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Shanghai Through Our Eyes: Simon Lichtenberg | Updated: 2021-04-14 18:58
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Simon Lichtenberg

The founder and CEO of furniture firm Trayton Group speaks such fluent Mandarin that those who only hear him speak could be forgiven for thinking that he is a native Chinese.

But Simon Lichtenberg, who has been living in Shanghai for the past 34 years, is from Denmark.

The Dane showed off his exceptional grasp of the language in a video that is part of the "Shanghai Through Our Eyes" video series that was produced by Xinmin Evening News to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China this year.

The Information Office of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government launched the series on April 8.

Driven by his desire to see the world, the Dane traveled to Shanghai in 1987 where he studied Chinese at the prestigious Fudan University.

"I wanted to study the most difficult, most spoken language in the world. That's why I chose Chinese," said Lichtenberg in the video.

Lichtenberg, who was born to a Jewish father, also shared about his connection to the city by virtue of the fact Shanghai was formerly a place of refuge for many Jews during World War II. Fascinated by his adopted home's connection with Jews, the Dane has brought his son to the Shanghai Jewish Refugees Museum several times to learn more about this chapter of history.

Another aspect of Shanghai that Lichtenberg is fascinated by is its rapid development over the decades. In the video, he compares the Shanghai he knew 34 years ago to the modern metropolis it is today, saying that "the heartbeat of Shanghai, or the rhythm of Shanghai, has been enriched a lot" since he first arrived.

Jin Xinyi contributed to this story

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