From Saint Petersburg to Tianjin, a Russian girl pursuing Chinese culture-Xinhua

From Saint Petersburg to Tianjin, a Russian girl pursuing Chinese culture

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-28 21:01:15

Sofiia Balunova (2nd L) attends an open day event as a volunteer at Tianjin University in north China's Tianjin in April 2024. (Xinhua)

TIANJIN, May 28 (Xinhua) -- For Sofiia Balunova, a Russian student studying Chinese in China, Chinese characters are not just a language but also a form of art.

"The beautiful Chinese characters are a blend of aesthetics and culture," said Balunova, 21, a sophomore at the school of international education at Tianjin University in north China's Tianjin Municipality.

Hailing from Saint Petersburg, Russia, Balunova had already passed the HSK Level 5 examination, the second-hardest level of the Chinese proficiency test, before she came to China to further her studies last year.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia.

Figures show that about 90,000 primary and high school and university students in Russia are learning Chinese. As the cooperation between the two countries continues to expand and deepen in various fields, the demand for professionals proficient in both languages is increasing.

Balunova had her first direct encounter with Chinese culture at the Friendship Garden in Saint Petersburg while studying cosmetology and beauty techniques at a vocational college. A gift from China's Shanghai Municipality in 2003 to commemorate the 300th founding anniversary of Saint Petersburg, the traditional Chinese-style garden is a miniature version of Shanghai's renowned Yuyuan Garden.

"The pavilion, the stone lions, the nine-dragon wall -- these scenes are completely different from the culture in our country," Balunova said while showing photos of the garden on her phone.

That visit sparked Balunova's immense curiosity about China, so she began to learn about Chinese culture via the internet as well as the Chinese social media platforms.

"I found different dynasties in Chinese history had their own cultural characteristics, including varying makeup styles," said Balunova.

She chose the Tang Dynasty (618-907) makeup and hairstyles as the subject for her vocational school graduation thesis, hoping to introduce Chinese culture to more people through her research.

After graduation, Balunova was no longer satisfied with the information about China she could get from books and the internet and desired to study there.

"I wanted to see what China is really like and experience Chinese culture firsthand," she said.

After more than a year of diligent study, Balunova received an admission notice from Tianjin University and embarked on her journey to China in 2023.

The moment she stepped out of the airport, Balunova was struck by the modern city view and high-tech facilities.

"I saw skyscrapers and advanced infrastructure, and experienced the speed of high-speed rail and the convenience of mobile payment. China's development far exceeded my expectations," she said.

On campus, she attended various cultural activities, where she made friends from many different countries.

She also visited the Great Wall, whose grandeur and history deeply impressed her.

Balunova hopes to continue her studies in China in the future and work in promoting Sino-Russian cultural and trade cooperation. She believes her proficiency in Chinese will greatly enhance her job competitiveness.

"I believe that the exchanges between China and Russia will become increasingly close, bringing more employment and development opportunities for the youths of both countries," she said. 


Comments (0)

    Follow us on