A saleswoman and president of an association, she promotes Chinese culture in Nancy
Arriving 25 years ago in Nancy as an au pair in the family of industrial leader Christian Streiff, Fengyu Mikusek became one with her adopted city. Now a shopkeeper, teacher and president of the Chinese association in Lorraine, he multiplied his energy tenfold to promote his country’s culture around Place Stanislas.
Fengyu Mikusek welcomes us to his boutique-cultural center on rue Saint-Dizier. Upon entering the area, it is almost enough to squint to see the ramparts of the Great Wall. After the Chinese New Year, 2023 was placed under the sign of the water rabbit, he was still proud and moved to see the enthusiasm that had been sparked every year, since 2012, by these celebrations in the ducal city. Cultural practices, culinary offerings and, of course, the much-awaited dragon parades delight both young and old.
This initiative is carried out, with the support of other actors, by the Chinese association in Lorraine. Bringing together almost 300 families throughout Lorraine, most of whom are in Nancy, it unites and weaves ties between members of a community whose roots and heart are shared between here and their country , up to thousands of kilometers. In Nancy clubs where Chinese sports skills are perfectly represented, with two schools of Chinese medicine, with the arrival every year of a dense cultural offer, with an association overflowing with initiatives, China invites the Nancy is herself and satisfied. Willingness of women and men to just share.
Fengyu Mikusek is an example of this. He, who grew up not far from Canton, in the rural province where farm work is almost the norm, set foot on French soil for the first time in 1997. a university where students come from all over the world . I worked for a long time in a German company based in China. After a few months, I said to myself that it would be great to go and visit these friends in France, in England, but also in Germany. I planned a three-month trip, including a visit to Nancy where a friend lives. And finally, I stayed in France and did not leave Nancy! “, he let go.
The girl will indeed have the opportunity to stay with the family of Christian Streiff, former CEO of PAM Saint-Gobain, Airbus and even PSA. “I taught Chinese to their daughter Lucie. I still remember standing impatiently between the house and the bus stop, waiting for Lucie to return, taking her Chinese baccalaureate! When he announced to me that he got 18/20, I said to myself that I shouldn’t be so bad at being a teacher! And so it’s also a good idea to stay and take advantage of the opportunity to learn French. That’s what I did. A few weeks later, I met my husband. So of course I don’t want to leave! “, he said with a wide smile.
In 2001, Christian Streiff, then head of PAM Saint-Gobain, asked his senior executives to give Chinese lessons with the aim of buying one of the group’s first factories in China. Teaching, Fengyu still does so today with Metis students and in promoting Chinese culture. The third child of his family at home, Fengyu Mikusek also took this opportunity to immerse himself in an international culture. “In my generation in China at that time, if we learned English, it was also a sign of wanting to go out, open up to the world. I also continued my English studies in France to maintain my level. Teaching is important to me. Today, French is an important part of my life. Besides, even if I’m angry, it’s French! “, He slipped.
Unity in the body, culture in the heart
This sharing goes both ways. “Introducing, loving and sharing Chinese culture is something that is really close to my heart. But without doing politics! Today in Lorraine, in Nancy, there are many Chinese families and of course students. Before 2020, there were nearly 1,000 Chinese students. The highest population among foreign students. Today, there are only 400 of them. The years of Covid have slowed down the dynamics with of course the closing of the borders but also a certain lack of trust in China since the virus appeared”, said Fengyu Mikusek, he who acted from the first. day of 2020, when Covid-19 appeared on our screens with a pandemic that seemed far away. how ? By raising funds from his community to support the hospital in Wuhan, which was overwhelmed. When the health crisis has gone global, France has suffered the full brunt of the virus and masks are in short supply, it has upset its Chinese networks. Calls, emails, negotiations, Fengyu Mikusek did not count his time or energy to deliver masks at the Nancy CHRU, at the nursing homes of Grand Nancy and more. In a few hours, almost 31,000 masks arrived on the land of Nancy at the time when the French factories aimed to make them. Eventually , e.g Fengyu Mikusek and his community will get 260,000 masks.
The honest woman that she is, she does not hesitate to play the role of referent between the Chinese consulate and the City of Nancy to maintain friendly and meaningful relations. Between all his jobs in service clubs, his family, Fengyu Mikusek always has the same pleasure in offering a piece of culture and tradition in his Lihua shop, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary . The opportunity to push the door of this cave of artisanal and authentic products, where it is also possible to indulge in workshops and personalized animations around Chinese culture. A part of China that will not stop making anyone struggle to enter the journey.
His movie: “Hero”
“This is a film by Zhang Yimou, China’s greatest director and director. We owe him the scenography of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and last year’s winter. »
His book: “Mine! »
“After long and heavy months during the Covid-19 crisis, I told myself that we have to leave a trace of all this. A few hours later, while talking about my childhood with my three children, I also realize that they do not know all the aspects of this part of my life. I am 48 years old and I have been in France for exactly 24 years. There were so many signs that pushed me to start writing. I got down to it for nine months, the memories flowing. To finish the 450 pages of which, by accident, 225 are dedicated to China and similarly to my life in France. A confidential biography that I printed in 165 copies. For to my family, relatives and friends only. No commercial purpose! »
His dish: chicken green curry and coconut milk
“It’s a good mix between different flavors from many countries. A mix that I like. It’s just like cooking. It’s something that is very important to me. And I also love to eat. I love seafood. Nothing really surprising for a girl born near the sea. I kind of missed that about Nancy! »
Her inspiration: travel
“Any place in particular? Impossible! It’s all over! Even China and Asia more broadly remains my favorite place, especially since I haven’t been there in three years. But I want to discover new reaches- sight as well as major European capitals. The next spring trip is scheduled for Bhutan. »
His favorite place in Nancy: the Cure d’air park
“It is a secluded place, quiet and completely apart from the vibrancy of the city. We observe from afar, we dominate and we can project ourselves very far. Nancy’s little Montmartre! »