Anna Packman, a British preschool teacher, came to China with her husband, Bill, in 2010 to attend the Shanghai Expo. Her father-in-law was working at the U.K. Pavilion, and he recommended the trip to the Packmans.
The couple began their adventure in Shanghai and moved to Shenzhen three years later.
“My husband is a furniture designer, and we knew Shenzhen had a good reputation as a city of design,” she said. “After we visited the city, we fell in love with it quickly. It’s a city of green with great outside life and beautiful parks.”
Packman lived in Shekou for two and a half years and then moved to Longhua New Area in April after she was appointed head of an international preschool at Mission Hills, which opens in September.
She has been reading up on traditional Confucian approaches to life, because the school has decided to base its program on a traditional Chinese moral code known as the Five Constant Virtues.
“Chinese culture is complex and deep, I have been fascinated by what I have read.
“Comparing expectations across different cultures has made me realize even more than before the universal nature of who we are and what we hold dear.”
Packman has found it difficult to directly translate the meaning of the Five Constant Virtues from Chinese to English.
“What does it mean in a traditional sense, what does it mean for our school in an international context?” she said.