Author Lu Yang
Press New World Press
Publication Date January,
Page material gelatine plate paper
This is the third collection thatfollows two previously publishedbooks entitled, Living in China andDreaming Big in China. Seventeenpeople have been interviewed andfeatured here because of theirremarkable yuan or "predestinedrelationship" with China, and each ofthem cherishes their yuan. In thisbook, they recount their stories withChina and the Chinese people. Thesestories are the most direct andconcrete explanations of the ancientphenomenon ofyuan. Some havepermanently remained in China, others have simply lived in China formany years and some for only atemporary amount of time. Regard-less, their connections are deeplyrooted to the Chinese people andthey consider China their secondhomeland. Their unusual lifeexperiences and thoughts give us abetter understanding and feelingabout yuan, and are deeply moving.
About the Author:
Lu Yang, the pen name of YangZhen, a senior journalist of theJapanese-language version ofPeople's China magazine, hasworked in foreign publishing, communications and culturalexchanges for more than 20 years.He has written many articles onChinese history and culture, as wellas China's reform and opening-up, and has won worldwide acclaimfrom readers both at home andabroad. Some articles have beencollected into books and some havereceived awards. In recent years, hehas focused his interests on theconditions of foreigners living inChina, and so was invited to be theleading writer of the book Living inChina and Dreaming Big in China.
Remembering Ma Haide / 1
A Sunny Boy / 19
Kyoka in the Two Capitals / 37
The Big Bull's Amazing Year of the Ox / 55
A "Chinese Girl" from America / 81
Doctor Mo / 93
A Chinese Tie Lasting for Half a Century / 113
Long Live Chinese Cattle / 123
Opportunities in China Brought by Kung Fu / 139
A Woman Waking Up Chinese Mornings / 151
A Practitioner of China-Japan Communication / 161
The Special Life of a Finn / 175
French Taoist Nun, Discovering the Way / 193
Realization of a Foreigner's Dream in Childhood / 203
The Story of"Foreign Anchor" in China / 211
Her Ties with Chinese Movies and Television / 223
In recent years, the word yuan （meaning predestined relationship oraffinity） or the phrase yuanfen （fate or chance that brings people together）, has increasingly been used among the Chinese; these words carry ideas thatare rooted in fatalism and destiny. The word yuan is explained by fatalisticphilosophy as the destinies that occur from person to person encounters. Forthose who do not believe in fatalism, the word yuan is not disagreeable; itsimply refers to the possibility of special connections between people, or be-tween people and things.
While the outcome of any fated encounter can have either good or badconsequences, in general usage, people tend to leave out the negative impli-cations ofyuan and it is commonly associated with positive destiny. This isperhaps due to people's optimistic expectations of a harmonious society anda world that is enabled by the positive connections between people and be-tween people and things.
In early human history, mankind was confined within a small radius. Thesimplicity of their lifestyles meant that people simply worked after sunrise andrested after sunset. The difficulty in feeding themselves and their families leftlittle energy and little curiosity to explore the world outside. During the eraof self-sustained family production, small communities seldom made contactwith their neighbors, even those within their vicinity. Simple commodity ex-changes such as bartering were infrequent. Therefore, connections betweenunfamiliar peoples had a very low probability and making contact with peoplefrom foreign lands was virtually impossible. In this landscape of human histo-ry, there was little room for yuanfen to grow. And even in these rare crossings, connections would be extremely fragile and difficult to maintain. Actually, themost realized sense ofyuan is not simply pre-destiny. It is a shared history andthe communication between people that are fostered by a certain kind of envi-ronment and the development of social production.
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