|Kim Ji-yeon and her daughter [Xinhua]|
YINCHUAN — The Mid-Autumn Festival, normally a time of family reunions in China, has just finished, but memories of the holiday linger for transnational couple Kim Ji-yeon and her husband, Li Hongqiang.
Kim, 34, moved to Yinchuan, the capital of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, after getting married in 2019. The pair first met during the 2018 Mid-Autumn Festival in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, and fell in love at first sight.
"This Mid-Autumn, we have a bigger family," said Kim, who is now a mother of two after the couple's baby girl was born in June.
Originally from Daegu, South Korea, Kim studied Chinese at Yeungjin University and was once an exchange student in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Her husband, a plastic surgeon, previously took part in exchange programs in her country, so language is no barrier to their love.
"She speaks Chinese well, and sometimes I almost forget that she is a foreigner," Li said.
For Kim, the support and care of her husband and in-laws create a sense of home, but due to the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving China to visit Korea is not as easy as before.
"I talk to my parents via video chat every day, and my in-laws also help me take care of the kids. Surrounded by love and happiness, I don't feel lonely even though I'm not able to go home," Kim said.
|Li Hongqiang is at work. [Xinhua]|
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and South Korea, which has resulted in fruitful bilateral economic and trade.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have proved fruitful in recent years, with transnational marriages offering a vivid illustration of the friendly exchange between the two.
Just like Kim, Shin Yong-jin, who comes from South Chungcheong, also has a happy transnational marriage in China, with a beautiful Ningxia wife and two daughters. After meeting his future spouse in a bar, taking her to a fireworks show on the Great Wall, and proposing to her at the airport, bartender Shin's story with his wife, Wei Niu, reads more like a love drama.
When their eldest daughter Lisa was born in 2013, the couple decided to open a cafe named after her to celebrate their marriage.
"My country has a strong coffee culture, and I want it to be well integrated with China's food culture," Shin said.
"We hope that our customers are as fortunate in finding love and having a happy family," Shin said, adding that the couple have opened four cafes in Yinchuan and some 10,000 customers have joined their membership program.
One customer called Jin Jun said: "I love the food and the environment, and I used to eat here with my pregnant wife. Since our baby was born, the three of us come here together."
Shin credits the relationship between the two countries for his success. "Our cafe is a product of the China-South Korea friendship, and I hope for a stronger friendship and more cooperation between the two countries," he said.
(Source: China Daily)
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