Romantic Challenges in Asia (R.C.A.)

by Yiwen Eliens

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Photo: taken in the Langmusi village, China

After I finished my Ph.D. in 2011, I took a year off, to travel in China, together with my husband Anton and our baby Yvette (18 months).

Why travel in Asia for one year?

My Ph.D. research was related to the domain of cultural heritage, especially in the Netherlands. Now, what is the current status of the cultural heritage in China and the related scientific research in this domain? And how can I contribute with my knowledge and experience? Very interesting questions for me to investigate.

China is a big country with great diversity. As a Chinese, I have limited knowledge about my own background. As a kind of field research, I wanted to see, to feel and to understand more about the culture, the landscape, most importantly, the people and their life. I hope I could get more information about my own identity and new inspirations for my future life.

Because of visa issues, we had to move often between China and other Asian countries/areas (Laos, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hongkong, etc.) by crossing the country border. Travelling in other Asian counties enriches our knowledge and experience in Asia, most importantly, it provides a comparative insight between China and its neighbors.

At the end of travelling, we were back in Shanghai, my hometown in the east of China. Together with Anton, we both participated in the workshop “China Dream” (by JUCCCE 聚思) for which the sketch gives a visualization of the dreamer, taking the time to rest and reflect on issues of daily life, against the background of urban setting(s).