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'My Chinese Working Day': An Australian's story

By Jin Dan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-31 11:17

For a scholar focusing on Australia's public diplomacy, working as a recreational manager in China may never be part of his career path. But Bradley McConachie does have lots to say now about his special experience at a resort in the picturesque tropical coastal city of Sanya in South China's Hainan province.

The 33-year-old Australian is actually a student in international relations completing his PhD through Griffith University. He came to Beijing for a cooperative research at Peking University less than two years ago. Such an academic life was just added color with a chance offered by the cultural exchanges project, "I'm in China".

Bradley was lucky to win the most "likes" for his photo story about his life in China and became one of 20 winners to visit locations after a global recruitment by the project this summer. All the winners' experiences were filmed to produce a reality show, My Chinese Working Day, which will be broadcast by mid-September.

"What I liked most about the experience was it was something completely different that you would never be able to do as a regular tourist," Bradley said in an exclusive interview with chinadaily.com.cn.

Bradley was chosen to work as a recreational manager for a Chinese wedding.

The film crew took them to many "amazing sites" and the staff at the resort taught them a lot about how to "incorporate modern Chinese traits while still keeping traditional customs", Bradley said.

"I would have to say two things stick out as the most memorable: the helicopter ride and talking with the staff at the hotel about how they organize weddings here in China," he said.

That was Bradley's first time to be in a helicopter, and he was too absorbed with the "stunning" view of the beautiful coastline.

"I think it is so important to show other Australians the different landscapes China has to offer. I think so many Australians, when they think about China, imagine the historical sites of Beijing and the exciting things to see in Shanghai but have no idea about other beautiful places, like Sanya or the many other places people have been taken to in this TV series," Bradley said.

As to the Chinese wedding, the ceremony was quite familiar to Bradley, which he said was "very much like any wedding he had been to back in Australia". But it was still "interesting to see how Chinese couples balance the desires of a modern wedding while keeping Chinese traditions", after decorating the wedding suite.

"It was nice to experience these little touches and understand what makes a wedding day so special for a Chinese couple. I was happy to be a part of that experience!" Bradley said.

"I'm in China" is a project sponsored by China Intercontinental Communication Centre and other institutions under the guidance of China's State Council Information Office. It invites foreign natives worldwide to experience unique jobs and participate in activities that one can find nowhere else except in China.

Shooting My Chinese Working Day is part of the project. An online contest to select who gets to be the front-line cultural ambassadors, kicked off on July 31. More than 10,000 photos and articles were submitted from around the globe by over 6,00 applicants, which has earned tremendous web views, likes and shares.

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