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Visiting sinologists share their stories

Geoffrey Sant speaks at the opening ceremony of the fourth program for visiting young sinologists in Beijing on Wednesday. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

At the opening ceremony of the fourth program for visiting young sinologists in Beijing, guests shared their stories.

Geoffrey Sant, a law firm partner from the US, spoke about his love of the Chinese language, which he thinks is both beautiful and useful. With several jokes, Sant showed his good knowledge of the language and also Chinese culture.

Once wearing winter clothes to record a show in early summer, he was asked by the host: “Why do you wear so many clothes when all others are sweating?” He replied with a quick-wit and in Chinese: “It’s because the jokes you told are so cold (unfunny) that I have to.”

As a lawyer representing a number of Chinese clients, Sant found his fluency in Chinese was very instrumental and enabled him to better understand the testimonies and relevant documents so as to present them in his clients’ favor.

Anita Manja Koetse, chief editor of What’s on Weibo from the Netherlands, told of her love affair with China in a self-produced video clip. Koetse first came to China 15 years ago with her parents as a tourist and instantly fell in love with the country, which seemed so mysterious to her. With a far bigger understanding of the oriental nation now, Koetse hopes that she can serve as a window for outsiders to know more about China.

“Sinologist is not only my work and my occupation but also where my passion lies,” said Koetse, “I’m no longer a tourist, but part of China now. And China also becomes part of me.”

A total of 31 sinologists from 26 countries, includingthe US, Australia and France, attended this year’s program for visiting young sinologists. Their specialty areas cover Chinese literature, history, philosophy, politics, modern society and international relations, with renowned Chinese scholars and experts as guest speakers.

The program started in 2014 and aims at promoting cultural exchanges among countries, helping overseas young sinologists develop a deep and objective understanding of Chinese history and modern development and making Chinese culture and values known to more people across the world.

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