Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Circle of Life

      Today is September, 12th, the fourth day in field school. Even though I have been educated and practiced how to do field work in my hometown, China, everything in quidi vidi is so different for me. I believe that through these days’ exercises, I can do investigation and research more skilfully.
Atlantic Ocean Towards the View of Spear Shore

      This is my first time to do field work in a totally different situation. You know, I do research in Tibet or Inner Mongolia, I need translation actually, but I never feel uncertain like this. Because they are Asian and I have some familiar friends accompanying with me. However, in Quidi Vidi, it’s wholesome starting point and challenge to me. Meanwhile, I feel strong because all your dependable partners with me.

Sitting in landrock. Thanks to the shoot of generous John
      We take courses in Quidi Vidi Village Plantation. There are some handicraft shops upstairs. I learned some interesting handicraft technics in the interval of courses. For example, the smoked ceramics. Neither two pieces are same. One artist is learning how to carve ice in glass in Ireland…Too awesome. Another one is pattern copy in cloth by model and pigments. But it is not simple as it seen. Some patterns have different colors like grape and its leaves, so designer makes three layers of model to separate the process of copying. Many tourists take rest in the building and always wander these shops.
        This kind of commercial method is good model to China. China has two extreme handicraft markets. One is full of low-quality tourism products that camouflaging handicrafts. Another is only serves high-level market and normal people have not the chance to approach. Moreover, update of technics and self-improvement is not enough to Chinese craftsmen.  
        In morning’s class, we studied how to use professional methods to record interview, especially the recorder and microphone. I was hounded by the doubt of microphone from the day before yesterday. It's not micro I think. I ever cannot get the point that why we need use the big long stick to interfere our interviewees. But in the end of the class, I got that.
       In my own experiences, interviewee will feel tense and not natural even say something false when they meet the recorder or other equipment. Actually, there are two different types of interview. First, it is formal interview. You must take your best equipment and pursue best quality. I think this type is similar worldwide. But second type, informal one, shows some differences between Western and China. In China, many investigators do their research just by producing a simulated natural talking situation. But in Canada, even if a general talking, if you want to record, you cannot do that secretly. Jerry told me that you must acquire people’s permits when you record them! I think western field interview looked formal, honest and professional, Chinese style looked natural, friendly and no interference… In class, we were divided into 4 groups to imitate interview concentrating on a topic of first job’s experience. I found that microphone is essential actually. As an interviewer, I must speak louder so that the microphone can collect my voice; after that I will not influence the whole quality of records.
        One exciting thing happened to us occasionally was that we observed whole process of fishermen filleting cods. Cods are delicious, plus I grew up inland, this experience is fresh to me. First, Wade Blagdon showed us the whole process of filleting. Then, Johnny and Noel joined him. They filleted 300 pounds cods- their fishing accomplishments today. Johnny is very cool, he can fillet one fish just in 40 seconds. I think he may be the fastest one in village. So he had much time to show his leisure- smoking and drink cola- reflecting his skills. That is very interesting. Noel gifted me a toothed bone that getting out from cod’s head. It is hard like iron, they said… very precious. I picked up videos of whole process . Totally exciting experience to me.

Noel is filleting the cod from its backbone

|Johnny is sharpening the fillet knife

Wade is separating the skin and meat skillfully

 Enjoying leisure in labor- cool beer
         They only kept liver, lower jaw (very tasty), and the meat that scraped bones in bucket. The bones, head and visera all were thrown in lake directly. Something magic is that the head and bones connected very completely. It’s part of skills to fisherman. Specifically, there is a perfect biological chain in the process. When the fishermen throw out the useless parts of cod in the lake, you can find that so many sea gulls are waiting for to eat them… The circle of life conducts. So harmonious. Quidi vidi and its fishing economy are so expressive to me. I think I will learn more in the period of field school.

Sea gull  is rushing into water surface to eat the abandoned fish

I get it! Tasty!

Pro. Pocius & students are observing and communicating with fishermen
(All of the photos are captured  by Wang Xuan except the second one)

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