I taught Cindy Crawford Chinese

I taught Cindy Crawford Chinese

Li Ai

In March 1997, the Olympic Port of Barcelona was buzzing with stars when the world's top model, Cindy Crawford, arrived as an ambassador for OMEGA. The world's major news agencies sent journalists to this Olympic city, and more than 1,000 journalists surrounded this star model on the front stage, feeling the heat of the stars for the first time and experiencing the grandeur of being admired for the first time. I couldn't help but be a little excited to be the Chinese teacher of this beautiful girl. I have been teaching Chinese as a foreign language for more than 20 years, but this is the first time I teach a top model in the world.

Cindy Crawford was invited by a Hong Kong company to do an advertisement for Omega watches in Chinese. As the only Chinese teacher in Spain with a "Certificate for Teachers of Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages", I had the honor to be assigned by the Chinese Embassy to teach American top model Cindy Crawford Chinese in Barcelona. Our lesson started right next to the camera.

She smiled sweetly at me and greeted me in English before very carefully learning the pronunciation from me, "Hello, dear friends!" "I have been to your country. I've been to Beijing and Shanghai." "I like China very much!" "I like the Chinese people very much." "Do you like this watch? Omega is my choice." "Omega is the best choice for me." She repeated to me the following pronunciations "qīn ài de", "qīn ài de", the "qù" of "qù guò ", the "xǐ" of "xǐ huān". I was amazed to find that Cindy could distinguish the four tones of the Chinese language very well, and she told me in French: "She has loved music since she was a child, and she could not live without it. Her first exposure to Chinese was as good as singing." I think maybe that's why she mastered the four tones of Chinese so well. She praised the Chinese language: "Chinese is the language of music, very charming." "xuǎn zé, xuǎn zé, xuǎn zé, xuǎn zé ......" over and over again, without the slightest hint of a big star's stance.

And then she started shooting the commercial. I was by her side all the time, and I saw the make-up artist constantly making up her costume, the cameraman kept changing the angle, she was very strict in her work, polite to the staff around her, and worked well with everyone. The film went very well. She hugged me with a big smile, thanked me for teaching her Chinese, and said that she would definitely come to Beijing Language and Culture University to learn Chinese from me if she had the chance in the future.

I thought these words were just the pleasantries of a big star, but the next Christmas Eve, I received a card with her autograph and she actually remembered me. I think this is because our China is so great and our Chinese language is so attractive. It also reflects Cindy Crawford's personality.

The student-teacher relationship that I had with top American model Cindy Crawford can be reflected by a card I received every Christmas with her autograph.

On Christmas Eve of the third year, I received a book with Cindy Crawford's daily life. I was a little surprised. I guessed it was her secretary's work.

Looking at her glowing pictures reminded me of Cindy before and after she walked the stage.

Cindy Crawford was born into an ordinary blue-collar family, and her father was an electrician. She is the second of three sisters in her family. She had a younger brother who died of leukemia when he was three years old. That's why Cindy gives half of her income from calendar photos (about $250,000) every year to set up a foundation for research to combat leukemia.

Cindy was a hard-working child from an early age, and she was a top student from elementary school through high school graduation. At her high school graduation ceremony, she gave a speech on behalf of all the graduates, and then Northwestern University accepted her into the chemical engineering department and offered her a scholarship.

She had visions of becoming the first female president of the United States. Her path to becoming a top model was terminated several times to return to school to continue her education.

The mentor who led her to modeling was Chicago-based photographer Victor Skrboneski. He convinced Cindy to change her career and learn how to become a real professional model. The intelligent Cindy started with how to catch the camera, keep her body straight, pose properly, show a charming smile, and do a little bit of everything. A solid foundation was laid for future fame.

Cindy was lucky. On her way to success she met Monique Bilal, an important figure in the modeling world and a talented talent scout. After watching the famous French fashion designer Hezetina Alea's fashion show in Paris, she praised Cindy saying, "I was instantly enchanted by this girl, with perfect looks, extraordinary temperament and great potential." Cindy's performance was indeed extremely charming. When she appeared on the stage in a white low-necked dress, all the audience lit up and then held their breath to stare at this gorgeous beauty with a black mole. With her charming performance, the body's blood pumped, followed by thunderous applause: Cindy comfortably grasped the physical language, blended with the clothes, and accurately reflected the designer's creativity.

Cindy, who has captivated countless photographers and has since made her way up the stage, caused a sensation with her trips to Beijing and Shanghai, and in 1998 she came to Beijing as an OMEGA brand ambassador for OMEGA's 150th anniversary celebrations. At the dinner, she donated her limited edition "My Choice" watch, numbered "1", to the auction and donated all the proceeds to our "Spring Thunder" program to help the young generation of educators in the poor mountainous areas of our ethnic minorities.

As a Chinese educator, I feel very honored to have taught Cindy Chinese. I have had the honor of teaching Chinese to Cindy Crawford, one of America's top models. Cindy is a friend of the Chinese people and she has a bond with them.

March of 1997 Barcelona




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