Foreigners Enjoy the Spring Festival in China
Compared with the spring festivals before the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration in this year is quite different. Many Chinese people chose not to go back to hometown as people are encouraged to stay where they are and celebrate the Spring Festival, so did a group of foreigners who work in China.
Two foreigners shared their stories of how they have celebrated the Spring Festival.
Vikash Kumar Singh: I finished the translation of Qinqiang, and I like to be a messenger of cultural exchange between China and India
Vikash Kumar Singh
Coming from India, Vikash Kumar Singh has been living in China for more than ten years and speaks Chinese very fluently. He now works as a teacher of Hindi at Beijing Foreign Studies University.
Vikash had been translating Qinqiang, a critically acclaimed novel by Jia Pingwa, for almost two years. When the winter holiday began, Vikash had more time to work on the translation and managed to finish it before the Chinese new year.
As part of a Chinese and Indian literature translation and publication program supported by both governments, Vikash thought that the translation of literary works like Qinqiang into Indian languages would open a window for Indian people, through which they can have a better understanding of China.
"I would like to thank for the support from both governments for this program," said Vikash, "this is quite helpful for the mutual understanding of people from both countries."
Getting this long-lasting work done, Vikash felt very relaxed.
A lot of people chose to stayed in Beijing for the Spring Festival, which made the city more lively. Shopping malls, cinemas and restaurants were quite full.
Vikash told the reporter that most of his friends also stayed in Beijing. They visited each other and talked about how they celebrate new year in their home country such as Indonesia and Bulgaria. And they felt it was also cool to stay in Beijing and enjoy the Spring Festival like this.
As a typical "Haidian District" parent who highly values children's education and future development, Vikash often actively interacts with the parents of his child's classmates. According to Vikash, they even conducted heated discussion on the topic of "helping children to get admitted to the primary school" during the holiday.
The cunning novel coronavirus has haunted people for almost one year. To contain COVID-19, people have been encouraged to stay where they are for the upcoming Spring Festival in China. "This is for the sake of personal and public safety." Vikash said, "If these are not considered, it will cause a lot of trouble."
Vikash also spoke to his family in India about his experience of the unique holiday by phone. Besides, he introduced the customs of celebrating the spring festival in detail.
Through the transnational dissemination of traditions and cultures, such as festivals and novels, Vikash deepened the mutual understanding of people from China and India with his profession. To some extent, he is becoming an "messenger of cultural exchange" in the new era.
Jose Roberto : The Cooperation Between China and Brazil Fighting Against COVID-19 Warms People's Heart
Jose Roberto, who has a nice Chinese name Fan Tianyang, is the science and technology counsellor at the Embassy of the Federation Republic of Brazil in Beijing. This is the first time that he celebrated the Spring Festival in China since he came to China in 2019.
Roberto enjoys walking around Ritan Park, near his working place. "China's anti-pandemic measures have been successful in reducing the number of cases," he said.
Roberto told Science and Technology Daily that he has spent the whole year of 2020 in China. He believes that Beijing now has a very high degree of urban economic activity because of the government's prompt response and effective measure. "I see changes happening in China every day." He noted. Although there are occasional COVID-19 cases emerging, the government can take timely measures and people observe the rules. As a result, people's daily life is getting back to normal gradually.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused trouble for the whole world. Roberto believes that people have to be patient, and keep on doing their own job well when the pandemic hits. "We also learned from the experience here. I mean the first control measures, the scientific articles that have been published in key magazines," Roberto said, regarding the fight against COVID-19, "at the very beginning, Brazil sent supplies here to China. We sent masks and then we received masks as well. This shows that we work together."
Roberto said: "I would emphasize the health agencies' collaboration as very effective under a difficult environment. "Sometimes we could not send or speed up all the supplies as fast as we wanted. The whole world had logistical limits at that time, but we did work together and that was a very good example of collaboration. And this is still ongoing."
Two of the main vaccines being used in Brazil depend on supplies made in China Roberto expressed his appreciation: "Thanks to this collaboration and other efforts, vaccines are available in Brazil and other countries."
When talking about his vision for 2021, Roberto noted, although the world is still suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, he has full confidence in the close communication between China and Brazil in the coming year.