Feature: Turkish woman tells of fond memories of China and Chinese people-Xinhua

Feature: Turkish woman tells of fond memories of China and Chinese people

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-12-11 23:07:00

ISTANBUL, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- "Friendly, cozy, warm, culturally rich, historically rich, that's what comes to mind when I think of China and Chinese people," said a Turkish woman in her 50s, as she enthusiastically showed off souvenirs she had bought in China to her colleagues in Istanbul.

Elif Pervane, director of corporate relations at the Turkish-Chinese Cultural Association, spoke wistfully of the colorful chopsticks, handbags, tea sets, Chinese storybooks, and jewelry and the memories behind them.

Pervane traveled to Beijing in July to attend classes at Beijing Language and Culture University for over a month to improve her Chinese. She had as much contact with the Chinese people as possible during her stay, made friends, and traveled a lot.

"What impressed me most was the kindness of the Chinese people, that warmth, touch, gratuitous benevolent feeling they have," said Pervane, showing two tea packets she received as gift from her newly established Chinese friend. "They act generously, without any thought of personal gain or expectation."

Before traveling to China, Pervane had many prejudices, many of which were based on false reports from some Western media. But after experiencing the culture, the daily life, and the people, she saw that all were baseless.

"I thought I would find a huge air pollution problem," Pervane pointed out. "I didn't notice any pollution. I always had my mask in my pocket to be on the safe side; I didn't use it even once, neither in the subway nor in the open air."

She also had read some articles that the Chinese are hostile to foreigners. "This is also a completely false perception," Pervane said, noting that she established perfect friendships with many Chinese people, and they are always in contact with each other through social media platforms.

"This intimacy touched me in today's world, where people are increasingly alienated from each other and become more and more lonely."

According to her, another false perception was about the food culture. "They told me that I would be hungry in China and that I should definitely take some canned food with me. That is not true. Chinese cuisine is very close to our cuisine. I ate all the Chinese delicacies comfortably," she said.

For Pervane, it is now a duty to expose such misconceptions and tell the truth to the people at home. "I have told my children not to take everything they read and hear as accurate. They should experience everything by themselves when they visit China."

During her stay there, Pervane visited other cities by high-speed train whenever she had time from her studies. She said the rail transport network was more than excellent in terms of quality and speed.

She also praised the cities for building beautiful ecological structures existing in harmony with nature.

"There was such a beautiful city structure that dates back thousands of years," Pervane spoke of Beijing in particular. "There are parks and lakes all over the city, creating spots to breathe."

After returning to Istanbul at the end of August, Pervane has already started looking for opportunities to visit China again and to tell more about the Turkish culture to her friends there, and experience more in China.