Living in Nanjing was curious. Not only had I never lived or even been to China before; the only comparison I had was a week in Hong Kong, which is amazing but couldn’t be any more different. Nanjing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having been the seat of power repeatedly in the country’s long history. Nanjing has about 8 million inhabitants and rising, and a while ago I had the pleasure of working in this city for Jiangsu Broadcasting Corporation (JSBC), the province’s TV station. When I moved to Nanjing, coming straight from Hong Kong, everything changed instantly – the people looked different, the mannerisms were different, people interactions were quite different and I realised this is a completely different world, although I was still in the same country.
The many faces of Nanjing
Also, everyone stared. Being blonde, you may get a little bit of attention in Shanghai, but not really. People are more used to it. But in Nanjing, I was literally followed by passers-by, who didn’t really pass by… it was slightly bizarre. But after getting over it and realising this was friendly curiosity, I turned it around and did a bit of what might be perceived as “aggressive staring” in western cultures, and allowed my eyes and photo camera to linger on the faces of Nanjing on my regular excursions through my neighbourhood. I was surprised to find that no one was angry that I stared or took photos. And here are some intriguing faces of those 8 million Nanjingers.
Who would you like to get to know?