Foreigners living in the Qianyun residential community in Hangzhou attend an activity organized by the community to celebrate the New Year. [Photo/hangzhou.com.cn]
Foreigners living in the Qianyun residential community in Jianggan district, Hangzhou are playing an active role in community governance, local media reported on Jan 18.
But just a year ago, expats were seldom seen on such occasions. This changed when the community launched a plan to learn more about and work to solve the problems expats encounter in Hangzhou.
Expats began to feel more comfortable in the city, and as a result they began to participate more in activities organized by the community to celebrate traditional Chinese festivals, such as making dumplings and moon cakes for the Dragon Boat and Mid-Autumn festivals.
Some expats have even served as volunteers in the Qianyun community. For example, a young Colombian man who worked as a language teacher in Hangzhou has taken on information translation work for expats during the COVID-19 outbreak last year.
He formed a translation team consisting of 23 members from 19 countries, helping translate notices, taking the temperatures of residents, and helping expats communicate and apply for health codes.
Expats have also established an international volunteer club known as Injoy, which has organized monthly public benefit activities such as an English language summer camp and coffee culture activities.
There is a saying popular among expats living the community – "We are from outside Hangzhou, but we are not outsiders."
A Colombian man takes a photo with children after a volunteer activity. [Photo/hangzhou.com.cn]