Cuban Singer Li Yushan: Conveying Cuba-China Friendship with Singing
International Online Report (Reporter Wei Yu): He is from Cuba and has loved Chinese culture since he was a child. Learning martial arts, learning to speak Chinese, learning to sing Chinese songs, chasing his dream of being a singer in China… From childhood to youth, every step of his growth is closely related to China.
Li Yushan said: “Hello everyone, I am from the beautiful (city) Havana in the Caribbean. My Spanish name is Elvis, and my Chinese name is Li Yushan. I have been in China for almost 20 years this year.”
Li Yushan was born in Havana, the capital of Cuba. He learned Chinese martial arts and Chinese culture under the influence of his grandfather since he was a child. When he was 12 years old, he came to China for the first time and participated in an international martial arts competition in Sanya, Hainan. “At that time we were 5 Cuban children, (all) came to China for the first time, about 12 years old. We came to China to participate in the martial arts competition. Many Chinese teachers were surprised because they saw that we Cubans not only knew Chinese martial arts , (the level) is still so good.”
Since that competition, Li Yushan and his friends have represented the Cuban National Wushu Team in China for many years, and have been to many cities in China one after another. He was deeply moved by the openness and tolerance of China and the hospitality of the Chinese people, and his desire to study in China became stronger and stronger. “My dream is to come to China to learn Chinese culture. I think China is a very beautiful country with a long history, and (also) a country that welcomes foreigners very much.”
Through hard work, Li Yushan came to Tianjin Foreign Languages University to study Chinese, and then studied in Beijing Second Foreign Languages Institute and Beijing Sport University. During his studies, Li Yushan had more and more Chinese friends around him, and he also realized the deep friendship between Cuba and China. “Once I was playing sports at school and my foot was broken during practice. A friend I didn’t know very well took me to the hospital and helped me pay for the medical expenses. I was very touched. The friend said, ‘I like Cuba very much, Cuba and China are friends, so we have to help each other’. I am very touched. There are also many teachers who have given me a lot of help, and I am very grateful to them.”
Today, Li Yushan is a singer. He sings songs in Chinese and has a group of Chinese fans. He often appears in variety shows familiar to Chinese audiences such as “Avenue of Stars” and “Sing Everyday”.
Li Yushan said that for many years he has been trying to use music to promote exchanges between Cuba and China, and to convey the friendship between the two countries through singing. He combines Latin style with Chinese style in his music, showing the perfect fusion of cultural elements of the two countries. “I combine Cuban traditional music with Chinese music. I have been thinking about doing this for many years. It is not easy because the rhythm is different. But the effect is not bad. Many audiences like it during the performance.”
Li Yushan hopes to continue to pursue his dream of performing arts in China. He hopes to use singing and dancing to deepen the understanding and deepen the friendship between Cuba and the Chinese people. “My life will definitely be in China in the future, because I really like China, Chinese culture, and my country. Cuba and China have always been very friendly. As a Cuban in China, I am willing to contribute to the friendship between the two countries.”