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Wuhan's only Russian-born citizen
2016-01-01

  

 

  Li Shufan and her grate-grandson

  "I don't like being called grandma. All the people who hang out with me call me sister," said Li Shufan, who is 92 years old. When our reporter said that Mrs. Li is still a very young woman, she smiled happily.

  Li Shufan is Russian. Her Russian name is Irina Aklivna Chertko. In 1949, she fell in love with a Chinese student while he was studying abroad in the former Soviet Union; it was love at first sight. In 1950, they moved to China, and Irina changed her name to Li Shufan. In 1953, she and her husband decided to relocate to Wuhan, where she became a Chinese-Russian translator for Wuhan Iron and Steel (Group) Co., Ltd. She has been in Wuhan ever since.

  She is currently the only Russian-born Wuhan citizen. Having lived in Wuhan for over 60 years, not only can she speak Chinese fluently, but she also speaks with a local accent. Although she is in her 90s, she still cares about her appearance. Every time she goes out, she takes time to properly do her makeup. She loves acting, singing with her community choir, modeling, and engaging in a number of other activities. She loves learning to sing new songs and strutting up and down the catwalk. In many ways, this energetic elderly woman is more active than many younger people.