Mirzoi Behruz, a PhD student majoring in social sciences from Tajikistan, won everyone’s heart with his breathtaking act of traditional Sichuan Opera on the 2020 New Year Gala Night, as many marvelled at his deep affection for traditional Chinese culture.
But how did he fall in love with the Sichuan opera to give such a terrific performance as a foreigner?
Mirzoi Behruz says it all started with an unexpected fascination with Chinese characters in the summer of 2004.
His cousin, who was studying in China, had returned home for his summer vacation. When Mirzoi Behruz met him, some Chinese characters printed on his cousin’s T-shirt caught his eyes, and he found them simply unique and beautiful. That provided the motivation for him to learn the Chinese language over time, which would eventually bring him to Beijing.
In 2006, he enrolled at Beijing Language and Culture University, where he perfected his Chinese, and then he went on to complete his master’s degree from the School of International Relations at Peking University. Currently, Mirzoi Behruz is doing his PhD in Comparative Politics at Tsinghua University. And it was during this course of study that he developed a keen interest in Chinese traditional culture and discovered his passion for the Sichuan opera – one of China's oldest and most popular opera forms, which culminated in him giving a mind-blowing performance at the New Year Gala Night.
In Tsinghua, the New Year Gala Night serves as a valuable platform for cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries. Talking about his impression of the New Year Gala Night, Mirzoi Behruz said, “This stage is very inclusive, in that both Chinese and foreign cultures from all over the world come into close contact.”
For the upcoming 2021 New Year Gala Night, Mirzoi Behruz is full of expectations. “I hope to see more Chinese cultural performances from international students this year because performances that feature cultural integration will be very attractive.”
As Mirzoi Behruz prepares to finish his PhD soon, he wishes to contribute as a cultural ambassador to bring China and his country, Tajikistan, closer together for a better future.
Writer: Liu Yijun
Editors: John Olbrich, Sangeet Sangroula, Liu Shutian