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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Opinion
Discovering China
    2017-September-4  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Maria Paula Villanueva

pauvillanueva@hotmail.com

WE arrived in Shenzhen in August 2012, during the spring of the tropics, my husband, my two young daughters and me.

We are a nomadic family. We have lived in Argentina, Italy and now China.

It was never easy to decide where to emigrate!

We come from Sicily, the great island of the Italian Mediterranean, with its ancient houses and their glorious villas hidden along the paths of cacti and flowers. We lived in a small village, on the shores of the blue sea, calm and transparent. We had a house by the Etna hills.

Europe was in a crisis and it was imperative to make a serious decision: where should we go?

We sent CVs all over the world and received offers mainly from the Middle East and China.

Our youngest daughter, Sol, had always been fascinated by the Eastern World. When she was a child we called her our “Little Mulan,” and probably by her influence one day we found ourselves saying: If we have to go to a strange place, let’s go to the strangest place of all: China.

When I was little, in Argentina, the elders used to tell me that if I dug a very deep hole on the beach I would get to China, because one of the positive things for an Argentine who comes to live here is he can’t go any farther. We are on the other side of the world. Every road we take from here will only bring us closer to our home.

Shenzhen dazzled us: here the millenary tradition coexists with the most incredible modernity. Everything is light, haste, growth and development. Here there are also temples, incense, fountains with goldfish and relaxing waterfalls. Here people are afraid of the sun, they are all very thin and seem to be forever young. When we arrived we did not understand the language, nor understood what was sold in the markets. It was like being blind.

We came from a culture that loves tanning, that eats beef every day, that loves French perfumes, that suffers the heat and the humidity, where dinner is eaten at 9 or 10 at night; Where we all gather around to play soccer and to drink “mate” (typical Argentinean herbal drink), where cinemas close at 2 a.m. and bars are open all night.

I still do not speak Chinese, but I can get in a taxi and get to my house, bargain at the Luohu fair, and understand which fruits are in the market. But all those details are, in fact, insignificant.

China is found in the grandparents who play in the parks with their grandchildren, every day. And it is found in the image of infinite kites flying at sunset and in so many children filling each space with life, and the smile of a saleswoman who laughs at my bad pronunciation, but helps me in all that she can. And China is in the lit lanterns at the festivals, and in the moon cakes that make me happy to deliver during Moon Festival, and in the red envelopes I prepare eagerly for the Chinese New Year.

I now feel like dancing with the women in the parks at night, and I would like to do tai chi in the middle of the garden when the sun rises like my neighbor, and I would like to play the erhu and that the calm of fountains and the aquatic flowers were part of my new essence.

China is our promised land, which opened its arms as my country did years ago to European immigrants. It is the place where our life goes and our future is forged. Our place in the world is not always the place where we were born, but the place that gave us what we dreamed of.

Here we live safely. Here we can develop ideas, grow and be valued in our work. Here we have opened our mind to another culture and we have grown intellectually. Here we sense the future with hope.

The Greek word “utopia” means horizon, and the horizon is not the impossible, but what drives us to walk.

China has been our most distant and most inspiring utopia!

(The author is a writer and Spanish language and literature professor from Argentina.)

 

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