Lessons of Chinese

Belarusian singer Korriana practices Chinese in Shanghai
We met Belarusian female performer Korriana in Shanghai’s lawn tennis center where we came to root for Max Mirnyi and his partner Jonas Bjorkman, one of the strongest couples in the Chinese Masters. Korriana came to Shanghai in September to master her Chinese in the University of Tongji.

— It is a very interesting story, she explains. — When I filled in application forms before entrance exams I was certain I would be studying Germanic languages. My mom is a teacher of English, and I could easily do well at the exams. When I came to the university I found out there was an experimental group to study Chinese, and I was mesmerized. The East had always fascinated me. When I told my mom I had chosen Chinese she was shocked.

Since that time she has been dreaming of visiting Shanghai to practice Chinese. But why Shanghai?

— This is a largest economic center, a city of contrasts, my kind of city.

When you are standing on the Bund and looking at the city, it simply takes your breath away, you see the future. Then you go back to the old town where the ancient Chinese spirit reigns and traditions are almost palpable you understand that this is the China you have been dreaming of… You see something different in the eyes of the locals and feel as if they were so close, as if they were your folks. We may be different, we may look different, but we are all close kin.

She is so romantic, Korriana. She has traveled all over eastern China with her new friends to look at the country. Does she have enough time for studies? Of course. Five days a week she in the university from 8:00 to 12:00, and homework takes another couple of hours.

Korriana plans to stay in China until February. I ask her why she was not scared to leave her native land, her fans, and the stage.

— I was working very hard before I left. I managed to have several songs recorded and we shot a new clip “You break me”. I hope my fans will not forget me while I’m here.

One more thing: Korriana loves long shopping trips around Shanghai’s fashion shops. She is both a designer and stylist and is now making a brand new image that will for sure be connected with China. What about signing in Chinese?

— Oh, I don’t know yet. It is hard to write songs in Chinese yet.

— What about new songs in other languages? Are they coming?

— It is hard to compose without instruments and I am short of time. But when I get back the impressions that I get here will all be set to music, I just wish my fans would not forsake me. I miss my family, my fans, my composer so much! I miss the stage, and I want to sing again.
Shanghai’s exclusive clubs often invite her to sing, but she turns down all proposals. First of all she would like to sing her own songs, and secondly, and most importantly, she has so little time left after her classes.
Nevertheless, Korriana found time to sing for me and my photographer. Lucky us!
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