has to be related to the specialty. As for wh ere to work, I don't know yet. But still, at least for the next two years, I don't need to think about it.

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