Russian student helps Chinese farmers through livestreams

2021-03-08 12:05:31

HANGZHOU-Fluent in Chinese, Dmitry Doronin, a doctoral student from Russia, is keen to share his experience in rural villages in East China's Zhejiang province with his 1.4 million followers online. Having settled in the countryside last August, the 32-year-old has since created hundreds of video clips that record the leisurely rural lifestyle in Hengzhang village, Songyang county, Lishui city. "The rice is grown in the terraced fields together with fish, which helps minimize pest damage, thus contributing to increased yield," said Dmitry, while introducing local agricultural products on the popular Chinese short-video platform Douyin. Apart from filming videos, Dmitry also enjoys working with farmers in the fields, doing activities such as planting and harvesting vegetables, feeding buffalo and reaping rice. Living in a rural area provides him with unique and charming experiences, he says, quite different from the hustle and bustle of big cities, such as Shanghai, where he studies. And he has been a pleasant surprise to the villagers as well. Villager Bao Mingyue, 76, says: "To our surprise, the young Russian not only knows how to cook Chinese food but is interested in working in the fields." Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the sales of local agricultural products had dropped significantly, so Dmitry volunteered to promote the products in his videos. In a few months, 10,000 kilograms of oranges, 4,000 kg of dried sweet potatoes and 300 kg of honey had been sold, thanks to his help. "After his arrival, and benefiting from his livestreams, it seems that more tourists have come to visit our village," says 72-year-old Pan Xiannyu, who is delighted to see the positive changes in her hometown. One comment under Dmitry's post reads: "Thanks to your videos, I learned how beautiful the countryside life can be." Dmitry loves his country life. "In the countryside, you can immerse yourself in the traditional way of life and understand this country better," he says. According to him, the impressions of China among some Russians are still outdated, despite the fact that China has progressed in leaps and bounds. "I would like to become a people-to-people envoy of friendship between the two countries by using the internet," he adds. Dmitry has been living in China for over seven years. After seeing how rapidly rural areas in China have developed, he plans to stay in the countryside after completing his doctorate. "Every village in China is unique in its own way, and there is a lot to explore," he says.a