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Qiaoyi, China/Northern Ireland

My Name is Qiaoyi. I am 35 years old. I’m originally from China. When I was living my home country actually I was a student at that time, studying in the uni(versity). Of course I did  some part time work, you know, part of a student’s life. Actually I left home for Ireland in 2004, so I did another course in the Republic of Ireland. So I got my degree in 2006. I think I moved up to Northern Ireland in 2008. The main purpose, actually it was for the job. It’s so hard for me to get a proper post in Ireland; I am a qualified musical therapist. So that’s main purpose that brings me to Northern Ireland. I really enjoy work, because I work with lots of children and vulnerable adults. I can see, you know, how much benefit they have got through musical therapy with me. So I really enjoy it helping other people. It’s great. It’s a really rewarding experience and job for me, as well. 

The object I’ve brought today- it is a piece of jade-kind-of item. It’s called Ruyi (如意) in Chinese. I think it initially came from the Buddhism philosophy. So back to hundreds (of) years ago when we still had emperors in China, the emperors used that to display those Ruyi objects in their palace. It is not necessarily made by jade. It could be made by ivory or wood. The main purpose of emperors doing that is to show his power and good fortune. It also has some meaning about… Ruyi can fulfill their wishes and can (help emperors) make good connection with people. It’s important to me because this piece of jade was bought by my mom. It was probably nearly 5 years ago when my mom bought that for me. It's kind of her way to send me her message, to hope me have good fortune, being empowered in my own life, fulfill my own wishes.