Grandchild wins Chinese hearts with poetry recitation

A screen grab of the video showing Arabella Kushner, five, reciting ancient Chinese poetry. She has reportedly been studying Chinese since she was 18 months old.
A screen grab of the video showing Arabella Kushner, five, reciting ancient Chinese poetry. She has reportedly been studying Chinese since she was 18 months old.PHOTO: SCREEN GRAB FROM YOUTUBE

BEIJING • United States President-elect Donald Trump may not be the most popular man in China after accusing Beijing of currency manipulation and stealing American jobs.

But his five-year-old granddaughter Arabella Kushner has won Chinese hearts after a February video of her reciting ancient Chinese poetry resurfaced on China's social media, China's Global Times newspaper reported.

The video went viral on the Sina Weibo platform soon after Mr Trump was announced as President-elect last week, with many users commenting that Arabella is "surprisingly cute and impressive".

In the video, Arabella, who is wearing the traditional Chinese qipao, stands on a table to recite works by famous Chinese poets such as Li Bai.

Arabella, the daughter of Mr Trump's elder daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, has been studying Chinese since she was 18 months old, according to the Daily Mail.

The clip was originally filmed and uploaded on Ivanka's Instagram account on Feb 10, around the start of the Chinese Year of the Monkey.

Chinese netizens were impressed by how well versed Arabella was in Chinese culture.

"I really hope the little angel falls in love with Chinese culture, quite exciting," wrote a netizen called orange.

"At least the video shows that Trump places importance on education and did not shut the door on foreign culture," posted stAu79.

An earlier Instagram post by Ivanka in 2014 with the caption "Sunday morning Chinese lesson! Arabella's working hard!" also showed Arabella practising her Mandarin when she was 21/2 years old.

Arabella is one of Mr Trump's eight grandchildren. She has two siblings - Joseph Frederick, three, and Theodore James, who was born in March this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Grandchild wins Chinese hearts with poetry recitation'. Print Edition | Subscribe