From Russia with love: Russian girl's journey to China
For Anastasia Sukhoretskaya, a Russian girl with a high aptitude for languages, Chinese was a difficult challenge. But it was also the study of Chinese that gave her the opportunity to arrive in China and to meet and fall in love with China, which, in her words, was "Yuanfen"(fate).
Anastasia thought studying Chinese in Russia was incomplete if one could not engage in the local culture. In order to upgrade her Chinese, Anastasia decided to study in Beijing for six months in 2009, which was also when she first came to China. However, back then she could not imagine that half-year study in China would totally change her life.
Before she came to China in 2009, her knowledge of China was scarce and limited. When Anastasia first came to China, she was fascinated by the country from the first sight. "It really seemed like another planet for me," she said. "I was very happy; I discovered that Chinese people were very friendly and very helpful." After she completed her bachelor's degree in Russia, Anastasia decided to come to Beijing again for her further Chinese study, and she has been here now for seven years.
At present, Anastasia is studying for a master's degree in International Journalism at Communication University of China. Her excellent Chinese language skill has enabled her to adapt to not only the learning environment taught in Chinese, but also the constantly changing China with ease.
In her seven years of living in Beijing, Anastasia has been most impressed by China's scientific and technological progress. She mentioned WeChat, an indispensable social tool in Chinese people's daily life. "We can use WeChat for pretty much everything, for example, buying something in the markets or paying with WeChat even if you go abroad." In addition, she is also impressed by the unmanned stores in China, in which customers can finish shopping through facial recognition and Alipay scanning payment function, high-efficiency and convenience. "We are witnessing the changes almost every single day!" she said.
Besides changes Anastasia felt in China's technology, one of the major changes she emphasized was Belt and Road Initiative. "It is a project that literally leaves no one behind, and countries either take part in it, or talk, discuss and analyze it," she said. "It is expanding with more countries and continents taking part in. I am happy that Russia is one of those agreed to walk hand in hand with other countries along the Belt and Road."
Anastasia thinks that China's continuous changes and development in recent years are inseparable from its reform and opening-up policy. "I think China is doing really good with its reform and opening-up policy because it is improving not only people's lives here inside of China, but also people's lives outside," she said.
After having lived here for 7 years, Anastasia thinks she does not consider China as a foreign country anymore. Her impression on China actually changed for the better. "It is hard to leave it seeing so many cool things happening here that I can also be a part of," she said. "It makes me want to stay here."