"My Heart's Anna"
Intimacy, Affect, and Cosmopolitanism among Chinese Volunteers Abroad
In Europe, youth volunteers are a small segment of a growing and increasingly diverse Chinese presence. Currently limited to Eastern Europe, including a handful in European Union member states such as Hungary and Poland, Chinese volunteers may later participate in domestic volunteering projects in Western Europe as well. As elsewhere, volunteering is linked to other ways of mobility. Studying abroad can be a stimulus to volunteering and vice versa; volunteering is typically accompanied by experiences of sightseeing and nature tourism that are shared with other young Chinese (tourists, students and expatriates). Yet it also represents a potentially new, more compassionate modality of engaging with the unfamiliar. This is significant against the background of the rapidly changing power relations between Europe and China, analyses of which often portray Europe as a hapless target of Chinese greed or manipulation.
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