Foreign anchors share Wenzhou with the world
Foreign anchors celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year in Wenzhou, East China's Zhejiang province, in early 2020. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Aside from being one of the most famous hometowns of overseas Chinese, Wenzhou, a port city in East China's Zhejiang province, has also gained popularity among expats in recent years as a group of foreign anchors have been actively promoting the city to the world.
They are from all walks of life, but they share one thing in common – their sense of belonging to Wenzhou and their aspiration to share the city to the world.
The foreign anchor team in Wenzhou, since its initiation in 2018, has accepted over 80 members from more than 20 countries and regions such as the United Kingdom, Spain and South Africa.
Hosany Sumayyah, a Mauritian surgeon who has been living in China for about a decade and can speak fluent Chinese, is one of the foreign anchors.
Now working at the Panhealth Medical Center in Wenzhou, Sumayyah put "Whatever you think of China, first see what the country looks like" as her motto and has been dedicated to sharing her understanding of China's epidemic prevention and control measures via a doctor's perspectives since the COVID-19 outbreak in2020.
Her video peaked at over 250,000 views. Her voluntary service with her fiance, Pakistani orthopedist Abdul Zahir Hamad, also won wide praise from home and abroad as the couple volunteered at the city's south-most highway exit checkpoint, checking the identities and measuring the body temperatures of travelers when the COVID-19 first broke out in the city.
Alex Absolute makes wonton for the residents of Xialiang village, Zeya town, Ouhai district, Wenzhou. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Though the couple could not manage their trip back to Mauritius for their wedding due to the pandemic, they were invited by the She ethnic minority in mountainous Cangnan county in 2020 for a distinctive minority-style wedding. Their wedding was livestreamed and uploaded online, winning blessings from over 5 million viewers across the world.
Alex Absolute is another anchor from the United Kingdom. He has been teaching in Wenzhou for eight years and can speak not only mandarin Chinese but also Wenzhou dialect, one of the most difficult dialects to learn.
In early 2021, Absolute visited the countryside in Zeya town, Ouhai district, where he joined locals to experience the most authentic manifestations of rural life, such as picking beans on the mountain, drying vegetables, cooking lard rice and making paper by hand. His rural life series consists of over 60 videos, winning over 3 million online views in total.
"Foreign people know little about the rural life in Wenzhou and even think that China's rural areas are poor and backward," said Absolute. "But through my lens, they found that was not the case. The integration of modern life and traditional culture in rural China has aroused their strong curiosity."
Ergashev Akmal, a Tajikistani anchor now pursuing master's degree at the Wenzhou Medical University, has convinced his families of his colorful life in China with a series of folk cultural videos.
"My life in Wenzhou is the best story to share with my families in Tajikistan and they are expecting my new videos every day," Akmal said.