Interesting, informative, educational, Christine’s book, Embarquement pour la Chine, takes us on a breath-taking adventure through time and lets us discover untold stories of Ancient Chinese culture. Apart from being an inspiring and motivated writer, Christine is the librarian of our school, but I got to know her better after one of her conferences about being torn between different cultures. She is a passionate and creative speaker. After listening to her captivating talk which resonated in me, I realized I wasn’t alone. She was then always able to patiently listen to me and to guide me – in writing or in life – as she has done for so many other listeners who attended her conferences or classes.
LUCIE LIU | French International School – Shanghai
Christine is a rare gem among Tai Chi teachers as she has the passion to share her vast knowledge, and the ability to teach and guide us through the often complex moves. She was my personal Tai Chi teacher and it was an absolute pleasure working with her as her positive energy made all the difference! Her classes were so useful I used it as a team building exercise for my team (who would have thought Tai Chi could be used this way!). The younger staff were very surprised to find out how demanding Tai Chi really is, but we all enjoyed ourselves as Christine’s Tai Chi classes are a joy to attend!
The best part of working with Christine is that she’s living proof of the transformational powers of Tai Chi in helping us find balance in life, especially in a city as fast-paced as Shanghai. Everyone must check out her classes and let her transform your life with Tai Chi.
JEFF TAN | Founder of REV Training and Coaching
I was lucky enough to attend two of Christine Leang’s conferences. The first one was a presentation of her book Embarquement pour la Chine, and the second one was a live testimony of the dreadful story of her family who escaped the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. In both conferences, Christine displayed a sensitivity and humanity which deeply touched me and made a strong impact on me. Storytelling is not only her driver; it is clearly an art Christine masters.
The genuine interest she shows in others is one of the traits that make Christine’s personality unique; it is also what she passes on to her audience. Christine also has an unusual background, which denotes a quest for the absolute, a constant search for meaning, and a wish to find her identity. I will never forget the emotion she was able to share with us when talking about the history of her family. She did it with dignity and sensitivity, the only possible attitude to have when you are a witness of the horrors men are capable of.
SOPHIE POITRINEAU | Events & Conferences Coordinator for the French Circle – Shanghai
Being Christine’s interpreter at her conferences and talks is always a great and rewarding experience because her words touch me deeply. Genuine, sincere, energetic and moving, she knows how to take her audience on a journey, either through her writing or her speaking skills. The presentations she made at the Alliance Française received very positive feedbacks and led to interesting discussions among students and professors. Christine inspires us all to go find our own paths.
NEIGE HUANG XUE | Teacher and Interpreter at Alliance Française – Shanghai
The fascinating story of French adventurers in China, Embarquement pour la Chine brings to light the lives of forgotten heroes through extensive research and unique insights. A book full of humanity.
GERALDINE LENAIN | Christie’s Senior Vice President, International Head
Having Christine as one of our teachers at the Yoga Room – Four Seasons Hotel was fantastic. She offered a different approach – her own unique approach through Tai Chi – of body-mind energy work and awareness.
Following this fruitful cooperation, we decided to organize together a Yoga & Tai Chi weekend retreat in Moganshan. This retreat was fully booked and we had an amazing time, in a great spirit of community. Christine’s assistance was a precious help; her positive energy filled up the house! It was a beautiful experience and a wonderful moment of sharing.
CAITLIN REILLY | Yoga Teacher and Artist
I took part in one of the Christine’s Tai Chi corporate trainings. From a personal perspective, I particularly enjoyed the choreography and the balance of the body. At the collective level, it was a nice moment of quality and conviviality with colleagues. Christine’s Tai Chi workshops, based on the theme of body-mind harmony, was a very original activity. I believe it would be easy to implement such activity in any company, in the context of a team building.
I will never forget the crowning moment of this workshop: Christine’s impressive demonstration!
Thank you Christine for introducing me to the practice of Tai Chi!
LAURENT-EMMANUEL LIOTIER | Rio Tinto Team Leader Projects
When collaborating with Christine, you are driven by her dynamism, her professionalism and her authenticity. It’s such a pleasure to be in contact with a person who is so alive and willing to share her life experience, from her most painful episodes to the most empowering ones. Her enthusiasm to inspire the others and help them to fulfill their dreams is a real gift to the planet.
I also had the chance to attend Christine’s writing workshop and several of her talks. Christine has this incredible ability to build suspense and keep the entire audience in the room breathless. When you listen to her, you feel touched to your deepest core. Her words and story have such emotional resonance that they suddenly become yours. She is an exceptional story teller and above all, a genuine person full of humanity who knows how to bring out the best in the others.
PHOUNKEO PHAYVONG | Love Activist, Owner of OpenUp Space
I read with delight the book of Christine Leang, Embarquement pour la Chine, which describes the lives and destinies of French people who were famous in their time, but most of them have been completely forgotten since then. These French figures, who discovered the Middle Kingdom between 1740 and 1950, are in a way the ancestors of the large French community living in China today. They were the pioneers of this special friendship between our two countries. Christine Leang’s book is an essential work of history and scholarship.
FRANCIS NIZET | Counsellor at the Assembly of French Citizens Abroad
From the time I first met Christine, entrusting her the writing of Embarquement pour la Chine, she evolved to become a kind of ‘rock-star’ of public speaking.
I have had the good fortune to work with Christine on a book about the history of the French in China. It was an extremely pleasant journey that lasted for four years during which we met, discussed, lunched, dined, organised, interviewed, wrote, corrected, proof read to finally agree on a last draft and look for a publisher. The book was imagined as a fresco depicting the history of the French in the Middle Kingdom and accessible to a wider audience of readers. The book, an instant success, is being translated in both English and Chinese and a reprint has already been decided.
Christine is determined and disciplined in whatever she undertakes. As an author, and to give her book the best chances, she decided to go on a promotion roadshow around French Bookstores and French Communities in Asia. What followed was amazing! From humble beginnings, she progressively gained confidence to become the accomplished speaker we know her to be today. Perfectly mastering her subjects, she adds emotions and captivates her public with real life experiences and feelings which she manages to effectively share with the public. A conference or seminar with Christine never leaves you untouched.
CLAUDE JAECK | Président of Société d’Histoire des Français de Chine
It is very rare to have encounters and collaborations that are creative, inspirational and fun while keeping a professional outlook during the entire process. Christine and I began as colleagues, became friends and today we organize wellness retreats that combine Yoga, Tai chi and Creative Writing in and around Shanghai. Working with Christine never feels like “work” because Christine knows how to communicate and organize with laughter, ease, and precision. She is someone that I know I can count on during the entire process. She is committed to finding strategies to make the retreats personal, innovative and expressive in order to create memorable experiences for the participants.
It is so refreshing and reassuring to know that I have the most amazing partner to work with. I feel honored to collaborate with such a generous artist who loves to share her passion with others in order to create change from within.
CORINE ENGLANDER | Yoga and Dance Instructor, Choreographer
Last year Christine made a presentation of her book Embarquement pour la Chine as part of the series of conferences that we hosted at the French School in Shanghai. She was able to make History accessible, interesting and lively to everyone who attended her conference – students, teachers and parents.
After this first success, Christine and I began a long series of enriching and inspiring discussions about the question of her French-Chinese-Cambodian identity. Since I was preparing for a regional symposium on the involvement of Chinese workers in the First World War, with a final section dedicated to the Chinese Diaspora, I asked Christine if she would be willing to give us a live testimony of her family history. Christine immediately showed enthusiasm for the project, but as she started to dig into the tragic memories of the atrocities her relatives had to go through during the Khmer rouge regime, I realized how painful a process it was for Christine to prepare for this conference. I gave her all my support, but quite frankly, until the very last day, we didn’t know if she would be able to step up on stage and face her fears… On Saturday March 1st 2014, in a calm voice, sometimes blurred with emotions, Christine gave us an impressive and exceptional presentation of a whole page of History, while sharing the appalling story of her family with dignity. The whole audience was taken onto an incredible journey and became part of an unforgettable moment of emotions.
There are moments in life, rare moments, when you feel something unique is happening. On that stormy Saturday morning, in the theater of the French School in Shanghai, Christine made it happen. She built a bridge of humanity, a connection between her and the people who were in the room. Very naturally, at the end of her presentation and to Christine’s request, we all stood up and applauded “to the love of life!”
Thank you Christine, see you soon for more conferences and sharing!
ARNAUD BECUWE | History and Geography Teacher at French School in Shanghai
Copyright © Christine Leang 2014
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