Expats in Hangzhou get Good Neighbour awards | Forum

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freemexy Nov 27 '19
Two long-stay expats living in the Chinese city of Hangzhou have been given Good Neighbour awards for their service to the community.Expats community hangzhou

One of the traditional highlights of the annual Hangzhou Neighbour Festival is the giving of Good Neighbour awards to residents who’ve made significant contributions to their local community. This year, two foreigners were voted the awards for the first time by local residents.

Australian hotelier Pater Zaunmayr arrived in China 15 years ago and has lived in Hangzhou’s Xixi community for three years. He works at the foreign-owned Oakwood Residence as its general manager whilst giving his spare time and expertise to the district he loves.

From participating in the local English Corner, set up for Chinese to practice the English language, through delivering traditional mooncakes to older and sick residents during the Autumn Festival and fundraising to help a local migrant child with leukaemia, he’s there when he’s needed. Local residents were more than willing to elect him for the annual award.

Qi Zhonghao, the second incomer to receive the award, is a German-Chinese woman living in Hangzhou’s Dongxin district. Born in China, she emigrated to Germany and lived there for some 10 years before returning to the city of her birth. She is fluent in German, English and Chinese, as well as in the local Hangzhou dialect, and is loved in the local community for her ability to get things done.

Qi gives her services to all who need help in the 2,000-strong community near the city’s International School. The district is home to 500 expats, many of whom need help with adjusting to their new environment and culture. She’s happy to mediate with neighbours on behalf of expats, and is active in local theatrical performances and other cultural events. Her goal, she says, is to show expats the beauty of Chinese culture and introduce the best of Western culture to the district’s Chinese residents.
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