INSPIRING TALES IN AN ENGAGING FORMAT
a traditional opera family in Shanghai and becoming a prolific actress, who is widely respected in Hollywood.
Meanwhile, the appearance of Liu Shaolin and Liu Shao’ang, the half-Chinese half-Hungarian brothers who recently won the first Winter Olympic Games gold medal for Hungary since 1994, adds a touch of comedy to the show with their Mandarin spoken in strong Northeast China accent.
The ongoing show is the third season of Speak to the World. In the previous two seasons, a debate and knowledge contest format was used. But this year, the production team decided to use the first-person account format to make the show more friendly.
Speaking about the show’s new format, Wang Jingfang, the director says: “The overseas Chinese are witnesses and advocates of China’s reform and opening-up as well as the other miracles that have happened in the country in the past four decades.
“These accounts are reflections of their cultural connections, portray a true picture of their living conditions. And it is also a way to demonstrate cultural self-confidence.”
As for the choice of guests on the show, they go beyond celebrities.
And among them is Chong Keat Aun, a Malaysian DJ, who has spent 13 years collecting folk songs — vocalized in southern Chinese dialects — from 300 elderly people of Chinese origin in his country.
“These songs tell us of our ancestors’ struggles to set up new life,” says Chong. “And they also lead us in the direction of home.”
As for Jacob Chieh-kuo Wood, an entrepreneur in Nigeria, he speaks of his years of running hotels and doing philanthropy for education of local communities.
Thanks to his contribution, Wood, a Shanghai native, is the first Chinese “chief”, an honorary title, in Africa.
Speaking about the larger goal of the series, its director Wang says: “We want people to see the achievements and contribution of the overseas Chinese to China’s relations with the world in different fields.”
Giving details of how the guests were picked, she says the nearly 60 guests in the show were chosen from 1,000 candidates.
Commenting on the show, Zhang Yiwu, a professor at Peking University, says: “These people’s lives show traditional Chinese culture. And it helps create a common identity for Chinese all around the world.”
Contact the writer at wangkai[email protected]nadaily.com.cn