Romanians take 'immersive journey' in Chinese culture via new books

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An "immersive journey" into Chinese culture took place in Bucharest on Monday, through the launch of the "Discover China" series of books.

"Off the Wall -- How we fell for China" by William N. Brown, and some other books have been published in Romanian by Corint Publishing House and the Foreign Language Press in Beijing.

"We started this project five years ago to promote cross-cultural knowledge and introduce aspects of Chinese reality and culture," said Raluca Sofronie, editor with Corint Publishing House.

"We'll continue to translate a wide array of educational and informative books on Chinese society, culture, history, and philosophy," Sofronie said.

Marina Almasan, a TV producer with Romanian National Television, said that "Brown's book is a lesson for all those who are biased towards China out of ignorance and because of having shaped their ideas according to negative distorted propaganda."

"I also fell in love with China after my first trip there. China is a phenomenon. Those who speak in stereotypes are ignorant. With all due respect, there are people who still believe the Chinese are backward and all dressed in gray uniform-like tunics," she added.

Luminita Balan, Romanian director of the Confucius Institute attached to the University of Bucharest, said that China will "remain a profound civilization of mankind."

"Brown's book is based on the letters he sent while he was living in China with his family, and he explains that many statements about China are wrong and one has to live in China to see the reality, and to remove all false perceptions," Balan said.

"This book made me live again with open eyes my own experiences with China in the 1980s. We can recognize elements of the enriching Chinese civilization and philosophy. China creates opportunities for self-introspection and reflection about the world. It's a country that can re-invent itself."

"I recommend to everybody to visit China because it's a unique experience," said Florin Burican, a sinologist who studied in Beijing, where he married a Chinese woman and moved with her to Bucharest.

Ion Antonescu, former secretary of state for culture and owner of one of the country's largest travel agencies said that China is "a favourite travel destination because it's a world in a country."

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