China News Service, Hangzhou, February 19th: Title: Hangzhou’s “Foreign Son-in-Law” Ada: Documenting the Beauty of China’s Rural Areas with Lenses

  Author Qian Chenfei Shan Jingxiang

  "Hello everyone, I am 'foreign son-in-law' Ada. I like Chinese countryside and like to spend the Spring Festival in Chun'an County, Hangzhou City." Ada, wearing a festive red scarf, greeted the camera enthusiastically.

  Recording life in the form of video is a habit Ada developed after coming to Chun'an. On his social platform, dozens of short videos with "countryside" themes are quite popular.

  "My brother came to China in 2009. He has always told us that China is a safe and happy country." In 2017, under the influence of his brother, Ada came to China to study for graduate school. While studying, he met his current girlfriend and was gradually attracted by China's 5,000-year-old historical and cultural heritage and the enthusiasm of the people, and decided to stay in China.

  Ada introduced, "Chun'an is my girlfriend's hometown. We have met each other's parents, so I can be regarded as the son-in-law of Chun'an. In 2023, we decided to say goodbye to the city and return to her grandmother's home, Linqi Town, Chun'an. Use the lens to record the simple nature here.”

  Ada has always liked places with mountains and rivers. Talking about the original intention of shooting short videos, he said that through short videos, he hopes to let more people see that there is a lot of happiness in rural life in China, and also wants to make more "foreigners" Look how beautiful China's countryside is.

  Ada's videos mainly record daily life, and his girlfriend's grandmother is one of the protagonists. The video not only recorded the "love" between him and his grandmother when they were playing and bickering, but also showed many local traditional foods and beautiful scenery in Chun'an.

Ada posted a short video on social platforms. Provided by interviewees

  The video received a lot of likes as soon as it was posted. In the comment area, some people praised Ada for speaking standard Chun'an dialect, some were recommending local specialties to Ada, and some were expressing their longing for their hometown and relatives. Many Chun'an people working in other places were in the video We gathered together in the comment section and used the video to relieve the deep nostalgia in our hearts.

  "Because of my videos, I am liked by more and more people. But actually when I first started making videos, I didn't know how to do a lot of things, so I was learning and shooting at the same time." Ada said that people didn't care because of his "unskilledness" Instead of neglecting him, the villagers were very enthusiastic and cooperative. It was precisely because of his "unskilledness" that the video was full of laughter.

  The various customs in Chun'an's rural areas are novel and interesting to Ada, and he is always willing to try different farm work and customs. In the 2024 New Year series of videos, Ada and her grandmother made traditional delicacies such as rice cakes and hot pots, participated in traditional New Year customs such as cutting window grilles and pasting couplets, and experienced an authentic Chinese New Year.

  "Celebrating the New Year with the whole family is very lively. Everyone likes me and recognizes me. I feel like I am at home." On the first day of the new year, Ada even cooked a bowl of noodles for her grandmother. "Grandma said that the custom in Chun'an is that on the first day of the new year, boys cook and girls sleep in. This way they will get rich in the coming year." Ada explained with a smile.

  After settling in Chun'an, Ada and his girlfriend had more time to spend with their families. The outgoing Ada also learned an authentic dialect and often took the initiative to chat with the elderly in the village and did farm work with them. The village became more lively with his arrival. "The lives of the elderly in rural areas are relatively simple, but if they can have more topics to talk about because of my presence when they are talking to their children on the phone, and they can sleep happier at night, then I will be satisfied," he said.

  Talking about the future, Ada hopes to translate her videos into English and French and post them on overseas video websites so that more people can understand the beauty of China's countryside. "In addition to Linqi, there are many beautiful towns in Chun'an, so I plan to visit other towns after the New Year, visit other people's hometowns, and show everyone the scenery of Zhejiang. I want to make more People in many countries (regions) know that China is not only beautiful in its cities, but also in its countryside." (End)