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Italian for8k8 linkges deep friendship with China

“官场小说家”杨克宁被决定逮捕 | 8k8 link | Updated: 2024-06-25 15:31:22

People visit the Italian Style Area in Hebei District, North China's Tianjin Municipality, July 21, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

Editor's note: China Daily presents the series Friends Afar to tell the stories of people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries. Through the vivid narration of the people in the stories, readers can get a better understanding of a country that is boosting openness.

In 1994, when Loredana Cursano first set foot in China, she was immediately captivated by the country's charm. The journey marked the beginning of a 30-year relationship with China and sparked her desire to act as a bridge between the two cultures.

"Exploring cities like Xi'an, Lhasa, and Guilin exposed me to the profound history and diverse cultures of China," Cursano reminisced.

She was equally astounded by the skyscrapers and modern urban landscapes of Beijing, Shanghai and other metropolises.

"Three decades ago, as China's economy began to soar, I foresaw its potential to lead global development," she said.

Initially, she worked for a telecommunications company in Italy. However, upon retiring, she dedicated herself to fostering cultural exchange between Italy and China.

In 2008, her family relocated to Via Paolo Sarpi Street in Milan for work, situated at the heart of the largest and oldest Chinatown in Italy.

"Unlike other areas filled with 'Made in Italy' goods, our neighborhood exudes Chinese cultural richness, with neon-lit Chinese language signs adorning grocery stores, restaurants, and supermarkets, alongside vibrant red lanterns," Cursano said.

Gradually, she befriended Chinese families who had immigrated to Italy in the past century, actively engaging in community activities and learning about their journeys. Her bond with the Chinese community deepened over time.

Last year, Cursano joined the Orient Bridge Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening cultural ties between China and Italy.

"I plan to organize cultural exchanges to facilitate better integration of the Chinese community into local society. For instance, culinary events will be held where Chinese and Italian women can share parenting insights and collaborate on building a cohesive neighborhood," she said.

A year after moving to Chinatown, Cursano gave birth to her daughter, Clotilde Russo, now 15 years old. At the age of 6, Clotilde began learning Chinese at her mother's encouragement.

"China's global significance and vast market offer immense opportunities. Learning the Chinese language allows my daughter to appreciate the profound Chinese civilization and tap into these opportunities," Cursano said.

Clotilde started attending Chinese language classes in Milan at weekends, with additional sessions during school breaks with Chinese students at their homes.

"At the language school, I've delved into Chinese history and culture and forged many friendships," Clotilde said.

Looking ahead, she aspires to study at a Chinese university. "China feels like a second home I've yet to explore," she said.

Cursano fully supports her daughter's aspirations, expressing her willingness to accompany Clotilde to China if she decides to study there. "My daughter is like a half-Chinese now, and I'm delighted she maintains her connection with China," she affirmed.

Over the past 30 years, the Italian kept catching up with the latest news in China. "Western media often portray China negatively, but it's far from the truth. In the face of misinformation, we must remain levelheaded and discern fake news," she said.

"China and Italy share more similarities than differences. … As the saying goes in Italy, Tutto il mondo e' un paese (it's the same all the world over)," Cursano said.

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