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Chinese named Vera learns from the Kyrgyz to live and love

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.