A tourist resort in China’s Guizhou province welcomed an American girl born in China as their new cultural ambassador, entrusting her with spreading the word about the traditions of the local ethnic minority.
JongMay, 23, was appointed the 16th mayor of Wanda, a small tourist town in the southwest of China, after winning a worldwide campaign aimed at promoting the culture of the ethnic Miao people, People’s Daily Online reported.
The promotion program, which was launched in Wanda late June 2017, invites people from across the world to serve on a rotational basis as the town’s cultural ambassador.
“Being a mayor is a life enriching experience, that’s why I’m here,” said JongMay, whose Chinese name “Zhongmei” literally means “China and United States.”
JongMay, who speaks fluent Mandarin, was born to an American family in China, but spent her childhood in the US. She has now returned to her motherland and learned how to dance in the Jinji style, a Chinese traditional folk dance originating from Danzhai county in Guizhou, an autonomous region where the ethnic Miao and Dong people live.
Besides dancing with local Miao people, the 16th mayor has also participated in cultural activities streamed live on social media. “I felt more closely connected with China,” she noted.
In the future, JongMay, who is studying for her master’s degree at the Communication University of China, hopes to teach Chinese in American universities and bring her students to China for cultural exchanges.