Chinese TV series well-received in Tanzania

By Wang Mengru
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 8, 2013
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President Xi Jinping especially pointed out in his speech at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania on March 25, how popular Chinese TV series "The Beautiful Daughter-in-Law Era" had made the Tanzania audience aware of the lives of Chinese modern couples.

The well-known Chinese TV series was first aired in Shanghai in November of 2009. It was first dubbed in Swahili and broadcast across East African countries in 2011. Kenyan actress Josephine Moeni Waweru and actor Khamis Juma Swaleh were chosen to take on the voice dubbing for the leading roles in the African version of the series. It plays a vital role between China and African countries in understanding each other’s cultures.

Revolving around urban families, the 36-episode light comedy focuses on marital issues and the new attitude adopted by the post-1980 generation. The show tells the story of three women, who encounter various predicaments before tying the knot. Their relationships with their mothers-in-law aren't smooth and their attempts to please the parents spark hilarious and sometimes bitter confrontations, which reflect the prevalent marital problems in today's society.

Wang Liping, screenwriter of the TV series, said she had her doubts as to whether African audiences would be able to connect with the show. To her great relief, however, it has proven a success in Africa. "The overseas market is eager to know young Chinese people's state of mind in modern times," Wang said.

Liu Dong, cultural counselor of the Chinese embassy in Tanzania, said the series was a huge success. "Now in Tanzania, Doudou, the name of the lead character, has become a synonym for Chinese daughters-in-law. Whenever Chinese girls are mentioned in a conversation, local people refer to them as 'doudou.' We have received very positive feedback from the local audience." Liu Dong said the show reflects the real lives of contemporary Chinese people and truly resonates with local audiences.

Joe Lugalabamu, vice director of Tanzania State TV, said that the Tanzanian audience have been able to understand the series due to the emotional entanglements and personal relationships depicted in the show, as they resonate with African people as deeply as they do with the Chinese.

Kenyan Janet Nzomo said the tension between the show's mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law also exists in Kenya.

In Africa, the husband plays a vital role in traditional family life and the wife should abide by his way of living – for life. However, in many modern Tanzanian households, wives and husbands are challenging and questioning one another's constantly shifting roles. Women begin to seek independence and therefore the conflicts between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law will upgrade as well. People may be able to find ways to solve their personal problems by watching the series.


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