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When did you start learning Chinese? What inspired you to take up the language?

I started at around 13 years old, although quite minimal study. I studied Chinese because of the potential opportunities with China. I was also interested in making more Chinese friends and learn Chinese culture.

Tell us about your Chinese language learning journey? What has been the most unexpected or rewarding part of the experience?

Unexpected and also rewarding is I married a Chinese woman with two beautiful children. I work for a Chinese bank and having lots of great Chinese friends. For a Cambodian Kiwi, this is rewardingly unexpected.

What opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your Chinese speaking ability?

I have a Chinese wife, work for a Chinese organisation. When I went back to manage our family business, I helped my family business build an export market to China which is now the business' largest client.

What do you like most about the Chinese culture? 

The close knit of the family and the community, the deep, diverse and long history of Chinese culture really amaze me.

What are the most striking differences between Chinese and Kiwi culture?

Chinese history spans over thousands of years. Some of the Chinese traditions have been around for a long time. The differences range from food, social norms to the people's characters.

Why do you think other New Zealanders should learn Chinese? Do you have any tips for anyone thinking of taking up the language?

There will be many exciting opportunities when you start to learn the language and culture. For those thinking of learning Chinese, I would say go for it and enjoy the journey and reward.

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