What links a German doctor, a Belgian musician, an Italian politician & a Dutch porcelain maker, among others? They’re building bridges between Europe & China
LONDON, ENGLAND, October 5, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — What links a German doctor, a Belgian musician, an Italian politician and a Dutch porcelain maker, among others? They’re building bridges between Europe and China through shared experiences and cultural exchanges.
Harmony was particularly relevant to Belgian musician Jean-François Maljean, who touched the hearts of millions by composing a song for Wuhan residents in COVID lockdown. An explorer of Chinese music, he now brings traditional Dong musicians to European stages.
The stories are told in a new series of Bridge Builders, premiering during October on China Global Television Network. They tell of lives straddling two (or more) continents, bringing harmony between cultures which all too often have suffered from a lack of understanding.
China’s influence on Europe dates back centuries – think of the porcelain known to English speakers as ‘china’. Dutch ceramic artist Tineke van Gils went from Delft to China’s “porcelain capital” Jingdezhen for an exchange project – and fell in love with the place.
Many of the Bridge Builders have spent significant periods in China. Now working quietly in his native Germany as a general practitioner, Eckehard Scharfschwerdt spent 15 years raising his family in Yunnan Province, working as a doctor, teacher and agriculture advisor – participating in various poverty-alleviation projects, including how to raise goats.
Zooming up from the local to the national, Italian politician Michele Geraci is the architect of his country’s Belt and Road participation as Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Economic Development. It helped that he had gone to the 2008 Beijing Olympics – and stayed in China for 10 years as a professor and economist.
Europeans posted in China have often developed long-lasting relationships with their new country. Dutch diplomat Robert van Gulik became known for writing several fiction novels about the character Judge Dee – still hugely popular, decades later – and married the granddaughter of a revered Qing Dynasty general. Now their granddaughter, documentarist Marie-Anne Souloumiac, encourages further cross-cultural exchanges.
And it’s not just Europeans moving to China. Shanghai-born Margaret Chen studied in the U.S. and worked in that country’s communications industry before moving to her husband’s homeland of Spain. Pioneering Spanish-Chinese business relations, she is now a top entrepreneur.
These Bridge Builders are great examples of how increased understanding between cultures, help each side to grow and improve. They take their place alongside CGTN’s previous Bridge Builders, ranging from the Eton-educated equestrian event rider who just won gold for China at the Asian Games to the young chef vlogger bringing Chinese recipes to a European audience.
The new series of Bridge Builders will be released during October by CGTN, on TV and online.
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