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UPDATED: 15:04, November 05, 2004
Chinese younger generation intoxicated by romance of France
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Believing in Channel, Christina Dior and Bordeaux, 27-year-old Wang Lulu is still immersing herself in the fantastic memories of her French life even though she now lives in China's northeastern city of Shenyang.

The four-year studying experience in the west European nation has made the girl a fanatical fan of France. "Every visitor to France will be enchanted by its irresistible spells," she said.

The spells may recur in the ongoing series of French Culture Year activities, in commemoration of the 40th forging anniversary of Sino-French ties, through which Chinese people, especially the younger generation, will gain a better understanding of the exotic culture.

Wang said she is attracted to "the grand, colorful and varied French culture, which includes history, architecture, social conventions and also movies."

"I adore French movies, and I have watched Metro six times," the young lady said with absolute pride.

In her view, French movies are "delicate artistic works with rich ethical, cultural content."

Most people in China, in fact, have formed their impressions of France through movies and literary works, said Huang Yongheng, professor of French literature at top Liaoning University.

The "immortal works" of Balzac, Victor Hugo and Alexandre Dumas, which were popularized in China last century, have spread French romanticism to Chinese, said Prof. Huang.

Such impressions have greatly influenced people's views on the French society as a whole, acknowledged the expert, and in China the word "French" means something romantic.

Prof. Huang said the United States has successfully sown its culture in China through its hamburgers and beverages, while France has exerted a gradual and even imperceptible impact on Chinese people, especially the younger generation, by means of its "uniquely exquisite flavors."

Many members of the Chinese middle class between the ages of twenty and forty, have shown their preference for French culture, said socialist Guan Yu, a noted sociologist from Liaoning University.

This group of people are often well educated and handsomely paid. They have their own standards and their aesthetic rules are special and extraordinary, said Guan.

Guan said it is this group of people that makes the pursuit of a French life more faddish, admirable and enchanting.

To work at a US-funded company and then go shopping in the French franchised stores at leisure time is a dream of thousands of young women white collars today.

China's biggest travel website,, conducted a survey in late September of its 15,000 registered members, who planned to travel abroad during the week-long National Day vacation, and Paris was the first choice of more than two thirds of them.

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