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Africans delight in Chinese TV series


09:45, March 28, 2013

(file photo)

Chinese TV shows that depict young people's lives in modern society are crossing the cultural divide and attracting a growing set of global audiences.

One example is "A Beautiful Daughter-in-law Era," a 36-episode light comedy about a modern Chinese couple.

The series was first aired in Shanghai in November 2009. It was dubbed in Swahili and broadcast in east African countries in 2011. Kenyan actress Josephine Moeni Waweru and actor Khamis Juma Swaleh were chosen to do the voices for the two leading roles in the African version of the series.

Wang Liping, the screenwriter, said she had doubts about whether African audiences would be able to connect with the series. However, it has been a success.

Tanzanians said they were able to understand it due to the emotional entanglement and personal relationships depicted in the show, as they resonate with African people as deeply as with Chinese.

Kenyan Janet Nzomo said the tension between the show's mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law also exist in Kenya.

Kenyan people may be able to find ways to solve their personal problems by watching the series, she said.

"The overseas market is eager to know young Chinese people's state of mind in modern times," Wang said.

Although China is one of the world's most prolific producers of TV series, they are not particularly popular overseas. The success of "A Beautiful Daughter-In-Law Era" may serve as an impetus for Chinese TV producers seeking to bring their work to other countries.

Chinese TV is typically limited to tales about ancient imperial life and kung fu in the global market, said He Xiaolan, president of Shanghai-based WingsMedia.

"But, in fact, foreign markets are calling for more stories that depict the real lives of young Chinese," He said.

"Go Lala Go!," a TV series about the adventures of a female office worker named Du Lala, has also started to reach global audiences. The series has been exported to Singapore, Malaysia, the United States and Canada.

Wang said she will continue to focus on the lives and dreams of ordinary people in her work, as well as make her work more appealing to both domestic and international audiences.

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