Shared love of China receives just reward
Updated: 2011-11-04 07:59
By Tang Yue (China Daily)
More than 50 million foreigners exit or enter China a year, while another 5 million live in the country.
They come for different reasons, but most share an interest in Chinese culture.
Some love it so much they devote their lives to studying and promoting the culture, be their area of interest ancient architecture or ethnic languages.
Nine foreigners and two Chinese recently received the You Bring Charm to China awards for their contributions to the country. The honors were presented by Tianjin TV, Phoenix TV and United Nations Development Programme, China.
"I think we have all fallen in love with China, and it is the deep love that brings us together here," French photographer Yann Layma, who has trained his lens on China for 26 years, says.
"The beauty of China has already surprised us so much, and this is just another surprise."
He jokes that his favorite thing about China is the women, and he's still searching for a local wife.
American Richard Sears believes China's cultural charm lives in its written characters. He has studied Chinese etymology for more than 20 years and has established the world's only website on the subject.
"Many people in the world now study Chinese, but they don't know that every character has its own story," he says.
"Most Chinese people don't know it, either. So my website is now viewed not only by foreigners but also by a lot of Chinese. That is the biggest return for me."
The annual You Bring Charm to China award ceremony was inaugurated in 2009.
More than 100 recipients' stories have been chronicled by Tianjin TV's bilingual documentary China Right There since 2006. The documentary is also broadcast on the CCTV Documentary Channel.
(China Daily 11/04/2011 page20)