For Germany’s He Chen, capital is an amazing place

BEIJING, June 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from China Daily:

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“Hello everyone! This is Adrian from Germany!”

At the 2023 China International Fair for Trade in Services, Adrian Jakubke, a Tsinghua University student from Germany, used that amplified introduction to help guide the audience to his own destination inside the fair: the Cultural Tour of Beijing Opera, a special exhibition hosted by the Beijing Overseas Cultural Exchange Center that displayed the history of Beijing Opera from its earliest days. In the exhibition there were the photos of Dingjun Shan, China’s first Beijing Opera, starring master Ma Lianliang, who performed as the hero Huang Zhong.

“They’ve created a new way of performing this role and paying respect to him,” said Jakubke, who goes by the Chinese name He Chen. Showcasing an actor dressed in Beijing Opera attire, the German then dressed up the flags, some characteristic props of Beijing Opera, and made a gesture similar to the actor’s. He also flawlessly pronounced the opera texts in Chinese. “I have lived in Beijing for 15 years, but I have never felt I am in a foreign land,” he said. “I’ve always felt at home here.”

During his 15 years in Beijing, Jakubke has experienced the city’s inclusiveness, openness and innovation, but what has amazed him most is the contemporary inheritance and innovation of Peking Opera, which is why he produced a video guiding the audience all the way through the cultural trip.

In the fourth “100 Reasons to Love Beijing” short video contest organized by the Information Office of Beijing Municipality and hosted by China Daily for worldwide  participants to share their love for the city, Jakubke won second prize at the May 23 award ceremony at Beijing Library.

He Chen said he is pleased to promote cultural exchange between China and Germany by introducing their culture to each other by visiting exhibitions, and that he is honored to have won a prize that will encourage him to produce more videos sharing Beijing culture with the whole world.

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