There was a little girl in Shanghai writing to Santa Claus

More than 7000 kilometers away from Helsinki, there was a little girl in Shanghai writing to Santa Claus: please fly me to the lakes, to the forests and bring me to see the northern lights! 20 years later, the little girl becomes a TV journalist. She travels all over the world, making business and political interviews with important people. One dream she keeps to herself: meeting Santa Claus in his hometown in Lapland.

This girl is me and I’m ready to travel to Finland this summer.

There are two reasons why I decided to apply to thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme and travel to Finland. I have been working as a journalist since 2010. Thanks to my 2-year study experience in France and my language skills, I’ve always been exposed to the foreign community in Shanghai. Last year witnessed the 50th anniversary of the relations between China and France. I reported about Chinese President Xi’s visit to France in April. Furthermore, this year will be the 65th anniversary of relations between China and Finland.

Finland’s strengths are design and innovation, and innovation is nowadays a keyword in China. Millions of young people are ambitious about becoming entrepreneurs and starting their own businesses. Many of them are returning from overseas and keen on cooperating with foreign people and institutes.

Taking this into consideration, I think I could serve as a bridge that brings all these resources together. Through participating in thisisFINLAND Foreign Correspondents’ Programme, I will get more knowledge about Finland and maybe be able to help Finnish companies to find connections and partners in China. That’s one of the main purposes I applied to this opportunity in Finland.

Tongxin Qian
Tongxin Qian

The other reason is more personal. I’m a nature lover and Finland is the country of thousand lakes and beautiful forests. The landscape in Finland looks amazing, there is so much natural beauty! It will be a big contrast to Shanghai because here we have so many people that the roads are always crowded and our air is polluted. This summer I will enjoy breathing the clean air of Northern Europe.

Additionally, Finland has high reputation for its commitments to environmental protection and high-technology in clean industry. This is also an important theme for China as the government declared a mission for cleaner energy.

In 2010 I visited the World Expo in Shanghai and got really impressed by the Finnish pavilion. I remember that the whole pavilion was like a white iced giant’s kettle which was called “kirnu”. The pavilion emerged like an island from the surface of water and bridges led visitors over the water. It was designed by a team of Helsinki based architect’s office and received more than 100 awards.

This was the first time that I felt myself so close to Finland. I was impressed by the ideology of Finns, especially their principles of sustainability and creativity. Since then, to me Finland signifies peace and water.

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