A Russian woman in China

Nastya is a beautiful woman from Russia's Vladivostok. An episode of love that she came across ten years ago has since kept her heart in China's Harbin. Despite their parents' opposition and with no regret she and her husband pledged devotion to each other and have weaved a tale in which a couple from different countries finally lead a happy life ever after.

Got married during touring performances in China

Nastya's first job was a kindergarten teacher. Due to this job she came to study in Heilongjiang's Mudanjiang in 1990 through an exchange program. That was the first time she had ever had experience of another country. However, she had no sooner got over her curiosity when her stay came to an end. She was reluctant to get on the train home. After returning home she resigned as a teacher and became a part-time performer at a dancing troupe near her home. At the same time she worked for a Chinese-Russian joint venture as a secretary. Her choice of occupation was made completely out of her own interest and her good impression of China.

By the end of 1993 Nastya came to China again. Different from the first time this time she came as a dancer with a troupe which was to give commercial performances in China. What she didn't expect was that it was this rough trip to China which gave birth to her love life, marriage, family and career.

Nastya's husband is called Sun Hongwei from Harbin. "My husband was then working for cultural exchange and had business relation with the commercial performances.", said Nastya, "We began our acquaintance and love from that touring performance." She was touring south China with her troupe to give performances. By the time the tour was drawing to an end Sun Hongwei was already broke. In order to send the troupe safely back to Russia he sold his own car. Even that was not enough and they had to give performance at each stop as they moved north. The hardship, though, sparkled feeling between the two.

On returning to Harbin the moment came for departure. Sun Hongwei was sad. At the last moment Sun said to Nastya: "Do you really have to go? If you go we probably would never meet again. I want you to stay and become my wife."

At the bottom of her heart Nastya did not want to let this true love to pass by. After deliberation she decided to stay and spend the rest of her life with this Chinese young man from the northeast.

The course of true love never did run smooth

Because of the difference in mindset Sun Hongwei's parents could not accept a Russian daughter-in-law who "couldn't speak (Chinese)." Sun Hongwei was adamant: "Let her go? Never!" Faced with the impasse Sun Hongwei's sister rent a house and settled them down.

Looking back over the time Nastya said: "At that time (we) had no money, no job. My husband spent each day trying everything. But I couldn't do anything apart from feeling anxious. While I was at home I was scared of those who came to collect fees. One day an old lady wouldn't give up knocking on the door. First I thought it was just another fee-collecting guy. After I opened the door she said: 'I am Sun Hongwei's mother.' That was the first time I had seen my mother-in-law. I said hurriedly: 'Mother, pleas have a seat.' I hurried to the kitchen to make tea. By the time I came out with the tea she had already gone. She left an envelope which, I discovered, contained a lot of money."

After they got registered for marriage in China Nastya and her husband returned to Russia to go through some procedure. Hearing that their daughter had married a young Chinese her parents were also opposed to the marriage just like Sun Hongwei's parents. Faced with the same kind of situation Nastya, like her husband, chose to move out. She said: "Vladivostok's winter is very cold. We could not afford to rent a good house. My husband had to suffer coldness in my hometown. It made me cry inside. What was cheering was that our hearts were together, so we could warm each other. Some of my schoolmates and friends were not understanding. They didn't understand and I did not want to explain it to them. Let me ask you. If my husband could give up everything for me could I not but love him? "

Perhaps it was the unusual love and marriage that moved the Heaven. Once they had some savings they set up their own performance companies respectively in their home countries and even formed a joint venture engaged in cultural exchange and cooperation. The business gradually expanded and developed smoothly. In a few years they had had their own business. Now they have their own apartment and car and are investing in industry. They have set up a granulated sugar factory in Yunnan. Nastya's daughter was born in Harbin in March 2003 and in August she began her study at Heilongjiang University from which she is due to graduate soon.

By People's Daily Online