Brazilian musician Delei Duarte lives Chinese dream

Updated: 2014-06-02 03:24

By Yan Yiqi (China Daily Latin America)

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Brazilian musician Delei Duarte lives Chinese dream

Brazilian singer and bar owner Delei Duarte and his Chinese wife. Provided to China Daily

When Delei Duarte was a little boy, the US-made television series Kung Fu attracted his attention. The hero, a monk from Shaolin Temple, played by David Carradine, uses a bamboo sword to solve a series of problems.

With that series, Duarte had his first connection with China, or more precisely, Chinese culture.

When he grew up, the Brazilian musician was introduced to a Chinese style of music by a musician friend and fell in love with it.

"After that, I have been longing to see more things about China," he said.

In 2006, the 44-year-old Duarte did not hesitate to accept an invitation from a Chinese company to work in the country. As part of that, Duarte has traveled to many cities - Shanghai, Datong, Urumqi. He met his wife in Nanchang.

In pursuit of love, Duarte left his contract with the Chinese company and settled in that city in Jiangxi province.

Duarte has a long list of reasons he loves China:

"It is secure here with no violent crimes and no gangs. People are very open. Chinese cuisine is delicious, and I have a lot of friends. Most of all, my wife and her family live in China," he said.

He is married to Wen Yu, a gracious Chinese woman. But he also has a bar of his own, the Bossa Nova, that not only supports his family but serves as a venue for making new friends.

"My bar is not a big one, and I don’t think it needs to be a big place. It is just for people to talk - to make them happy," he said.

At night, it is populated with people from all over the world.

"It is an interesting thing to see people from different countries talking in different languages. I like to make them stay together and talk to them," he said.

He himself performs at the bar, singing Chinese and foreign songs. After living in the country for eight years, Duarte can speak the language fluently.

"I should thank my wife for teaching me Chinese for free," he said.

Although Duarte is a friend-maker who welcomes everyone to his bar, he has laid down certain rules at Bossa Nova.

"In Brazil, we have a common practice - no religion, no politics and no football in the bar. And that’s how it is in my bar. Small talk and relaxing conversations are welcome, but no hot discussions on controversial topics," he said.

The FIFA World Cup season is coming, but Duarte said he did not want football to be a main topic at his bar.

"People coming to the bar will support different teams, and losses and victories will always lead to serious discussions, which are not good for the overall atmosphere," he said.

As for the future, Duarte said he and his wife have no specific plan.

"Who knows what the future will be like? We cannot say something is forever. But for now, I prefer to stay in China," he said.

Duarte said he is satisfied with his current life of running his business and performing. He’s busy but happy. As a musician, however, he thinks he might want to be more flexible in his life.

"We have visited Brazil, and my wife loves the country. I showed her the place I grew up and introduced her to my family. She loves it there and my family loves her. So if one day I said let’s go to Brazil, she will follow me. But not now," he said.

Back in the 1970s, Duarte might never have imagined that he would actually work in China, marry a Chinese woman and start his own business in the country.

But it all happened. And the romance all started with a television series called Kung Fu.