故事29 | Dhina: Home Away from Home

我在中国的家 2022
故事29 | Dhina: Home Away from Home

Hi, there. I’m Dhina, from Jakarta, Indonesia. Actually, my full name is very, very long. It has 19 letters. So, my friends and family just call me Dhina. I am a preschool teacher and have lived in Fujian for 7 years!


When I was a kid, I often dreamed of a place full of red lanterns. One day, when we were passing through North Jakarta, I saw those red lanterns. I told my dad that this is the place I often dream of. My dad said that this place is called Chinatown. From then on, my family would drive to the Kota Tua (Indonesian for “old town”) neighborhood in Jakarta every weekend to eat Chinese food. My father had many Chinese Indonesian colleagues at his company. They would often joke that I looked Chinese, and that maybe one day I would go and live in China. They suggested that I study Chinese. Before I came to China, I didn’t know any Chinese cities besides Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong. And even though I had been interested in Chinese culture since I was a child, my impression of it was limited to the Chinatown in Jakarta.


Amazingly, my dreams came true. I started studying Chinese at university in 2005, and in 2007, I became part of the first cohort of exchange students to go to Fujian Normal University. While I was studying in China, I was lucky enough to meet my future husband. He is from Zhangzhou, and at the time, I didn’t even know where Zhangzhou was. Because he was studying in Xiamen, I decided to pursue my graduate studies at Xiamen University after graduating from undergrad. I also had the opportunity to get to know the beautiful little city of Zhangzhou, which is next to Xiamen. After I graduated, we left China, but we came back after we got married. I can’t believe I’ve already been living here for 7 years.


China has really changed a lot over the past few years. I still remember that when I first came here, transportation was somewhat inconvenient. Roads were under construction everywhere, and some roads were full of potholes. Now, transportation has become very convenient, especially now that we have trains, and it has made life even more convenient. For example, the closest Indonesian consulate is in Guangzhou, and the train has made it very convenient for me to go there whenever I need to handle some formalities. I’ve also noticed that more and more foreigners are choosing to live in Fujian. We have always wanted to have children. In 2016, we moved to Zhangzhou, a cozy little town, and in 2017, we had our first child.


But for me, China has already become a home away from home. I was lucky enough to meet a lot of friendly people, and they helped me a lot. I still remember the first day I came to China to study. I was sad because I missed home. Now, I not only have my own family, I also have good friends. Every weekend, they always take me to fun places, and I often make Indonesian food for them. Because of the pandemic, I can’t go back to Indonesia. When I talk to my family on the phone, they always complain that I have forgotten a lot of vocabulary (indeed! I’ve even started thinking in Chinese sometimes).


My father came to Zhangzhou several times before COVID. We drove around and arrived at a place called the “Shengwu building”. It was very remote. The staff there invited us inside. We saw an exquisite window carving, and my father quickly recognized that it was in the Javanese style. My father was amazed that the two countries were able to overcome huge distances and engage in cultural exchange. I miss him a lot at the moment. I hope that the pandemic abroad can end as soon as possible, and I hope he can come to Zhangzhou again to see how it has changed. I also hope that more Chinese people will be able to visit my home country: Indonesia.




Home Away From Home 2022

  1. Voyage au centre de moi-même. Alain Thirion (French)
  2. Le fabuleux destin « sucré » de Melody. Par Melody Pace (French)
  3. My Blessed Guangzhou Life. Namrata Motiani
  4. Life’s a Beach. Anvita Ramakrishna
  5. Choosing China. Gerhard Uys (Ace)
  6. Faith in Xiamen. Faith Bautista
  8. My unique person Casey Ellzey
  9. Sam: At Home in the Classroom
  10. Ann: Guangzhou – my home in South East China
  11. Maria: Xiamen fever
  12. Daniel: The “link” between Xiamen and Medieval Europe
  13. Joanne Ko: F**k, I’m American
  14. Mea: Finding a Home in China
  15. Paige: Neighborly
  16. My story of 缘分 with China(Spainish)
  17. Memories from Pakistan by Sheraz Anwar
  18. Do You Believe In Second Chances? By Julian Quander
  19. A pastry chef in China by Pol Anter
  20. What does the other side of the world look like? By Daniel Esteban
  21. My love story with China. By Ana Lafuente
  22. Can I be like you in three months? By Moxi
  23. Dating with China. By Viktoria Radnaeva
  24. Living harmoniously with nature in Beijing. By Miranda
  25. Becoming home. By Amy Vernon
  26. Finding my happily ever after in China. By Khola
  27. Boundless life, boundless world. By Dr. Manu
  28. Home is where the heart is. By Meeta Bhagtani
  29. Rumah kedua Ku. By Dhina Ramadiani
  30. A child of the Garden City. By Marc Alexander
  31. Unforgettable Moments in China by Abid Hussain
  32. A Time in Hangzhou. By Abdoulaye M’Begniga
  33. Shenzhen never bores you. By Edcia Alcocer
  34. Nailed it! By Helen Bondarenko
  35. Suburban Adventures. By Felix Kraemer
  36. A Jar of Memories. By Natasa Vujicic
  37. Finding the past and my future in Xiamen. By Adam Loomis
  38. An overseas Chinese trying to find his roots. by Yeang
  39. Drive your dreams. By Alvaro Montoya
  40. A new home. By Ian Hylton
  41. CHINA: A Place Where My Heart Dwells. By Fahad Javaid
  42. Mischief and Mishaps in the Middle Kingdom. By Paula Zhou
  43. I love Wuhu, I love China! By Zarina Ismailova
  44. How the ice city melts my heart. By Yolande Deane
  45. Collecting countries to find my true self. By Anna Kova
  46. A One in a Million opportunity- Building a Community. By Alexia Vargas
  47. Have to be Strong. By Randy Alexander