The Chinese Chen Ding Ling has been living in Bishkek for almost a quarter of a century. She allowed friends and acquaintances to call her Vera to make pronunciation of her name easier.
I feel at home here. I have more Kyrgyz friends than the Chinese.Chen Ding Ling
— What surprises you in Bishkek?
— I came here after graduating from high school in China. Then I was 21 years old. Since then, I have been living in the capital. Kyrgyzstan became the second homeland for me. I know almost all the streets of Bishkek, I know where the organizations and institutions are located, and the most important thing is that I know places where you can get delicious dishes!
— What in Bishkek reminds you of your hometown?
— Going out to Chinese restaurants with my friends.
— What would you change in Bishkek?
— I have been working as a teacher at the Bishkek Humanities University for 16 years already. We get a small salary, although we work a lot.
— What has fascinated and disappointed you in close acquaintance with the local population?
The Kyrgyz are cheerful and hospitable people. I have more Kyrgyz friends than the Chinese. I learned from them just to live and love, to love life and freedom.Chen Ding Ling
— I like the nature of your country and the eastern education of people. My friends and I often go to the mountains, we ride horses in summer and go skiing in winter. We have a tradition to go to Issyk-Kul Lake at the end of August.
When different delegations or tourists come from China, I tell them the history of Kyrgyzstan, show beautiful places, and advise them to try different dishes.
— What is your favorite place in Bishkek?
— In general, I have many favorite places, but most of all I love Oak Park. I rest there on summer evenings after working days.
I love this place for the fact that it is much quieter that restaurants and cafes, you can relax there.Chen Ding Ling
— What do you like in the national cuisine and what are you afraid to even try?
— I really like national dishes, especially plov and beshbarmak. My friends and I often go to eat delicious plov. For so many years spent in Bishkek, I have got used to many things, including the peculiarities of the national cuisine. Nothing surprises me.