Name : Smita
Country of Origin : India
Occupation : House-maker, Community Service, Indian Culinarian
Years in China : 14 years
How did your journey in China begin?
Honestly, I never thought in my lifetime that I would be living in China, but my husband’s dream brought me to this heaven on earth. Just like many Indian women, who instead of following their dreams end up following and supporting their husband’s. In 2007, I moved to China from Indonesia to support him and his dreams. The first city I visited was Quanzhou in Fujian Province, with my husband and my son who was just a year old.
When I arrived Quanzhou, things were very different back then as at that time China had not too long started to open up to the rest of the world. That city taught us to adjust to a lot! By then, we had another bundle of joy in the form of my daughter. We had great time in this historical city which was full of temples for four years, but again we had to shift to Singapore for some business ventures. Thankfully again, my husband’s business brought me back to China, Xiamen to be more precise, within a year.
What do you like most about your city and China as a whole?
People in China go the extra mile to help you when you are in need and that makes me believe that humanity and kindness are not dead.
China as a whole has something to offer to people all year round. It teaches the mantras to live a great peaceful life. The government is perfectly balancing the ecosystem and the development that has happened in recent years. As China is a cashless country traveling here is hassle-free, and all I have to do is carry my cell phone.
Xiamen has got loads of eccentric stuff to offer to its residents, ranging from the landscape’s aesthetically pleasing beauty to the calm and pollution-free environment and the alluring and cherubic beaches. The sustainable development taking place here is truly commendable.
Xiamen has a clear blue sky throughout the year because it is not burdened by pollution. Traveling in Xiamen feels like a free bird flying. The great transport system of the city connects all corners of the city.
What you like the most about Xiamen?
I would describe Xiamen as a perfect harmony!! It is a city where I have fallen in love with everything it has offered and it is the closest to my heart.
If China is the paradise on earth, then Xiamen is the Garden of Eden. I have visited a lot of places across the globe before the Pandemic but no city can replace what Xiamen has to offer. In fact, I won’t be wrong if I say this small island Xiamen has spoiled me.
What fascinated you the most about living in China?
China taught me to live within the moment and helped me to discover my true self. It has taught me that true joy and happiness lies in giving and not taking. It is because of my changed attitude towards life that has inspired me to actively participate and volunteer at various community centers, serving and bringing happiness to people and children’s faces.
I could have chosen to join my husband in his business but because of my new attitude, I prefer to share and serve people through community service. It is also because of my giving attitude that I have organized science experiment classes in the past and Indian cooking classes for expats and locals. It truly fascinates me that how living in China has helped me discover the depths of myself and helped me to live this calm and stress-free amid the chaotic world.
What is your unique China story?
The most unforgettable experience that China has given me was at The 2017 BRICS Summit Xiamen, where my husband and I had been invited as the only Indian business delegate couple from Fujian to discuss the key issues facing the global economic development by sharing views on Trade and Investment, Interconnection, Financial cooperation and development and the Blue Economy. On the first day of summit, we had received an invitation from the committee host to attend the welcome reception dinner, giving us the opportunity to dine with and meet new people who are extraordinary and hold powerful positions at various Bureaus of Xiamen. We were also chosen to greet the Prime Minister of my home country, India, and to add to my confusion, both the dinner and the greeting ceremony were to take place at the same time. China had put me in the most difficult situation of my life where I had to choose one between two of my best ‘dream come true’ opportunities.
我在中国最难忘的经历是 2017 年金砖国家厦门峰会上，我和我丈夫作为唯一一对来自福建的印度商务代表夫妇，受邀就贸易与投资、互联互通、金融合作与发展、蓝色经济等全球经济发展面临的关键问题展开讨论。峰会的第一天，我们就收到了委员会主办方的邀请，去参加欢迎晚宴。这样一来，我们就有机会与厦门各政府部门高级别官员共进晚餐，并结识他们。我们还被选中去拜见我的祖国总理——莫迪。让我困惑的是，晚宴和问候仪式是同时进行的。中国让我陷入了人生中最困难的境地，我不得不在两个最好的“梦想成真”机会中二选一。
In the end, I had chosen to greet Honorable PM India in Xiamen, I am sure every native on this planet will opt for the same. I was extremely happy to greet our PM, despite being thousands of miles away from my home country, but I was also devastated at the same time because I had missed a lifetime opportunity to meet all honorable officials of the Bureaus in Xiamen.
My life in China has been nothing but short of a fairy tale, and I am grateful for everything China has given me, and with every passing day, my love for China is flourishing.
Some background on her home country：
I am originally from Bihar, India which boasts a really ancient culture and also the Nalanda and Vikramashila University which were renowned Buddhist Universities in the ancient kingdom. The university of Nalanda obtained significant fame, prestige and relevance during ancient times, and rose to legendary status due to its contribution to the emergence of India as a great power around the fourth century.
My city of birth is Darbhanga city but because of my father’s job, I had to travel to various cities across India which helped me see a lot of diversity from a very young age.
The emperor of my hometown during his reign had built Darbhanga style houses across the globe and also built the buildings of my alma mater which was later donated to the Indian government.
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