Sharing things

Kate and Ayanda: Sweet memories, cultural identity and friendships as family

October 07, 2021 The University of Edinburgh Season 5 Episode 1
Sharing things
Kate and Ayanda: Sweet memories, cultural identity and friendships as family
Show Notes Transcript

Season five of Sharing things is here! In our opening episode, guests Kate Stewart and Ayanda Ngobeni talk about sweet memories, cultural identity and friendships as family. There is also a slightly nervous guest host.

Host of season four of Sharing things, Kate, graduated in Applied Sport Science in 2018 from the University of Edinburgh. Kate currently works in the alumni engagement team within Development and Alumni at the University. You will often find her baking for friends and family, and looking after her beloved pets. 

Ayanda is the current host of season five of Sharing things and is a final year Law student at the University of Edinburgh. Throughout her studies, Ayanda has assumed a number of roles, including EUSA’s Black and Ethnic Minority Liberation Campaign Officer, as well as Microaggression and Cultural Sensitivity Intern the previous year. Ayanda is passionate about using the rule of law as a means of achieving social equality.

As usual we start with an object, but in season five we celebrate hidden corners and unexpected connections. Subscribe now for University of Edinburgh community exploration and really good chat.

You can find more information on the Sharing things website

Graphic images designed by Chris Behr. They are part of his Nice Things icon set.

[Theme music]

Kate  0:05  Hello and welcome to a new season of Sharing things. Over the next six episodes, we chat to members of our University community and discover the often hidden things that connect us. I'm Kate, a 2018 graduate and host of the season just passed. In this episode, I get to finally share my object and you get to meet Ayanda, a final year law student and your new conversational guide for Season Five. This episode is hosted by fellow podcast crew member Sonia. So whatever you're up to while listening, we hope you enjoy.

Sonia  0:39  Hello, and welcome to Sharing things. I'm Sonia, your temporary host. I'm usually behind the scenes and so this is a bit weird. It's great to be able to introduce two hosts to a special episode. So hi Kate, hi Ayanda. How you doing?

Ayanda  0:58  Hello, hello. Excited to be here and I'm good today.

Kate  1:03  Hello. Yeah, great to be here and lovely to have you as a host Sonia.

Sonia  1:07  Thank you, thank you very much. It's very exciting. Yeah, so are you, are you both in Edinburgh today or are you on your travels somewhere?

Kate  1:15  No travels at the moment. I am currently in my flat in Edinburgh.

Ayanda  1:20  Yeah, same I'm also in Edinburgh. No plans for travel as yet. In a very busy street. Yeah, a lot of drama happens here but that's a story for another day [laughs]. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the drama a little spice to life never hurt anyone [laughs].

[Theme music]

Sonia  1:46  So as the host of Season Four, I think we might kick off with Kate and ask her what she has brought to our virtual studio today and why you've brought it. 

Kate  1:59  So yes, from my virtual studio which is the spare bedroom, I have here-- I'm going to unfold it and you can probably hear that just now. It is a recipe, if you can see that-- there is-- the writing is very cursive and you probably can't read it very well. Um but this is a recipe for Scottish tablet and it was handwritten by my gran. I didn't choose it because of the specific recipe that it is, it's because it's something that we used to make with my gran, so me and my sister would go and visit my gran during like summer holidays and this is like the most exciting thing that we would do, would be like we get to make the tablet. It was just like so exciting. So I'll read a little bit of it just so you can get an idea and if you don't know what tablet is... 

Ayanda  2:49  I was going to ask, I don't know what it is. 

Kate  2:52  Yeah. Basically it's just pure sugar [laughter]. It is like the sweetest sweet ever it's-- yeah it's made up of sugar, butter, condensed milk and then you like stir it for ages and ages and then you let it harden and it kind of is like this crumbly texture. It's lovely but you really can't have a lot of it because you'll just like feel the sugar in your mouth [laughs]. So just to give you an idea of like the quantities in this: one and a quarter pounds of caster sugar [gasps]. Yeah, it makes your teeth itch just thinking about it. Half a pound of margarine, I'm like who uses margarine anymore but there you go. Um and like just actually looking at the recipe like I love the fact that it's got like these little scorch marks and everything on it. It's just I think it's so cool to look at like you can imagine it being in the archives or something. I'm like yeah my granny wrote this. So yeah, it's just it's really-- I don't have many objects that like I use on a daily basis that are like really special to me but when I look at this it just reminds me of like being with my gran and my sister in the summer and just baking together. 

Sonia  4:05  So would your gran let you eat the tablet afterwards?

Kate  4:09  Yes, very much so. Probably more than my parents would have liked me to. But yeah, she was very much just like have as much as you want and then we-- me and my sister would be you know on a sugar high and then we'd just crash. Maybe that's why she did it so that we would just sleep. 

Ayanda  4:28  Granny had a plan. 

Kate  4:30  Yes she did [laughter]. My Gran would-- she was so thoughtful and we would make like a huge batch of it. We'd cut it up into little squares and she would make like little, little bags and tie it with ribbon and then we could give it to our family members and things like that. It's just little touches. Now when I think back on it and now I do things like that when I you know I'm giving gifts, I'll make them and you know, put little ribbons and labels and things on them, it's like because my gran did it, which is why I do it now.

Sonia  5:00  So you said at the beginning, you said it didn't matter what the recipe was. I'm trying to think like, so it's-- it is specifically Scottish though, that they're the kind of Scottish tablet because it's not fudge right? So I'm coming at this from my English perspective, it's not fudge, it's tablet. If you make it yourself, is that a kind of cultural thing for you? I'm just kind of interested. 

Kate  5:25  Yeah, I think so and I think it's the fact that it's Scottish and also the fact that we're all making it together as well and because we have to stir it for hours we would all then take turns at doing it so it would be like okay, now it's - my sisters called Laura - now it's Laura's turn to stir the tablet and this kind of thing. So just yeah, I mean we could have been making I don't know shepherd's pie or something else and I think, I don't know if it would have been the same but yeah, I think it's the, the actual process of doing it and then afterwards you know, having this, this lovely product at the end to then give to our family members.

Sonia  5:26  Can you remember the room that you were in? And can you remember the pan and the spoon, like? 

Kate  5:58  It was always, so it was in my gran's-- I remember my gran's kitchen and this spoon that we used, I mean because the sugar gets so hot, like the spoon had this scorch mark on it and it was kind of like turning that golden brown and almost like wrinkling. I remember, yeah, I remember the spoon exactly and it's probably still sitting there in the drawer because my uncle now lives in my gran's house. And nothing's really changed about the house either so yeah, they'll still be the same utensils and pots that we used. My gran passed away a year and a half ago so it was pretty soon and it was also on my birthday which wasn't great, sorry to bring the mood down but I know that kind of just-- when-- it was my mum that gave me this actually because I don't ever remember looking at the recipe while we were making it because we were just listening to my gran and you know she was telling us how much we needed to measure out, things like that. So I don't, yeah ever remember seeing this while we were doing it. And then my mum was going through sort of things in the house when she died and my mum gave it to me, she said I know you love baking and my mum didn't know about us-- the process of us making the tablet because she wasn't there and so when she gave it to me it was really nice because she knew that it would mean a lot to me because you know I enjoy baking now. And yeah just when I was thinking about the object to bring and I have like a little box of things where I just keep you know tickets and things that mean a lot, this was the one that stood out for me because I hadn't looked at it for, for so long and yeah just brought back all those memories of me and my sister, and my gran. 

Sonia  7:50  So it's kind of capturing her? 

Kate  7:52  Yeah which seems strange, it's just a piece of paper that can then bring back all those memories [laughs]. 

Ayanda  7:59  I was gonna say that's just so beautiful, I almost caught myself getting a little emotional there. It's just really nice to hear that like you know you just have such a bond with your sister as well because you know I also have the same, but yeah. 

Kate  8:15  I think now as well, like my sister lives in Singapore so I haven't seen her for I think it's probably coming on two years now because of the pandemic and before that so it's been a long time and you know we speak over FaceTime all the time and things like that but it's just not the same. So especially now thinking about-- I mean we would do this anyway you know, now that my grans not here I think if we were together we would still do things like that, like you know bake something together and you know just go through that. And the last time I visited her in Singapore, we made like a Pavlova or something like that, it was something really simple but yeah, it's just spending that time with her that I really, really cherish. 

Sonia  8:58  I'm also interested in one of the things that I, I kind of treasure is a card which my gran had written on and it's actually, it's not the card, it's not the card that matters, it's the handwriting because it's the same, it's that cursive script you know that...

Kate  9:16  Yeah, it's so distinct and you know straight away like when you look at it you're like yes, I know whose handwriting this is because of the birthday cards and just even if it's a little to do list you would always be standing you know writing something before we went out to the shops. She'd be writing a little to do list or something like that. And it's that writing where you have to really stare at it sometimes to read it, so you would get a card and you're like ah nice, [whispers] what does this say?

Sonia  9:42  Yeah, and I was wondering that Ayanda, is there, is there things like with written stuff for you that you can kind of look at just the style of handwriting and think that's a person? 

Ayanda  9:53  Yeah, I think mine is slightly, slightly different. So I keep-- actually it's right on my desk. So, these little cards that I got when I left my previous school, the African Leadership Academy and at the end you get to do like a whole seminar of like your journey and so on. And you-- people get to like write little messages about how, you know what they wish for you or you know, how they feel about you. If you want to see this just like so many like messages, and there's so many like different handwriting's and some people didn't leave their names on it because they think it's going to be mysterious but I already know who it is and it's the message but it's also the writing because it's also a piece of them. It's just-- it just really makes you feel really warm inside when you read the message and you know you remember the memories and so on. So yeah, I really I hear that, definitely hear that, yeah. 

Sonia  10:48  Yeah, personality in script. 

[Theme music]

Sonia  10:56  What have you brought, brought to your virtual studio on a busy road in central Edinburgh? 

Ayanda  11:00  [Laughs]. Okay, so I brought along with me this cultural attire memento. So it is-- you can get it in different colours but it is red. And it is from the Swati culture, um, Swati and yeah, it's kind of like multi-coloured but the main colour is red. You can get it in different colours but this is the colour that I chose. And it is worn by unmarried women. So you know that's me [laughter]. So the reason why I chose this, it's-- it has very like high sentimental value to me. I think it really-- this, I bought this before I came to Edinburgh, came to university, I bought it with my mum like this one day, we just woke up, we're like, no, you need to go get like cultural attire, like proper, like, let's go get your cultural attire. Because I heard there's going to be Africa week here, so it's like, you know, you have to come up and show up and be proud of your culture and so on. So I remember that the day we were just like walking in the streets of Johannesburg just kind of looking around. And it was a very emotional day. But like, it wasn't like something that we both said my mother and I out loud. But you know, it had been us for a few years, just us, my sister moved out quite some time ago. And like, over the years, we have really developed a camaraderie, teamwork, confidant kind of relationship. And, yeah, it was kind of like a goodbye, kind of like, oh, you're, you're leaving the nest, and you know, you're going to bigger, better things, you know, furthering my future and so on. So this signifies that day, and just that moment of, you know, saying goodbye to home and leaving home. So yeah, it carries a lot of sentimental value. And I wear it like all the time whenever I get the opportunity, because it also signifies how proudly South African I am and so proud of my culture, because it is something that sets me apart. And it's, it forms a huge part of who I am. So yeah, it has like a double kind of meaning it reminds me of my identity, but at the same time, it carries such a special, special memory regarding my mum and kind of like the saying goodbye to South Africa, til' we meet again.

Sonia  13:28  So when you were, when you were choosing it when you're out on your shopping, shopping trip, what drew you to that? What drew you to that specific item?

Ayanda  13:39  Well, I like the colour, red, it's very like, hello, like, boom, out there. Look at me. And I think what drew me to this was just, its authenticity. It's like beaded by my people, it's created by my people. And it's just like the authenticity it has, and I just wanted something that would be as close to the cultural accuracy as possible. And I picked it and it-- yeah, that's why even like I highlighted it's for unmarried women, like, you know, I'm just kind of like really going into detail of who's supposed to wear it, who's not supposed to, what does it signify? So yeah, that's, that's what drew me to it, because I thought it was the most culturally accurate thing I could buy at the moment in that moment, and represent myself in the most accurate way when I do arrive here. But it's definitely something that's, you know, I thought about just to like, learn more about my culture and really go into it. Because when you're in your country, you never really feel the need to you know what I mean until you go out into the world. And you are different in the environment that you know, you just kind of got into and then you're like, wait, what does this mean? What does this really mean? What does being a South African mean? What does being a black African woman mean? You start to ask yourself all these questions around identity and so on. So I guess that's why I picked it. I just really wanted to connect to that side of my identity that I never really got to explore before.

Kate  15:14  Yeah, it's really yeah, it's really nice. And do you think-- have you worn it while you've been in South Africa? Or have you only worn it while you've been here?

Ayanda  15:22  Interesting question [laughter]. In South Africa, I can't--yeah, I think, yeah, I've worn it in South Africa. But that was because at the African Leadership Academy, I actually wore a different one. But it's something similar to this one, because this one I bought leaving South Africa. But at ALA, we also had to kind of have days where we wear our cultural attire. And that time, I didn't really go into detail, I was kind of like, I could just wear this skirt and, you know, beads on my wrist, [claps] and you know, that's fine. But I did wear it in South Africa. But I think when I wear it here, it carries so much more significance. Because at my previous school, I was around other Africans and cultural attire was just like normalised. So-- and we weren't that different from each other most of the time. But here, yeah, I've worn it here as well. But I will say I have worn it here more than I have back home.

Kate  16:21  Yeah, that's what I was going to ask if you kind of-- when you wear it here, if you feel differently to when you wear it when you're in South Africa.

Ayanda  16:30  Yeah, most definitely. I think here it's more of an identifier. I have more pride when I'm wearing it. Not that I don't have pride when I'm in South Africa. But, you know, we're pretty much similar. You know, there was no need to stand out and distinguish yourself and remain connected in some way. Because I don't want to forget who I am or wash down any part of my identity. That's why I'm also so hardcore in my accent, I will not lose my South African accent [laughs]. 

Sonia  17:01  Yeah, so which makes me think like, why is it important to you to stand out?

Ayanda  17:05  Because I do stand out. Because it's a fact. I think it's important for me to stand out and distinguish myself because that is who I am.

Sonia  17:17  So do you want people to ask questions about the-- about it, I suppose? 

Ayanda  17:22  Yeah, I would say curiosity definitely. Kind of also just to be like, I'm here, and I'm proud and this is my culture. Questions, socially, I'm not that much of like, come ask me anything [laughter]. Please, I'm not trying to send out that message. But again, I'm willing to have a conversation. You know, it depends on the day. But definitely, I, I think I wanted to spike some kind of curiosity, but it's less about what other people think and it's, it's more about me and how I connect to my identity and my culture and how I distinguish myself, and making sure I always remember where I come from. Because I think when you move countries, it's completely different cultures, completely different way of living. It's easy to forget who you are. And I think for me, that would be, that would be devastating. I don't want to forget who I am and where I come from. So that's why I keep this literally on my desk with me all the time.

[Theme music]

Sonia  18:24  So Kate, I'm going to switch it to you. Do you see that we have cultural identifiers? Could you take something with you, and you would feel that you took your Scottishness?

Kate  18:36  I mean, like, on the surface it's not something that you would-- there wouldn't be like any identifiers to be like you know, I'm Scottish, you're English that kind of thing. But I think it comes more from as I Ayanda was saying, that kind of sense of pride that you have, but again, that's something that I don't think I've visibly show that whereas I am proud to be Scottish. But it's more kind of like I suppose in the things that I, maybe the food that I make or not in the clothes that I wear because I don't wear a kilt [laughter]. So yeah, I think that pride is probably one of the main things I would say. I always talk about the natural beauty of Scotland, that's something that I like absolutely love. I'm not great at climbing munros and hills, but it is something that I really enjoy. And just that-- actually someone asked me the other day, what do you love about Scotland and that was the first thing that came into my head was just the natural beauty and also the drinking water is fabulous in Scotland [laughs]. 

Ayanda  19:45  That was some shade [laughter]. 

Sonia  19:48  So where would you take Ayanda? 

Kate  19:50  I would definitely take Ayanda up North somewhere like into the highlands. There's places like Aviemore, we can drive through Glencoe, it's lovely there. I just, I always feel at peace when I'm up North in Scotland, in the highlands. Absolutely love it. The feeling of being out and also if you're in the hills as well, and you get to the top and you can just look out and it's just like this, this landscape. Yeah, it makes you feel really proud when you see it, your like, it's kind of overwhelming.

Sonia  20:21  And Ayanda, I suppose then Kate has taken you to Aviemore she's driven you through Glencoe. And then you take her to your home? Like where, where do you show Kate in South Africa? 

Ayanda  20:35  I don't know what it is. And you know, people expect me to like name some mountains or some, you know, I appreciate that scenery. But I grew up in Johannesburg and Johannesburg is known for its city lights in the evening. And I've really, there's something about just having a drive in the evening and maybe just standing at a mountain top while it gets dark, you know, that shift from day to that sunset. There's really something just so beautiful, about standing at the rooftop and just looking out onto the city and just seeing the city lights. That's something I would definitely like, want Kate to experience. I think it was just something so for me very beautiful. And it really just, I don't know it really, it makes me happy. That's what has always signified home to me because I did grow up in the city. I think I'd also take her to the Vaal River. I went there like a long, long time ago in high school. And I remember our camp instructor used to tell us like if you just swim like too far away, you're entering a different country [laughs]. Yeah, so it's like don't do that you don't have your passport with you. But the Vaal River has really like, there's something about it. When you enter the water-- when you, when you exit you have this kind of glow about you. It's, it's just known to be like the most amazing water ever. I don't know what's in it, but it does, it has some kind of like a spiritual significance I want to say. But yes, I would-- Vaal River definitely. And you know, then there's the nice sightseeing’s. I'd also go to Soweto on Vilakazi Street. So that's where the likes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu used to live. That street is the-- it's up and buzzing, it is literally the culture and the life of Johannesburg. We could go have lunch at one of the restaurants there. There's just so many things that are happening on that street. And I think it really just embodies South Africa-- well Johannesburg to be specific. So yeah, all those places are just more busy. And that's what I grew up around. It's just like more busy. I love, I love nature, but there's just something about city lights and the busyness of the street. People just kind of doing things, you get someone selling like clothes here, the next one is selling like biscuits over there. And it's just, there's a beauty in that kind of chaos. It's something that I'm very used to and I grew up around and I think there's a beauty to it, yeah. 

Kate  23:17  Ayanda, I need to go back to Johannesburg with you because I did go to Johannesburg, and didn't experience any of that [laughter]. 

Ayanda  23:24  Girl, I got you. 

Kate  23:26  Yeah, I think going somewhere where someone is, you know, it's their home and they can show you places that aren't on TripAdvisor or you know, places like-- that is, it makes such a difference. Because yeah, that just sounds incredible. I had a great time. But I just, yeah, I don't think I experienced it authentically while I was there.

[Theme music]

Sonia  23:49  I suppose I'm just going to loop back a little bit to the objects just, just to try and capture one more thing, which we didn't really touch on. We touched on a little bit. But it was the idea of family, which was, I just think it's really interesting that you both selected things that really kind of came from a place of family for you. So with your gran's recipe and choosing the headband with your mum, how important was it for you to select an object that was that kind of captured the idea of family?

Ayanda  24:24  Yeah, so I really-- I don't know, I think family is definitely those group of people that you kind of got stuck with when you were born [laughs]. That just love you unconditionally. It's, for me family signifies a safe space. People who will just always have your back. And it was so important for me to select something that relates to family because I'm so far away from them now for long periods of time, when for a good 21 years of my life, that's all I knew. So yes, family just signifies, you know who I am today, who I've grown up to be. And you know, those are the people you go through thick and thin with and people who know you most in the world. And I'm very fortunate and very lucky to have a family like that. And I miss them dearly. And same with-- when Kate was speaking about her sister earlier, it got me like a little emotional, because that's the similar bond that my sister and I have. You know, I guess my sense of humour definitely comes from her [laughs]. And yeah, we have like our own little, like, cute language, and so on. And I think it was very important to me to pick something that relates to family, I didn't even do it consciously. But now that I think about it, it was very important to me, because it just signifies a very strong tie of who I am today, who, you know-- it's just yeah, it's just gets me all mushy inside, you know, it's family, man [laughs]. 

Kate  26:04  Yeah, and when you said about the object that you chose, it was like, you weren't doing it consciously. That was the exact same for me, because, yeah, I was looking through all these different things that I'd collected tickets, etc. But this one, because it had that family connection, now kind of reflecting back on why I chose it, it's, yeah, your family are the people that know you best, I suppose. And I feel like I can just completely be myself around my family and thinking about the connection I have with my sister as well, you know, just like the inside jokes. And, you know, just, it's, I don't think I could have that with any other person. I don't think there's anyone that gets me as much as my sister gets me. Yeah, and I suppose I have quite a small family, I don't have any grandparents left. And I only have like three cousins. So I don't know if that makes a difference, that I feel closer because there's less of us. I don't know, Ayanda, do you have like quite a big family? 

Ayanda  27:04  So it really depends on which side of the family you're looking at. I think on my mom's side, it is just my mom, my sister, a few uncles and a few cousins. And it's a very tight, close knit family. And then my father's side of the family is the very, very, very big side of the family. But I grew up predominantly on my mother's side. So I do come from that close tight knit family. And it's just been my mom, my sister and I just growing up so it's even like tighter, I actually have a picture of them, like could have--

Kate  27:36  Getting all the objects today. I love it.

Ayanda  27:40  So yeah, I think this was my seventh birthday. And it's a picture in a frame. So that would be me, that's my sister and my mom. I didn't even think I'd show that picture, Lord, thought I'd be sneaky and not reveal everything [laughs]. 

Sonia  27:55  Little bit behind the scenes there [laughter]. 

Ayanda  27:58  But yes, it's just, you know, as Kate said, those are the people that know you the most. 

Sonia  28:04  Has the idea of family changed over the last, like 18 months? 

Kate  28:10  I think I've realised just how much I rely on my family, I suppose, and not seeing them as often. And you whether-- because we've been, everyone's done the virtual quizzes and you know. It's, yeah, when you don't speak to, when I don't speak to like my mum and dad or my sister, you know, you start to notice it, and then getting off a call with them, and it just puts you in like a better mood. And I suppose relying on them in that sense, just to get on with your day and feel, feel normal, I suppose. Whereas I think if we were in normal circumstances, and we were seeing each other normally, you kind of don't think about it. But it is the small things now that I've yeah, definitely am appreciating.

Ayanda  29:01  Yes, my concept of family has definitely changed. But for me, it's had to change since I arrived here to study because, you know, you're essentially by yourself. Everyone who knows you is back home, your family support is back home. And I've had to kind of accept to the idea of a chosen family. And it's something that I really started to appreciate more, especially during, you know, the last 18 months due, due to the pandemic. Kind of like meeting new people that you know, don't know you from scratch, you don't-- because sometimes you might just wake up in a bad mood and then you don't need to explain it when you're with your family. It's like oh, she's not a morning person. But, you know they know, but with new people, you have to be like, 'I'm not a morning person, I'm sorry'. That's just it, you know, just a small example. I found that the idea of chosen family has definitely played more of a role in how I see family and kind of, you know, meeting new people and getting close to them and just having these people just accept you for who you are, and kind of letting your guards down slightly. And yeah, just you know, kind of having a new family because you know, you have to have people to, to, you know, you could rely on you can lean on and you know, have them do the same with you because you are very, very far away from home and you're far away from home for long periods of time. So the idea of chosen family has definitely played a very significant role for me since I arrived, but especially during the pandemic. 

Sonia  30:45  That's really interesting. I asked the question and I didn't think about chosen family at all because I'm not away from home and I'm with, in the same building as and yeah, I mean, that must be like so important for any, any student kind of studying abroad. Did people say that that's what you would be looking for? Is that something you knew you would have to develop? 

Ayanda  31:07  Not at all, not at all. I just thought I was gonna be here, just be in my room, study and say hi to people and go home [laughs]. Literally, you know, or have lunch sometimes and just go home because that's how I've always interacted with my friends. But then you start to realise that you need more than just a lunch you know what I mean? You need a family kind of setting you need friends, but you need a family kind of setting and I think maybe that's why I think with international students it's even more, more I wouldn't say essential and you know, but it does play a very big role into how your experience is as an international student. Friendships are more than just friendships they, they mean so much more, they carry so much more depth than you know, going to school 'hey, hi, how are you? Did you do that project? Okay', you know? It's more than that, it's, it's did you wake up well today or you know, have you eaten when they haven't seen you in a long time? You know, making sure that you're okay like your mom would sometimes you know, even on a night out making sure they get home safely you know. It's-- it carries so much more weight to it. I think that's why I think I cherished friendships a lot more than I did before. Because yeah, they become your chosen family.

Kate  32:31  I'm thinking now about like when I was at university and living in halls I didn't study abroad but, I mean, I lived in Fife and then came to Edinburgh so it's really not that far [laughs]. But then I remember worrying about how am I going to get on with people that I'm living with, this kind of thing. I graduated in 2018 and still speak to the people that I lived with, I speak to them every day. Again when you mentioned the chosen family kind of thing that is the first thing I thought of and yeah we've been on holiday together and are now planning holidays where we think oh yeah, we're gonna do that when we were like 40 years old. We're never gonna get to do it [laughs]. But they, they know you in a different way to your actual family they've seen you in a different light I suppose. Yeah, it's a different kind of relationship that you have with them, all the night so and yeah [laughter]. 

Ayanda  33:29  Oh the secrets they hold [laughter]. I just want to pick up on what Kate said, they do know you in a different light. I think with family you know they-- sometimes there's expectations and pressures that you need to live up to but your chosen family, you could properly just be yourself whether it means properly wilding or whatever it may be. Yeah, they know a different side to you and maybe you know, we're in the process of self discovery and building ourselves so they might know you a little differently to your family. And you know, that's even more importance placed on them because they do know all those secrets. But you know, they've kind of seen you grow from the person you were in 2018, for example, for me and the person that I am today. 

[Theme music]

Sonia  34:20  Each episode ends with a, with a final question, as we know, and the final question is, does a single word encapsulate your objects? 

Kate  34:33  The word that comes to mind when I think about this piece of paper, my object, is probably thankful. For different reasons because-- thankful that my gran wrote this down, yeah, I'm going to definitely make this again at some point. I'm thankful that my mum also gave it to me she, she, you know, it could have just easily been thrown out with other things because it is literally just an old scrap of paper. And just thankful for being able to keep those memories I had with my sister and my gran. Yeah, because this piece of paper now when I look at it, that is what I think about. So I'm very thankful for that. 

Sonia  35:14  That's a good word, thankful. And I don't actually think it's been selected before. Not that I have an encyclopaedic knowledge [laughter]. So Ayanda, how about you? 

Ayanda  35:26  [Exhales], you know, this is where the English language fails me.

Sonia  35:32  It doesn't, it doesn't have to be an English word. 

Ayanda  35:34  Okay, so I'll just, I'll just say it in my, my language - ekhaya. Ekhaya means home. And I mean home in every sense of the word that we have discussed today. That sense of safety, that sense of assurance, that safety of you know, I could let my hair down here, you know what I mean? That safety of you know, these people have my back. In every sense of the word of, you know, ekhaya, ekhaya. That's, that's what this, this object represents to me.

Sonia  36:13  We've also not had that word before [laughter]. It's really, I really like a word that kind of totally encapsulates home. Home now feels a bit limited.

Kate  36:29  Yes, that's very true. It's a very poetic words as well. It just sort of, like flows. I love it.

Sonia  36:35  Well, that's great. So thank you. Thank you so much, Kate and Ayanda for being part of this special episode, and it is a kind of a bridging episode, let's say between season four and season five. It was really nice to get to know you both a little bit better. And yeah, thank you so much. Hope you enjoyed it.

Kate  36:55  Lovely to be here and here's to a great season.

[Theme music]

Ayanda  37:04  Hey there, thanks for listening. You can subscribe to our channel on your favourite podcast platform, or check out our website to find out more about our guests. See you next time.

Kate  37:27  I hope you've enjoyed meeting members of our University of Edinburgh community. To connect with more join Platform One, our online meeting place for students, alumni and staff of the university. To find out more search Platform One Edinburgh. 

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