Kevin Miao: Kevin came to Greece because of the job relocation and now is one of the few Chinese shipbroker based in Athens. Previously he studied Finance in Beijing, and worked in Copenhagen, Beijing and Shanghai. He is a Chinese flutist and loves Chinese traditional culture which he believes will be revived soon. He founded the non-profit Chinese traditional culture organization in Shanghai named Magnolia Chinese Culture Association, which is now the leading organization in traditional culture area in China. He is also a travel blogger who believes in traveling with culture exchanges – between his own culture and the local culture – out of which he can gain more from his experiences. He is the Smart Traveler of Qunar.com and the member of Sina Travel We-Media Union.
Meet Culture: was founded in Athens, Greece, the birthplace of Western civilization, and meanwhile deeply rooted in China, an ancient country with history of thousands of years. Meet Culture is dedicated to build an international cultural exchange platform in order to promote cultural exchange activities between Chinese and Greek culture, and besides inheriting and popularizing Chinese traditional culture to Greek people, also aims to provide better chances for Chinese people to gain deeper and thorough understanding of Greek culture. Among the cultural exchange projects which have been accomplished by Meet Culture, the outstanding ones include the first ever Guqin concerts “Music from Ancient China” in Athens and Santorini in July 2014, the tradition art and culture preservation for Ancient Greek Lyre, cultural travel project with famous Chinese online tourism website, co-production of the documentary Being Chinese in Athens with Greek Reporter, etc.
TBG: What is your blog about?
EY & KM: As our organization’s name stated, we prefer to travel to meet the different cultures, and let our own culture interacts with another different culture, so as to ignites new culture sparks and have a deeper understanding of each other. Currently our blog mainly includes our travel experiences and our cultural exchange events in Greece. Besides, we have also written the Athens/Santorini Travel Book for Qunar.com which is one of the biggest travel platforms in China. Moreover, we keep sharing our interesting experience in Greece on the most popular China social media channels such as Weibo, weChat, Sina Travel, etc.
TBG: Why did you start your blog?
EY & KM: We moved to Greece in 2013 because of the job relocation, and after we came here, we found that there was not so many Chinese traditional culture activities here. Given we already have strong connections in the traditional culture circles in China, we decided to organize some culture events here. Our first event was the Shangsi Cultural Gathering at Fillopapou Hill, which was a big success and reported by many Greek and Chinese medias. Then we started www.meetculture.com to record and share these events and information. After that we organized several Culture Talks about the Guqin, Kongfu, Chinese Painting etc. In July 2014, we successfully hosted the first ever Guqin concerts in Santorini and Athens in which the Ancient Greek Lyre for the first time ensembled with Guqin, which are both the most ancient instruments of the two ancient countries. During our time and experience in Greece, we managed to travel to more and more places in Greece, and also brought our own culture to those places to exchange with the local people there. Hence we started to blog about our experience in Greece. Lately we have written travel guides about Athens and Santorini for one of the top online travel platform Qunar.com and we are now writing travel tips for Qunar as well. We aim to write more about our interesting experience in Greece from a Chinese perspective, to share with our friends and readers.
TBG: What is one of your most viewed posts you’d like to share with us?
EY & KM: Because our blogs are shared in different channels as already introduced, it is quite hard to calculate the total numbers of every post. Just to give an example, our post to share our trip to Meteora, https://www.weibo.com/p/23041867a83ec30102vajb, has had 7,326 views in the channel of Weibo. If take those in the channels of weChat, etc., it could exceed 10,000 views.
TBG: What was one of the most memorable trips you’ve taken and written about on your blog — and why?
EY & KM: This is a very difficult question because we have different experience and feelings about different places and we ALL LOVE THEM! Our trip to Zakinthos and Kefalonia is one of the most memorable trips. As many people know, Chinese tourists’ favorite Greek island is Santorini, which is very unique. However when we first arrived Ionian Sea and drove to these two islands, we were totally attracted by the incredible beautiful scenes. We wrote about this trip in our blog and named it “The Backyard Garden of Greeks” https://www.meetculture.com/blog/16
Another one is our trip to Xirokambi, a village near Sparta. We were invited to attend the first Ancient Greek Lyre Seminar. We met the Lyre maker Yannis Stathakos and also other villagers in the town. We were warmly welcomed and even served as the most distinguished guests. We were deeply impressed by the dinner served by the hosts for about 20 people, and after the dinner, everyone took an instrument and started playing, singing and dancing! It motivated us and we also shared with them the Chinese music. It turned out to be a small Greek and Chinese concert! We also had an interview with Yannis Stathakos which was published in our website https://www.meetculture.com/ancient-greek-lyre.html. The next day, Yannis’ brother Dimitris took us to the Mountain Taygetus, which has unbelievable wonderful views. The most exciting part of the trip was that we met a couple who had built their own house in the mountain all by themselves! In the history of China, we have the tradition of hermit, and this couple were the real hermits of Greek version. Our post about them were very popular among Chinese readers. https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s?__biz=MjM5NTgxMDkwNQ==&mid=204524765&idx=1&sn=f794d9011f0072a73779f09a6d8feff4#rd
TBG: What do you like most about blogging about Greece?
EY & KM: Traveling in Greece is not only about sightseeing, but also about the people and the culture. When we blog about Greece, we have so much to tell and to share, which not only make us excited, but also attracts our Chinese friends. Chinese people always have yearnings and attachments to Greece, vice versa for Greek people. We are glad and honored that we are bringing Greek experience to China, contributing to the communications of these two countries and becoming the strong connection between Chinese and Greeks. This is also our motivation to start Meet Culture, and now we enjoying all the experiences and all the feedbacks from our readers.
TBG: Give us one travel tip for those who have not traveled to Greece yet.
EY & KM: Talk to the local people and explore more about the local cultures by telling people your own culture. Travel will be more amazing and meaningful when the cultures meet.
TBG: Any advice for new bloggers?
EY & KM: Share your real experience and real feelings, only which can generate the resonance. Also have your own characteristic which can differentiate you from others. Know more about the culture differences and the different channels to spread your blogs in different regions.
TBG: One place in Greece AND in the world you’d love to visit in the future that you have not been to yet.
EY & KM: In Greece we would love to visit Crete, and in the world we would love to visit Cuba.
TBG: One place in the world AND in Greece you could visit over and over again.
EY & KM: In the world, London for Eley and Okinawa for Kevin; in Greece, Kefalonia.
TBG: If you could invite five famous people to your fabulous upcoming dinner party — who would make your list?
EY & KM: We would like to invite Will Smith, Eason Chan, Bruce Lee, Steve Jobs, Ma Yun.
Connect with Kevin Miao & Eley Yuan on social media:
Sina Weibo: https://www.weibo.com/miaobin (Kevin)
https://www.weibo.com/5271808112/ (Meet Culture)
weChat: meetculture (Meet Culture)