Name : Melody
Country of Origin : France
Bonjour! Hello everyone, my name is Melody and my Chinese name is 梅洛 (Méiluò the same characters as grape variety Merlot).
I’m French and a Hunanese daughter-in-law! I’ve been attracted to China’s history, cuisine and language since I was a child… But what first made me fall in love with China was the giant pandas. My nickname is actually Panda because I have dark circles under my eyes, just like my dad. Now that I’m a grown-up, he still calls me that! When I was little, my dad showed me pictures of pandas for the first time and I fell in love and wanted to learn more about them.
Where do pandas live? In China! At the age of seven, I started to take a special interest in China and when I grew up, I was determined to go there!
My special bond with China started with the giant pandas. Whenever I get the chance, I go to Chengdu in Sichuan to see my giant panda friends. I was also lucky enough to participate in the Worldwide Giant Panda Keeper Volunteer Program in December that year where we spent more than two weeks learning about professional husbandry and were given various challenges. At that time, I thought I was in a dream because I was going to be a giant panda nurse!
I found Chinese culture particularly fascinating, so I tried my best to learn Chinese. It turned out that the more I learned, the more Chinese characters amazed me. When I first saw them, I felt like I was looking at a painting, as if each character contained a deep meaning and a story to tell. Now I have lived in China for a total of 12 years! It feels like time has passed so quickly, and I truly love living here. I am now living in Xiamen and I have made many Chinese friends here. They are kind and welcoming. I climb mountains with them, do tai chi together on the mountain and have tea and chat.
Many Chinese people claim that I am a “fake foreigner” and that my habits and personality are more Chinese. Haha. My family came to China a few times to see me and it seems that my influence has made us all fall in love with Chinese culture. Our home is basically furnished in Chinese style and my brother’s wife is also Chinese. My dad is a big fan of Bruce Lee and collects all his films.
When I got married, my family came from France to Hunan and I was very touched. Later on, my French mother and Chinese mother-in-law got along like sisters. Both mothers love to dance. They danced together in Hunan, and my husband and I danced with them. It was a warm and important moment for me. I still remember the two mothers laughing, even though they didn’t speak the same language, but they didn’t need an interpreter.
I was very happy in China because I met my husband here.
Both of us appreciate the culture of each other’s countries. Although we have different nationalities, language, customs and traditions, we don’t care about that, and our happiness is the most important thing.
I feel that my connection with China is genuine fate. China is my second home.
To read more about Melody’s China story you can find her recently published book “我在中国挺好的” edited by Shanghai Educational Publishing house.
想了解更多关于 Melody 的中国故事，您可以阅读她近期出版的书《我在中国挺好的》，由上海教育出版社编辑。
作者：Melody “梅洛” 翻译：Luz and Jevon
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