[Ukraine] Kulikova Diana, Chongqing University
In the eyes of many people, China is a mysterious and remote country. But in my eyes, China is not mysterious but charming, not remote but reachable. For me, China is my second hometown, which is not a country too difficult to understand as long as you treat it with love.
The writer Svetlana Alexievich said in her Secondhand Time, “People are always faced with choices: to be free, or to live a prosperous and stable life? Freedom is always accompanied by pain, but happiness often means the loss of freedom.
Most people choose to take the second path." I think I'm luckier than most people because my choices combined both; The decision of choosing to learn Chinese and studying in China gave me freedom and happiness.
My first choice came five years ago, when I chose to study Chinese language and literature at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Thus, the major and the country have become an integral part of my life. Of course, I have encountered many problems in my study.
A man who has a settled purpose will surely succeed. The great pleasure of learning Chinese surpasses the fear of difficulties, which enables me to break through all the obstacles. My second choice came at the time of my graduation from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv.
Teachers had taught me a lot of basic language knowledge, which brings me a strong desire to explore China, to communicate and to exchange with China. I was longing for a real encounter with China. Just as I chose Chinese language and literature five years ago, I heard my inner voice crying: "Go to China, touch and understand China!"
Once again, I took my destiny into my own hands and won the opportunity to study at Nankai University for a year. I think it was one of the best times of my life, during which I met lots of new friends, enjoyed a wonderful campus life.
Study life in China opened my eyes. It is a pity I only had one year to study in China and good time always flies quickly, which broke my heart.
There must be an echo if you never forget it. Unexpectedly, the door of freedom and happiness opened to me again; My third choice came. I was given another chance to return to China. And this choice, I would like to say, made me feel more fascinated, delighted and excited than previous ones.
To tell you the truth, China is the country I am determined to continue living in. But which city should I choose?
I have multiple options and various expectations. As soon as I saw the pictures of Chongqing, I understand that it is! In Chongqing, I was most impressed by the life in Chongqing University. I attended every Chongqing University International Culture Festival with my classmates.
We danced the sleeve dance of ancient China. At the beginning, I found it very difficult, but after repeated hard practice, we slowly learned how to dance. On the day of the show, the school invited cosmeticians to make special makeups for us, which look like the beautiful facial makeups in the Peking Opera. I felt nervous before the show because there were so many people on the site. But as soon as I got on the stage, I began to relax and the feeling of happiness filled the air.
A local ballad impressed me a lot, saying “The sisters here are virtuous and brothers straight. Food without peppers and chilies is no good to taste.”
For me, “The food here is many and varied, hotpot touchable and noodles unforgettable after trying.”
For me, “There are also three golden flowers – bean jelly, pig’s feet and pig brains.There are also hot and sour rice noodles and cuisines from other parts of the country, which are hot, spicy, fresh and fragrant.”
Chongqing is my third-time choice.
I am fascinated by my beautiful encounter with China. Learning Chinese language and knowing China have brought me endless beautiful memories. I am more convinced that every choice I’ve made related with China is a beautiful encounter with the nation.
All my encounters with Chinese language, China, Tianjin and Chongqing are two-way choices between me and the country. I love this beautiful country, love all her beautiful cities. I will never forget the happy fate of meeting with China.
The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).