HARBIN (Reuters) – Russian swimmer Lyudmila Smolyakova strips right down to a swimwear and flip-flops and prances in the front of Chinese tourists bundled up against below-freezing climate before diving into a pool cut into an iced-covered river.
The tourists, who possess compensated 30 yuan ($3.87) for seats to see Smolyakova’s ice swimming troupe perform, scatter as she emerges and threatens to splash them.
It may be cool in Harbin, which can be nearer to Siberia rather than Beijing, but warming ties between Russia and Asia suggest the town is rediscovering its Russian roots.
That’s a blessing for Zena Zhao. She works being a translator that is chinese the Russians when you look at the troupe whom see Harbin every January to execute with Chinese swimmers in the Sino-Russian Friendship Winter Swimming Sports Amusement Park.
Russian had been the language of Zhao’s mom, whom relocated to Harbin once the young bride of Zhao’s Chinese daddy in 1926. Zhao remained behind whenever her mom and sisters left for the then-Soviet Union in 1962 throughout the Sino-Soviet split.
“When the swimmers first arrived in 1986, they aided me find my mom. They helped me find her grave and the old age home where she had stayed, ” Zhao said although she had already passed away.
Around China, Harbin is fabled for its wintertime, as soon as the city puts for a event of ice and snow sculptures.
At parks glow with lamps encased in elaborate ice castles, pagodas and bridges night. By time, site site visitors saunter over the frozen Songhua river, where make-shift carnivals provide ice slides, skating and swimming programs. Continue reading “Asia’s icy Harbin rediscovers its roots that are russian”