He Lei comes from Chángshā, China. She has lived in Berlin for over 10 years. Now she is a happy housewife.
Why did you move to Berlin?
I worked and got married in Beijing, and everything was fine. But the overload with work for my husband led to the result that he did not have enough time to spend with kids. Thus, after many times of discussion, we decided to move back to Berlin. I quitted my job and became a housewife.
Do you like Berlin?
I like Berlin. It’s really comfortable to live here. Although I’m a foreigner, but the city has great tolerance. People won’t stare at you all the time, even we live in an area without many Asian. You can feel the liberty and open minded of Berlin. Though people always say, Berlin is not Germany. But I think it is because it is more open. As I was a student, I had lived in a small town in Switzerland for a year. It is really a small town, I was probably the only Asian there. Therefore, I can tell the difference between conservative and open.
Besides, I go to church. The life in the church makes my life more abundant, I thank God that he has prepared a church for us. Though church is never perfect, but when you only focus on God, all the imperfectness will trun into blessing, and then become grace. When I looked back in my life, God is always with me.
Can you talk about the home education?
When I was working in Beijing, I worked with German or people who have marriage with German. At that time, I did not see any problem that the children stay in an all German surrounding, because most of them will live in Germany sooner or later. But when we moved to Berlin for about 6 months, I found something wrong, my children didn’t speak Chinese anymore. Though they were grown up here, but you can see that they are multiracial, and it has a lot to do with the Self-concept. We told them since they were still young, that you are half-German and half-Chinese. I hope they won’t forget half of them are from China. Once they don’t speak Chinese or learn Chinese, they will lose the connection with half part of themselves.
Thus, when we are home, I talk with both kids in Chinese, and they talk with their father in German. Kids are really smart, they will change the channel to different people.
Then, what is the different about education in China and in Germany?
I think, in Germany, parents and children alike lead their lives much more happily than their counterparts in China. Here provides many activities for whole family to participate. For example: libraries for family to read together, the playground to have fun, and space for different sports, such as swimming pools….. etc. Children don’t have countless homework and exams. In China, the life of students are filled with school life and tons of assignments. However, I think that the schools and parents in Germany sometimes give children too much freedom and free time. It seems that they don’t want to make kids feel tired. The wise way for me to teach the kids is to take the essence discard the dregs from both countries.