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

5 years ago. I always loved Asia growing up, but I’ve never traveled anywhere in Asia. Even now, I still haven’t. Family and family costs come first. When I started playing online video games there were often Chinese speakers and so I started learning the language and just stuck with it! I love learning mandarin, and can’t wait to explore the culture while using the language, when the time comes.

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

Speaking another language is like gaining another soul. I have deep respect for the Chinese people and their way of life. I’ve also become an avid cook and regularly cook Sichuan style!

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

Nothing yet, just heaps of fun times interacting with strangers!

What do you like most about the Chinese culture? 

Health And well-being. Keeping fit, eating well. And family, focus on long term friendships. I also happen to be a fan of the government's massive investments in infrastructure and love hearing the stories of poverty alleviation. I believe China has many freedoms that the west doesn’t enjoy, such as a safe society and great business environment.

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

Chinese people care for their parents. I love this. Kiwis put them in homes, I think that’s terrible.