Greater Cultural Exchanges are creating more fascination among Foreigners to come & explore China, with many ultimately choosing to set up their home in the Country, including Cameroonian Dancer Simon Abbe, who has just Celebrated a career highlight by appearing on China’s biggest TV show.
In the 2020 Spring Festival Gala on Friday, a program featuring dancers from Countries along the Belt & Road Initiative caught people’s attention. Dancers from Russia, Cameroon, Azerbaijan and India brought their traditional dances to wow Chinese audiences.
Abbe was the main choreographer of the African dance team as well as a leading performer. He describes himself as a “son-in-law of China”, after he married Chinese dancer Jiang Keyu when she worked in Africa in 2012.
After Jiang’s stint in Africa ended, Abbe followed his wife to China, where he has lived ever since. He now considers China to be his second home country.
“Now I have two home country, Cameroon, and China. When we were young, we are very fond of China. Because of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, our African people know about these stuff, Kongfu. We know about Chinese culture in our mind,” said Abbe.
Jiang said that Chinese culture, including its own strong dance and music traditions, helped to build a close tie between her husband and other family members.
“I remember one day, my father was drunk. From about 23:00 or 00:00 at night to 03:00 in the morning, the two of them chatted even after the Spring Festival Gala has ended.
Though they have language barriers, my husband still said he was grateful to my father, as my father introduced him to the most beautiful music,” said Jiang.
Over the past eight years, Abbe and Jiang have expanded their dancing group and toured in a dozen cities around China.
Two years ago, they had their first baby in China, and the couple will welcome their second child after the Spring Festival.
“Some kids open a new gate. When I was having this child, I was doing ‘Chunwan’ (the Spring Festival Gala), so it’s a good connection. My relationship with the Spring Festival Gala goes back 14 years.
I saw the gala when I was not in China. And when I saw it, I thought it would be great if I was involved in one of the programs. Now after 14 years, I really am in the gala,” said Abbe.
The Spring Festival Gala, usually abbreviated in Chinese as “Chunwan”, is the most watched live TV program in China. Many families across the Country gather on the eve of the Spring Festival to tune into the show since it first aired in 1983.